Football Manager fan persuades wife to honeymoon in Bulgaria so he can visit team he was managing


We all know someone who loves Football Manager a little too much.

That person who will stay up until 4am in the morning as he guides his local team to Champions League glory.

It could even be you.

There have been plenty of stories about the popular computer game crossing over into real life, including the man who got a job at Serbian side FK Bezanija after sending them a list of his Football Manager achievements.

Then there’s Sam Douglas, who told his fiancée that he wants to name their future child after one of his own regens, called Elkan.

“To be honest he kept going on about his anger being 20 out of 20 and the fact his name sounded like an Avenger,” Sam’s partner Lucy told SPORTbible.

But have you heard the one about the man who persuaded his wife to go to Bulgaria for their honeymoon, just so that he could visit the team he was managing on Football Manager?

Tim Pyke took his love for the game to new levels by convincing his wife to travel to Bulgaria, where he could watch Nesebar, the team he had grown to love on Football Manager.

Tim tells the story in Football Manager Stole My Life, a book which features tales from those whose lives have been taken over by the game.

“It was 2007 and my future wife and I had set a date for our wedding – 08-08-08. a month later, we would go on our honeymoon,” he writes. 

“She had been looking at holidays in Spain, Greece or Portugal and I was all for it.


“But then came the fateful day I started beta-testing the Bulgarian league for Football Manager. I picked a random team. That team changed the whole concept of holidaying. That team was Nesebar, in the Bulgarian Second Division West.

“I grew fond of them and followed their real-life progress. Then I got curious and looked at costs for holidays in Bulgaria. I found out about the holiday resort of Sunny Beach, right next to Nesebar’s football stadium and the prices were excellent. Could I convince the wife-to-be?

“Yes I could. Two weeks all-inclusive was cheaper than one week half-board at any of the other locations, so it was set. September 5, 2008 I was flying out to Bulgaria. Now I needed to figure out a way to go and see Nesebar in action.

“A week into the honeymoon the opportunity arrived.

“We made some new friends out there and the girls wanted to split off to have some girlie time. I convinced the lads to go see the football.

“Although the wife knew I went to the football match, to this day she doesn’t know I chose Bulgaria because of the team I saw play out there.”

Fair play, Tim.

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