The Tottenham Hotspur Opus
(Kraken Sport & Media, 2008)
Kraken Opus is a collection of the largest and most luxurious publications ever produced, comprising 300,000 words and 1,500 pictures, sized at half a metre square and weighing 30kg. When Kraken Sport & Media were contracted by Tottenham Hotspur Football Club to produce The Tottenham Hotspur Opus for the club’s 125th anniversary year, I was asked to be Editorial Consultant.
Working with the in-house production and editorial team, I advised on flatplanning and chapter selection. I formed part of a panel, alongside journalists Julie Welch, Mat Snow and Matt Allen, which drew up the list of 51 Greatest Post-War players, and wrote over 25,000 words of features for the final Opus.
This work included interviews with club legends Martin Chivers and Martin Peters, and We Are Tottenham, a 7,000-word essay on the history of supporter culture at the club. I also contributed a series of short pen-profiles with fans - including actress Patsy Kensit, DJ Norman Jay and NBA superstar Steve Nash, interviewed writer and fan Hunter Davies and wrote an appreciation of Julie Welch's classic TV film Those Glory Glory Days.
Throughout the project I advised on editorial decision-making and picture selection, and set up contacts with a number of collectors and fans who could make useful contributions. I also helped recruit the Opus's Art Editor. I advised on image selection, fact-checked and proofread large sections of the Opus.
Rob Clark, Senior Editor, Kraken Sport & Media, said: “Martin’s was the first name that cropped up when my company were looking for an editorial consultant on an 850-page history of Tottenham Hotspur FC. His combination of editorial skills and vast experience and knowledge of the subject – and of football in general – made him an invaluable asset to the team."