Football novel, Rab Howell of Sheffield United,

The Evergreen 

in red and white


It is the year of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Rabbi Howell of Sheffield United, the first Romany to play for England, knows his career is peaking and the only way is down. His fate seems to be to return to obscurity, literally and metaphorically, back down the pit, his life ruled by the winding wheel and the domestic pattern set by his wife, Selina, her parents and family. He then meets Ada and risks throwing away career, home – everything. Follow Rab, Selina, Ada and The United through this turbulent, historic year. 

You can use the menu bar to find out more background on Rab how the book came to be. How we got him a headstone etc.

Thoroughly enjoyed the book… minutely observed and well-depicted background of Sheffield

Graham Phythian, author of “Colossus – the true story of William Foulke” and “Shooting Stars – the brief and glorious history of Blackburn Olympic.”

A lost treasure of a footballer from the first golden age of the game. Researched and told with love and genuine care – a truly fascinating piece of work.

John Garrett – Sheffield United FC Supporter Liaison Officer and Historian, co- author of “Sheffield United FC – The Biography” and author of “Blades Folklore and Fables”    

A poignant love story set in the gritty streets of Sheffield at the turn of the century.  Meticulously researched, this is a must for local history enthusiasts and anyone who loves a good read.

Cheryl Bailey, Senior Archivist, Sheffield Archives


Scott McCabe, Sheffield United Director   

A meticulous novel that brings social and football history to life in the form of a truly unique character from football folklore

Evocatively realised Victorian Sheffield............ diligently researched and affectionately written

- When Saturday Comes magazine's what keeps the book going - it's very clever - you want to know whether he ends up with Ada or not ....a special book

- Rony Robinson, BBC Radio Sheffield

Kay skilfully allows us into the mind of a footballer torn between duty and emotion. This is a novel that should not be overlooked.

- The Two Unfortunates blog

If Thomas Hardy or Charles Dickens did football, then this book would be the result. 

- Football Book Reviews

It is an engaging, compelling, read, with finely drawn characters and a fascinating background. Highly recommended.

- Historical Novel Society

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