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Namaste, Geezer: Life as a Fan and Journalist of Asian Heritage

Shekhar Bhatia

20 May 2024 All day

Namaste, Geezer is a revealing and trenchant memoir by one of England’s top national newspaper reporters, who has seen and covered it all, from the Heysel disaster to World Cups, plus the death of Princess Diana.

Most football fans who grew up loving the game in the hooliganism-blighted 1970s probably experienced running from opposition fans at some point. For Shekhar Bhatia, the menacing enemy was within – the nastier, right-wing elements among fans of his own team. Taken to West Ham by his father, who arrived in Britain from India in the late 1950s, young Shekhar just could not understand the hate directed towards rare Asian-heritage fans back then, and has since spent a lifetime steering a path between his loyalty to the Hammers and racism in the game.

Often shocking, ultimately joyous, this is a tale of rising above prejudice to fulfil ambitions, in both football and journalism.

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