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David Wangerin, soccer author, dies after short illness

Soccer writer and author David Wangerin died last night after a short illness.

Wangerin was born in Chicago and raised in Wisconsin. The American-born author was an Aston Villa supporter, and moved to England in 1987. He also lived in Scotland, where he became a fan of Raith Rovers. Wangerin was the author of several books including Distant Corners, Fussball Book (about the Bundesliga) and his most famous work Soccer In A Football World.

SEE MORE: Listen to our interview with author David Wangerin from 2006

It was when Soccer In A Football World was released that I interviewed Wangerin in 2006. He was staying at his family’s farm in Wisconsin, and I remember him being very polite, kind and intelligent on the phone. With his book, he opened my eyes, and many other people’s eyes, to the beautiful history of American soccer and the wonderful stories of how the sport progressed in the early-to-mid 1900’s — well before the NASL even existed.

David’s dedication to chronicling the history of American soccer will not be forgotten.

My condolences to the friends and family of David Wangerin. He will be missed.

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  1. Paul McQuade

    July 9, 2012 at 5:11 am

    I had the pleasure of being in contact with Dave as he carried out
    research on his book ‘Soccer in A Football World’. He was polite,
    engaging and inspiring. His writings will be missed as much as the
    man himself.

  2. Steve Dahlgren

    July 4, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Reading Dave’s books was a pleasure I’ll miss. He was there at the
    start of the MLS and his reportage was a crucial building block in
    the success of the league. That’s a debt US soccer and its
    supporters owe Dave. Respect and condolences to his family. RIP.

  3. Anthony Rafferty

    July 3, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I had the honour of working with David in the 90’s in Scotland – a
    great gentle man who will be missed

  4. Bob Schantz

    July 3, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Dave was a truly good friend with a great sense of humor. One of my
    fondest high school memories was driving down to Wrigley Field with
    Dave to watch the Chicago Sting play the New York Cosmos back in
    the NASL days. He loved Jazz, Monty Python, but most of all,
    soccer, and was instrumental in my learning to love the game as
    well. So long my friend, we’ll see you on the other side…

  5. Michel Forest

    June 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm

    I read Soccer In A Football World last May. If you care about
    American soccer, this is a must read. The chapters about the NASL
    alone are worth the price of the book. Very sad to read that.

  6. The Four Marys

    June 30, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    When a (male) US Captain one day lifts aloft the World Cup, and the
    long, twisting journey of North American soccer is deemed
    completed, David Wangerin will be remembered alongside the likes of
    Dave Litterer and the incomparable Colin Jose as a vital link in
    the chain. A keeper of the flame who did us all the great service
    of never allowing us to forget (or others belittle) the long,
    occasionally glorious history of OUR game. RIP, sir. You will be

  7. Tim

    June 30, 2012 at 11:55 am

    This is sad news. A great writer who helped spread the history of
    soccer in America. Soccer in a Football World is one of my all time
    favorite soccer book; that book alone gave us an image history that
    most are completely unaware of. Thank you David, my prayers will go
    to your family and friends

  8. Jim Barg

    June 30, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Horrible news. My sincere condolences.

  9. Jamie Trecker

    June 30, 2012 at 10:56 am

    This is dreadful news. My condolences to his family and friends as

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