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Cass Pennant: Football Hooligan and Gentleman Publisher

A recent article in The Bookseller lamented the demise of a small publishing house, Pennant Books, driven out of business by the cold financial climate. John Blake wrote that the owner, Cass Pennant, paid his authors “decent advances. I heard he was meticulous in paying his royalties.”  But look into his back-story (already documented in an autobiography and a film) reveals a less than likely background for a gentleman publisher. He was a football hooligan in the 1970s, associated with West Ham United Football Club, and spent a couple of spells in prison, where he first started writing the first of eight books. He set up his own club door security firm, and got shot three times. He’s since consulted on TV programmes such as The Real Football Factories and films including Snatch.

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