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Football Books: News and Reviews

October round-up

Posted on October 31, 2011 by samh

Nostalgia is always popular with football fans, and the rather lengthily titled Those Were The Games: A Nostalgic Look at a Century of Great Football Matches (When Football Was Football), released on October 6, promises a look back at “fascinating football matches from the last 100 years”, including the ‘White Horse’ FA Cup final of 1923.

Tim Quelch’s Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football’s Also-Rans, published on October 14, looks back over a lifetime of watching struggling teams around the country, including some non-league teams. It’s a personal tale that also highlights the changing times and has been hailed as “a major work” by Backpass magazine.


Talking of changes, leading football writer Ian Ridley looks at how the Premier League “has moved football from a state of unprecedented crisis against a backdrop of recession, strikes and hooliganism to a global sport of unimaginable riches” in There’s a Golden Sky: How twenty years of the Premier League has changed football forever. Manchester United celebrate another landmark anniversary with Sir Alex Ferguson: The Official Manchester United Celebration of 25 Years at Old Trafford. Leading Hull City writer David Bond, meanwhile, picks his top 20 Tigers stars in 20 Legends: Hull City AFC – and, somewhat controversially, there is only one from the (albeit brief) Premier League period who makes the list: Dean Windass.

Staying with nostalgia, Neil Roberts’ Blues & Beatles, published on October 14, is another personal story that seeks to tie in the author’s love of football with his love of Liverpool’s most famous export (possibly to the ire of those from the red half of the city who may not appreciate the Fab Four being linked so closely with Everton). The jury is most certainly out on whether any of the Beatles supported either club, although Paul McCartney has reportedly mentioned that his uncles used to support the Toffees.

Now is also the time that people are starting to think about Christmas presents, and the younger football fan might be pleased to unwrap the Match Annual 2012, which was released on October 7. It’s packed full of Match‘s best-loved features as well as all the usual quizzes, games and posters of top players and teams – perfect for long away trips on the coach. Meanwhile, Manchester United fans may enjoy the annual-style The Big Book of United: Goalscorers & Champions, which is a “a joyful celebration of the players, games, goals and supporters from Manchester United’s earliest beginnings to the modern era”. Elsewhere, Leeds, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea and many more have released their annuals as usual. Who Are Ya?: The talkSPORT Book of Football’s Best Ever Chants is a last-minute stocking filler if ever there was one.

Biographies published in October include: Pepe Reina, Dominic Matteo, Cardiff City’s Phil Dywer, Chris Sutton, Dennis Tueart, and John Robertson, European Cup winner with Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest.


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