Orion signs Campbell and Fletcher's 'gripping' football novel

Orion signs Campbell and Fletcher's 'gripping' football novel

Orion is publishing a novel by former Labour spin doctor​ Alastair Campbell that he has written in collaboration with ex-Burnley Football Club star Paul Fletcher. 

The novel, first reported on in January before it was signed, is called Saturday Bloody Saturday and will be published in February 2018. 

Publisher Alan Sampson of Orion, who bought UK and Commonwealth rights from Ed Victor Ltd, promised the novel "has everything". It draws on the authors' intimate knowledge of the world of football, set against the backdrop of Irish terrorism.  

Described as both "a football novel" and "a political thriller", the book's plot sees an IRA hit squad seek to exploit the instability of a UK General Election 

"It has some elements of nostalgia too, but although the story is set specifically in 1974, the themes of the narrative and the personalities of the players, managers, directors and fans are all too real and relevant today and the backdrop of Irish terrorism is a reminder of the fragility of peace and of human life," said Sampson.

Advance praise for the book comes from the likes of Delia Smith, who called it "a gripping combination of football, as we used to know it, and terrorism, as we stil know it" and Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseachof Ireland.