Book Review – Burntbridge Boys by John F Leonard


Being a fan of football, horror fiction, and the work of John F Leonard, when he released this book I was on it like a dogged and snappy midfield ‘snotter’.

Football isn’t for everyone, and the good news for those that don’t feel the footie love is this book is something that’s not just for fans of the beautiful game.

The story follows Sammy Rafferty, an ex player who was known for his brutish ways on the pitch. Following the end of his career he began a life of coaching, management, and dodgy dealings.

The story jumps from different times in Sammy’s career up to the present day where he arrives at the football stadium of a team he’s never even heard of, Burntbridge Palmers.

A note to non-footie people; there’s no way anyone who made in a career in football wouldn’t have heard of a team with a stadium like this. Even though I don’t follow non-league and amateur football, I’ve heard the names of plenty of teams. So the fact that Sammy was unaware of the Palmers is creepy enough.

We learn of Sammy’s bungs and bribes, as well as fall-outs with members of the board in his ‘interesting’ career. One of his previous managers gives him a gift on his death bed; a mysterious watch.

This story revolves once again around the Scaeth Mythos, a world where seemingly normal objects hold dark and malevolent powers ready to corrupt minds.

Owning this watch changes Sammy. When he arrives at the Palmers’ stadium he does so with no knowledge of why he’s there. The strange yet friendly groundsman assumes Sammy is there to become their new manager and insists he meet the enigmatic chairman. A meeting that affects Sammy in ways no one would have believed possible.

This is a short tale so there’s not much more I can say. But the creeps are served cold and dark here; the mysteries surrounding this club are on another level of scary.

You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy this one, but a leaning to the dark side of fiction is certainly a help. And who doesn’t wanna embrace the darkness?


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2 replies

  1. Ohhh, soccer football. I was thinking gridiron football. It sounds like a unique setting for a horror story.

    Liked by 1 person

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