Book Review: ‘We Had Dreams And Songs To Sing’

“A book born out of a once in a lifetime trip to Istanbul,” ‘We Had Dreams And Songs To Sing’ is the work of lifelong Liverpool supporter Keith Salmon who provides an autobiographical story of epic European trips, the trials and tribulations of work in football, being away from home shortly before his wife is due to give birth “to the next Kenny Dalglish”, with dreams of what adventures may lie ahead in the future, alongside a social commentary of Liverpool Football Club’s fortunes and misfortunes.

The book takes the reader through a journey of glorious pastimes and amazing journeys with immense details. Salmon tries to take the reader out of the comfort of wherever they’re reading to book and into something arguably more comfortable, over 40 years in the family of LFC.

Unlike other football books written by fans of a similar nature, such as Arsenal’s ‘Fever Pitch’, or our own Paul Tomkins and his series of books on the Rafalution, Salmon’s concentration is on his experiences as a fan, rather than what happened on the pitch. We all know what the players did that night in Istanbul and the papers reported the full 90 minutes of that away trip to Middlesbrough at the back end of the 1980s, but what about the rest of the day?

Salmon brings to light the bits you don’t hear about, timeless tales of ferocious taxi drivers, getting to Rome only to discover that it is, in reality, just the same as Liverpool and squashing Scouse stereotypes right on the head.

The book takes the reader through an unexpected journey, from Edge Hill to the Isle of Man, the four corners of Europe, derelict and missing outskirts of Turkish cities, down the M62 – and all the way back again.

A dramatic and emotional chapter on the events of April 15th, 1989 provides eyewitness accounts of what happened that day at Hillsborough and damming evidence against the policing and stadium control that day. “I still have my full ticket after all these years,” he explains as he vividly recalls what happened in Sheffield that fateful day.

Salmon discusses his time at Peterborough United, working in Youth Development and this is a fascinating insight into working life Salmon himself didn’t expect to turn up in. It was a case of overworked and underpaid for Salmon “but it was the greatest thing I have ever done,” he explains.

‘We Had Dreams And Songs To Sing’ isn’t just a book for Liverpool fans. It’s a book for football fans the world over to read, admire and relate to. There’s something every football fan can reminisce about, even if they weren’t actually there.

‘We Had Dreams And Songs to Sing’ by Keith Salmon is a beautiful read for any Liverpool or football fan and more information and how to buy the book can be found at wehaddreamsandsongstosing.co.uk.

Portions of the proceeds from the book go towards two truly worthy causes; The Hillsborough Justice Campaign and Hope for John, a Jersey-registered Charity set up to raise funds for fresearch into the Lafora disease on behalf of John Sharp, a young lad in Jersey.