I have been a professional writer and ardent traveler since the mid-1980s. A little while before that, I used to watch a highlight show called “Soccer Made in Germany,” and I fell in love with the game and the singing of the fans. I decided he would have to get one of these games one day.
Starting in college in the 80s, I had a career in newspapers, mostly in sports, and by the 90s I had moved to Portland, Oregon. I became a freelancer, specializing in sports, travel and the outdoors, and along the way I have written five guidebooks to Portland and Oregon. The best known is the best-selling 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Portland; one that I self-published was Breakfast in Bridgetown: The Definitive Guide to Portland’s Favorite Meal.
Fore more on all of that, see PaulGerald.com.
I am also a devoted fan of the Portland Timbers, a member of the Timbers Army, and actually got to see them win the 2015 MLS Cup on a magical night in Columbus.
The soccer book idea came from a simple combination of facts: I love to travel and write, I love soccer, and nobody has ever written a book like this. All I needed to know! Also, near as I can tell, nobody is offering consulting or guiding services to American fans heading to England to watch games. So I plan on doing that, as well.
My first game in England was at Arsenal with Dermot of my “London Family” — a 2-1 loss to Aston Villa on the last home day of the 2010-11 season, a game in which I got to see Robin Van Persie score for the Gunners and Michael Bradley play for Villa. But I had seen The Emirates, heard the (mostly Villa) fans, and had seen that people could actually go to these games. I was hooked.
Since then, I have seen dozens of games at dozens of grounds, which you can read about elsewhere on this site. I have also learned a bit about the clubs and how it all works, and I am thrilled to be sharing it with you.
I hope you enjoy the site and decide to keep up by reading my Groundhopper Newsletter.