Troubador Chasing Rainbows

Released: 28/04/2022

ISBN: 9781803131412

eISBN: 9781803138701

Format: Paperback/eBook

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Chasing Rainbows

From Innocence to Purgatory and Redemption as a Compulsive Sports Fan


“ A very funny book…I laughed out loud. And very relatable too. As this book captures perfectly, sport can be a strange and frustrating mistress” Stuart Broad MBE

Have you ever wondered if you have your sport / life balance out of kilter? Have you forgotten that in life’s rich tapestry your team’s last minute, VAR assisted defeat at Burnley really matters not a jot and letting this ruin your, and your family’s, weekend is a rather charmless and pointless thing to do? Are you concerned that for something which is supposed to be life-enhancing entertainment following sport seems to deliver rather a lot of frustration and disappointment? Or did its disappearance in the maelstrom of a global pandemic have you reassessing and yearning for its return?

Chasing Rainbows is a reflection on a life dominated by sport. Revisiting some of the most exciting and, more frequently, soul-destroying moments in English sport in the last half century, it seeks to make sense of the dichotomy that although being an English sports fan can occasionally enhance a life’s enjoyment, it primarily delivers nothing but pain, frustration and disappointment, leaving the unaffected baffled as to why we let something we can’t control dominate our life’s experience. It is a personal story of pathological obsession, but is perhaps yours too? It is for all those who recognise this condition and have had their mood ruined for a day, a week, a month or a year, to a totally inappropriate extent, by their addiction to their teams or their heroes and by some perceived sporting ‘disaster’. Chasing Rainbows is a humorous attempt to assess the role sport should, and does, play in our lives.

Ben's first book has a publication date of 28th April 2022. CHASING RAINBOWS - From Innocence to Purgatory and Redemption as a Compulsive Sports Fan, is a memoir of a life following sport which may strike a chord with similarly afflicted sports addicts. The foreword is written by England cricketer Stuart Broad.


There are a lot of books about sport. I know this because I think I've read most of them. Many are written by, or about, those who DID , the people who had the talent, those who made it and told the rest of us what it was like. But there are far more of us who COULDN'T and DIDN'T. We watched, we followed and let's be honest, we pretended on the beaches, fields and playgrounds of our youth, and sometimes just in our own heads, that we were them. Some of us still do. And the truth for us is that our lives became every bit as defined by sport as did those of the people good enough to play it. They have no monopoly on the reality that sport can dominate a life. In retirement they then sell us back their stories. So for the rest of us here's mine. And perhaps yours too.
I have tried to convince myself on many occasions that I'm past all this now and that in reflective middle-age I can develop a healthier relationship with sport. But I have no illusions any more. I'm an obsessive follower of sport and specifically English sport and for fifty-odd years I've attempted to use this as a shield against the realities of life. That English sport has only occasionally offered its devotees anything other than pain, frustration and heartbreak means I now accept this was never going to be a very effective tactic. This book is for all those who recognise this condition and have ever had their mood ruined for a day, a week, a month or a year, to a totally inappropriate extent, by their addiction to their teams or their heroes and by some perceived sporting 'disaster'

Ben Dobson is one of the nicest humans I’ve come across in my career so far and it’s only fitting he’s written a book of such calibre here. The man lives and breathes sport, clearly has capacity to be occasionally humorous and now has demonstrated his storytelling ability too. Great effort Ben. Couldn’t happen to a better bloke. Jake xx

by Jake Murphy

Ben Dobson

Ben Dobson is a 54 year-old whose life has been dominated sport - playing, watching, supporting, collecting, debating, studying and then working in sport. After gaining a degree in Sports Science at Loughborough University he began his career with a small sports company in Oldham in 1989, before joining the world's leading sports brand, adidas, where over 25 years he managed partnerships with many sports clubs and federations and a large number of individual athletes as well as having the opportunity to be personally involved in some of the greatest sporting moments.

He has enjoyed working with the likes of David Gower, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Malcolm Marshall, Daley Thompson, Maro Itoje, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, George North, Anthony Yarde and others.

Although a new author he has previously had freelance articles published in magazines such as The Cricketer and All Out Cricket. At the start of 2021 he left adidas to set up his own sports consultancy driven by the vision that 'sport has the power to change lives', and to give something back, and also to dedicate more time to writing.

Ben is country-loving and splits life between the Peak District and The Chilterns with wife Mary and gun-dog Lex. He remains, against his better judgement, a committed follower of Southampton FC, Manchester United and the England rugby and cricket teams. Other than sport, his loves are Mary and Lex, reading history, good wine and the camaraderie of the village pub.

Ben Dobson - on duty

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