Finn McCool’s Football Club: The Birth, Death,
and Resurrection of a Pub Soccer Team in the City of the Dead
Stephen Rea is a freelance writer based out of New Orleans who has contributed to national and international newspapers, magazines, and Web sites for over twenty years. He has worked for England’s Daily News and Western Daily Press in the features, sports, and entertainment departments. When he was only seventeen, the Sun daily newspaper chose him as their first-ever trainee reporter, and he covered a range of news stories, from the Gulf War and terrorist attacks in London to the resignation of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
Rea attended Campbell College in his hometown of Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied journalism at the United Kingdom’s National Council for the Training of Journalists before joining the Sun. After moving to New Orleans with his wife, Rea won a writing grant from the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival in 2006.
After his move to New Orleans, Rea struggled to find an outlet for his love of soccer. He soon discovered an Irish bar called Finn McCool’s. The eccentric blend of locals and ex-pats at the bar eventually formed a club team and joined a league—the perfect place for Rea to play soccer and express his love of the game. He wrote Finn McCool’s Football Club while he was displaced to Houston, Texas, after Hurricane Katrina, and the story follows not only Rea’s struggles through that difficult period, but the rest of the team’s as well.
Stephen Rea’s eclectic life has led him to more than one hundred countries, all seven continents, and all fifty U.S. states. Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, he spent his childhood against the backdrop of bombings and shootings in that country during the seventies and eighties. At the age of sixteen, he went on tour with rock star Ozzy Osbourne and later traveled the world as his assistant road manager, contributing a chapter to Osbourne’s official biography Diary of a Madman. He currently teaches a fiction-writing course at the prestigious Walker Percy Center at Loyola University and remains a New Orleans resident.