tom-palmer1Tom Palmer talks the book Four Fathers and about his work with fathers, sons and football.

Q: What’s the inspiration behind Four Fathers?

A: I became a father two and a half years ago and it’s made me seriously evaluate my relationships with my own fathers. (I’ve had three.) So there was that. But the main thing was I knew Ray, James and John all have very interesting stories to tell about their dads.

Q: And what were the findings of that evaluation?

A: It went both ways, really. On the one hand, I thought what a tough job it is and that I shouldn’t be so hard on father two and how I wish I’d been more grateful to father three before he died. On the other hand, I thought how father two really blew it, that he should have done a better job. It was his responsibility. But that’s the whole thing about how you feel about your fathers, as is proved in these stories: it’s resentment, loss, rage, confusion, pity, regret and love all rolled into one seriously complex relationship, black, white and a lot of grey in between. And then there’s the next generation: me. Am I going to make a bollocks of it too?

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