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Formed in the drunken mists of New Year’s Eve, the Sex Division sees the once sacred act of procreation reduced to its most material as five men devise a points system based on the higher levels of carnal achievement. In this beer-soaked league, the most that Woman can offer Man is four points – unless she leaves her handbag unattended… 

For some it is how the beautiful game is played that is most important. For others it is all about the winning. Should football be based around the dreams of the mavericks or the rigid tactics that ensure clean sheets? Is there a place for the Total Football of the Dutch masters? Like any league, those taking part boast a range of skills and personalities.


Carter is a lively character who tries not to think too much, a charmer who prefers the moment and is popular with the ladies. Mango can’t stop thinking, and is a competitive wide boy with money in his pocket and a flexible take on the truth. Harry is a beer-loving dreamer, happy to be drinking and having a laugh with his mates. And Balti is his best friend, out of work and hoping for a fresh start. Finally there is the romantic Will, a Sex Division skeptic and voice of reason.


The league soon fades into the background, the differences between the sexes meaningless when matched to the on-going class war, and Headhunters shows these realities through a heavy media cloud of anorexic pin-ups and paedophilic fashion. The deeper personalities of these five men come to the fore as we are confronted by a missing brother, prophetic visions, a jealous psycho, genuine love, and a tit-for-tat confrontation that slowly escalates and threatens to spiral out of control.

“King loads his characters up with enough interior life, but it's the raw energy of their interactions – the beano to Blackpool, the punch-ups, the casual fucks, the family skeletons and the unburied fantasies – that make this excellent book run.” Time Out

Headhunters : John King.jpg

“The realism and political edge echoes

Alan Bleasdale’s Boys From The Blackstuff.”

GQ Magazine

“Sexy, dirty, violent, sad and funny; in fact it has just about everything you could want from a book on contemporary working-class life in London.” The Big Issue

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