From Delhi to the Den, nailed on winner of next year’s William Hill Sports Book award, is now on sale. That it has been co-written by my younger son in no way – of course – affects that judgement.

Owen – that’s him in the photograph, wearing his Richmond Mavericks shirt – is what’s popularly termed a ghost.

That his right index finger obscures the name of his co-author – Stephen Constantine, the book’s subject – must be considered accidental, not strategic.

Stephen Constantine has managed more national football teams – Nepal, Malawi, Rwanda, Sudan, India twice – than any other Englishman.

That Wilf Constantine, presently at Crook Town, may have managed more Northern League sides than anyone else alive must be supposed coincidental. They are unrelated.

Owen worked at the Echo before joining the BBC in London. The book tells of Stephen Constantine’s troubled early years, his passion for football, his time slumming in Cyprus and bumming in the USA and of his desperation to get a manager’s job in England.

A spell as first team coach at Millwall was brief, part of the backroom brigade at Bournemouth briefer yet.

“The ultimate story of rejection” said a piece in The Times, but there’ve been many global successes, too. It’s a tale skilfully woven, perceptively and compellingly told at pace. Chip off the old bloke, or what?

*From Delhi to the Den is published by deCoubertin (£12 99) and is available on Amazon.

More reading matter, though this one’s e-book only, Andy Potts has written an account of a season in the life of the Northern League, embracing matches at all 44 clubs which started 2016-17.

Though the long serving former league chairman is deemed “sometimes curmudgeonly”, it’s an entertaining and insightful account, nonetheless.

Andy’s a former Spennymoor United programme editor who last watched much local football 20 years ago and has spent a lot of time since writing, worldwide, about ice hockey.

Now back in Durham – “freelance journalist and full time dad” – he returned enthusiastically to his grass roots.

Evidently, impressively, he’s been doing his homework. How else might we have known that a cree behind the goal at Ryhope is the only listed pigeon loft in the world, that Stockton Town’s clubhouse has (allegedly) the biggest television on Teesside or that, back in 1821, the first Earl of Durham supposed that an English gentleman might “jog along quite comfortably” on £40,000 a year.

Some Northern League folklore is dusted down, too, like the story of former Durham City manager Billy Cruddas who, sent from the Chester-le-Street ground by the referee, climbed an overhanging tree and continued his critique from above.

The ref was unimpressed. “A volley of Cruddas expletives,” says Andy, “could not be passed off as birdsong.”

It’s affectionate, engaging and for less than the price of a pint unmissable. That doesn’t sound curmudgeonly at all.

*Ancients and Mariners: haves and have-nots in the Northern League can be downloaded via Amazon for £2 49.

Last Saturday to Darlington RA, Ebac Northern League second division, the impoverished Railwaymen bottom of the league and still seeking their first win of the season.

Last week’s column invited suggestions for a Latin motto with which to mark the club’s centenary in 2018-19.

Don Clarke’s distinctly Caesarean “Venimus, vidimus, vicimus” –We came we saw, we conquered – may in the circumstances be considered a little less appropriate than David Moyes’s “Dominus nos aidievet” which (apparently) translates as God help us.

Club secretary Alan Hamilton quite fancies “Ad adoram ludorum” – For the love of the game. Darlington RA 2 Jarrow 4.

Last week’s piece from West Auckland was based around the 9-0 win over Guisborough – a victory which came, with wonderful timing, on the 90th birthday of club president Norman Ayton. Top of the shop.

We’d also recalled Roy Allen’s eight goals for West in an earlier 9-2 win, reproduced an archive picture of him with eight footballs and wondered where it was taken.

Retired bookie Billy Neilson confirms that it was, indeed, Victoria Park in Hartlepool – the giveaway the advertisement for John Joyce, whose bookmaking chain was based at 205 York Road.

First time this season, we bump at midweek Marske United into 76-year-old retired Hartlepool postman John Dawson, king of the ground hoppers.

It’s his 58th season as a football nomad, taking in 1,935 games in the first eight and decelerating only slightly since.

The previous Saturday he’d ticked off Moneyfields, Portsmouth way, as usual travelling on the overnight coach to and from London.

John has no idea how Moneyfields coined its name – readers may – but reports that they’re a few bob less well-off than they might have been.

“They were so impressed by my dedication, they let me in for nothing.”

…..and finally, the nearest Premier League ground to St James’ Park (Backtrack, August 17) is now Burnley (not Huddersfield, which is two miles further.) David Moyes in Darlington was first up with the answer.

Today, a question filched from Darlington RA’s programme on Saturday. Which is the only country – European country – to have entered all 20 World Cup competitions without once getting past the qualifiers?

The column hopes again to qualify next week.