Coming Home by Ollie Wright – book review

Coming Home by Ollie Wright – book review

Following Tens and Nervous: Derby County in the 2010s Volume One (2010-2015), and Tens and Nervous: Volume Two (2015-2020 – Mel’s Way), Coming Home is the third book authored by Derby County Blogger and RamsTrust Board member Ollie Wright.

Coming Home takes a different approach to documenting the many significant events that affected Derby County Football Club off the pitch throughout the 2021-2022 season – and by association also affecting tens of thousands of Rams fans. Written while travelling to games on the train and during half time intervals at Pride Park Stadium, Coming Home interweaves the author’s life as a Derby supporter with personal reflections on adapting to life living in a new city, being a father to a young family, and learning to live with depression.

Ollie’s story begins with the 2-0 friendly win at Notts County on 1 August 2021, just a few weeks before former owner Mel Morris chose to put the club into administration. As the 2021-2022 season progressed and the crisis unfolded with protracted failed takeovers by a Saudi-backed group, Erik Alonso and Chris Kirchner, Ollie describes the impacts of administration on his mental health with feelings of anxiety, stress and outrage, which is contrasted by jubilation and relief when David Clowes was confirmed as Derby’s new owner on 1 July 2022. The story continues into the 2022-2023 season, ending with Derby missing out on a play off place after a 1-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in May 2023.

However, this turbulent period in the life of a Derby fan is interspersed with memories of growing up, changing friendships, and musical aspirations as a guitarist in a rock band. A recurring theme are regular battles trying to convince his young son to support the Rams over Leicester City, despite living a short distance from the King Power Stadium and the constant presence of the Foxes in their lives.

I really enjoyed reading Coming Home, a unique record of life as a supporter during a time when Derby County were dangerously close to liquidation. Every Rams fan should read Coming Home, even if only to discover the meaning of how ‘paying a Jeff Kenna’ links to Derby Rhyming Slang.

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