Football Fortunes, the Trainspotter's Paradise

Bills Beard Football Fortunes ball
In 1996 my first (and last) book Football Fortunes was published.
It was described by the Sunday Times as "a trainspotters paradise".
A curate's egg of a review, although I do confess the book is one for anoraks.

The book was written in an age before internet gambling was commonplace and the football pools and bookmaker's fixed-odds coupons were the most popular way to place bets on the outcome of matches.

Football Fortunes.
Results Forecasting, Gambling & Computing.
W.A.Hunter BSc BA

The blurb on the back reads as follows.

" ... MAKES VITAL READING for those interested in soccer results forecasting, the football pools, or fixed-odds betting.
Comprehensive advice is provided for both the novice and experienced bettor.
Beginning with the fundamentals of results prediction and the laws of probability and odds, there then follow detailed explanations of forecasting systems and staking strategies.
To improve your fortunes, there are many original and innovative entries for the UK football pools and the bookmaker's coupon.
The reader will also gain insight into the history of betting on football pools and fixed-odds.
For the computer user there are descriptions of forecasting software and examples of program code, although a knowledge of computing is not a prerequisite to a full understanding and enjoyment of this book.
All in all, Football Fortunes is brim full of betting statistics, tips and practical examples.
The subject has rarely, if ever, been so extensively covered."

Praise indeed, though bear in mind those words were mine!
Sadly the book didn't make me a fortune from either football betting or royalties.

At the time of this blog post a Google search still throws up many references to Football Fortunes.
I've also discovered a few copies remain for sale online, with for example Amazon.

Football Fortunes is held by the British Library though my pride is tempered by the knowledge that it is an institution which retains a copy of just about every book published in the United Kingdom.

There was a reprint in 2002 and the book has more recently been reviewed as being "so dated that it's quaint."
That's probably true.

I'll finish off with extracts from older reviews, which were generally kinder...
  • "The book Football Fortunes is a comprehensive guide to getting the best out of analysis, theory and forecasting strategies. It is a trainspotters paradise."- The Sunday Times

  • "It proved absolutely fascinating and I stayed awake all of one long night reading it. It contains mountains of information which must help anyone who wishes to win at the pools or fixed odds."- Gambling Software Users Group

  • "The author, a BSc and BA, has come to the subject with a clever mind. Beginners will appreciate the section on probability while more experienced punters will benefit from the sophisticated discussion of forecasting methods."- Racing and Football Outlook

  • "Football Fortunes is a real gamblers' book. Don't get the idea this is just another 'systems' book, long on theory and short on results. The use of the phrase 'gamblers book' is entirely complimentary. Recommended."- Odds On Magazine
I hope one of these days to create a file (PDF) from scanned pages which will allow Football Fortunes to be read online or downloaded.
I'm sure you can't wait!

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