Sixty years since his first-ever kick-about, Hackney born and bred Steven Hawkings has published a love letter to the beautiful game called English Football and My (Very Small) Part In It.

Steven, 67, spent all his "youth running around Hackney". He started playing football when he was six.

“I’ve done the whole Hackney Marsh, when there were thousands of pitches there, to gain the experiences that I’ve put into my book," he said.

“I’ve played in the Hackney and Leighton league when we had a team – week after week. So, I’m very Hackney orientated.”

The book is a collation of Steven’s lifetime football devotion, opinions and research.

“I’ve managed to put my various speeches which are to do with the history of English football and why we succeeded, why we failed and what the future holds, alongside my research that I did quite diligently - into the book,” he said.

Steven’s upbringing was hugely influential in his love of football.

“I would put Hackney and Islington at the forefront in London boroughs who would be football mad. You’ve got this whole North-East area of London, if you like, which is steeped in football.”

“Because I lived for football, I became a student of the game, as well as a player of the game – which all contribute to the story I’ve written.”

“The book is sort of a cathartic and it’s an epiphany of the moment. Once I wrote the various chapters and how I was going to word it, it flowed quite easily.”

Although spending time in hospital with asthma as a child, Steven has had many glittering experiences playing football - even making it into the Hackney Gazette as a youngster for scoring eight goals in a single match.

Steven is also the owner of a Hackney-based women’s clothing business.

He said, "because of the way things are business-wise with Covid" he found himself with time to write.

He told the Gazette: “Anyone that’s ever been around me will know that I have opinions on particularly the England team and the history of it all.

“I wanted to leave my kids with that legacy, and I had to get it off my chest.”

English Football and My (Very Small) Part In It is currently available to purchase from