A WIRRAL amateur footballer and Shaftesbury Youth Club old boy – possibly the slowest player on the peninsula – has produced a collection of poems about the beautiful game.

It's Raining (Poems from the Pitch) is by James Dillon from Birkenhead.

The 45-year old dad-of two has long held the twin passions of poetry and football, without the ability to back up his enthusiasm on both counts, playing in his local Saturday / Sunday league for 29 years.

He also reads at live poetry events in Wirral and Liverpool.

He has published other volumes of poetry, but this is his first one dedicated to football.

There are four strands to It's Raining (Poems from the Pitch)

It is the story of the demise and rise of a local football club – written in the style of an old nursery rhyme.

The Magpies Stumped is the lyrical story of a fictional game between two pub sides – The Magpie & Stump versus The Waterloo.

The Magpie & Stump lads have to win their local derby match to clinch the league.

However, neither side is prepared for the chilling climax to the game ...

The third strand of James' book contained poems based on the professional game and the world of the average football fan.

The fourth part focuses poetically on aspects of the amateur game from 11- a-side to five-a-side, and the idiosyncratic behaviour and superstitions of the average football player.

Nicola Palios has written the foreword and Peter Hooton the introduction.

Also possibly for the first time in literary history, A Centre Foreword, which was written by Peter Davenport.

The collection can be purchased from the club shop at £5 per copy.

All proceeds from the collection will be going to the Shaftesbury Youth club, Borough Road, Birkenhead.