A man whose thankless day job involves presenting 'The One Show' on the BBC with Myleene Klass and Christine Bleakley keeps the real misery for his greatest passion:
supporting West Bromwich Albion Football Club. Now you too can spend a year in a world of anticipation, apprehension, defeat and despair. But don't be too put off: while Chiles' natural pessimism could cause a solar eclipse, he has written a book with plenty to offer.

"My whole attitude to life," he confesses on the first page, "is shaped by the Albion." If the Midlands club are doing well he's everything he aspires to as a husband, father, friend and colleague. More often than not they're doing badly, and in the 2005-2006 season everyone suffered with him.

Having against all odds retained their Premiership status in their last match of the season on 15 May 2005 (needing to beat Portsmouth at home with Norwich, Southampton and Crystal Palace all losing), Chiles was inspired by 'Survival Sunday' to write a book about those who had experienced the ultimate high with him - "who they are, what their stories are and why we feel the way we do about our football club". 

While Chiles is our August-to-May narrator, the people he meets, has biscuits with and sits beside are the real stars of this book. From the 89-year-old who has only missed five games since World War II, to the guy who gave up jobs because they were getting in the way of going to games and the Punjab-born woman who was forbidden from going to games as a girl and now forbids her children from not going, 'We Don't Know What We're Doing' is full of people you'd be curious to spend a Saturday afternoon with.

Chiles' devotion to West Brom makes a huge amount of soccer fans look like blow-ins, but he sees himself as a lightweight - you won't agree with him, but you will understand what he means. As he explains his devotion/obsession, and through his encounters with others, he captures what it means to support a team not blessed with silverware, arguing that their wins mean more than victories do to the likes of Manchester United fans.

"Our love of the Albion is a kind of distillation of everything, good and bad, that we've been through in our lives, everything that we are," he says. And whatever successes those in the stands have enjoyed, they've suffered for them hundredfold.

This is a funny and sometimes fascinating read that bewildered spouses and partners could benefit from reading. Away from the commercialism and cynicism that are now the lifesblood of the game, it shows how soccer becomes an extended family for some and - in very poignant detail - helps others to come to terms with tragedies in their lives. By the close you'll have developed a soft spot for West Brom. Except, of course, if you follow Villa, Wolves or City.

Harry Guerin