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Summer Reading - No Number Nine

April 9, 2020

Review of No Number Nine by Simon Moriarty


Globally, hockey is the second most played team sport and the third most played of all sports – yet it seems to be almost entirely absent from popular culture. Huh. So much so that a ‘hockey novel’ is a very niche, almost unique prospect. That was the main reason I was initially interested in reading No Number Nine when I was offered the opportunity, and I’m glad I did. Though accessible to the lay-person – anyone could enjoy this story – being a hockey player adds an extra dimension to your appreciation of the book; especially given how accurately the dynamics and complications of a large hockey club are rendered.

The story itself is a Bildungsroman (a coming-of-age-story in Germany) with a funny, conversational narrative which means it is easy to read and hard to put down – but that’s not to say it’s frothy or frivolous, it deals with complex and difficult issues in a comprehensive yet engaging way.


Ideal holiday reading in normal times, great isolation reading in today’s. The plot is like a good hockey game: fast-paced, exciting, end-to-end stuff with a result that is somehow simultaneously unpredictable and inexorable. I hope that some of you buy it, read it and then come talk to me about it.

If you're at home and don't know what to do with yourself - no hockey training, no matches, no sport on TV - then why not get stuck into a good book? We've heard about a novel with hockey in it - it's called No Number Nine and it's partly set at the Sydney Olympics.


There'll be a book review from our very own Simon Moriarty (Men's 4XI Captain) coming soon, but in the meantime here's what Helen Richardson-Walsh said about it:


"Calling all #hockeyfamily - this book needs to go straight to the top of your summer reading list. Drama, love, laughter, lots of hockey players & hockey club antics we can all relate to."


If you can't wait for Simon's review, the first chapter can be found here.


More reviews and other info including Where to Buy at


The author, FJ Campbell, who plays at St Albans HC, has offered LHC members a discount for a limited time - so buy your copy of No Number Nine for £7.99 until 20th April on using this code: LYHCAPR20.

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