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Archive for ‘Clubs’


Woody and Nord: A Football Friendship 0

Posted on September 02, 2011 by samh

Woody and Nord: A Football Friendship, by Gareth Southgate, Andy Woodman and David Walsh (2003)

Gareth Southgate and Andy Woodman have been best friends since they were apprentices at Crystal Palace together.

But while Southgate has gone on to play for a succession of Premiership clubs, Woodman, after being released on the day Palace were promoted, has been shuffled around the lower divisions. This is the story of a friendship that has endured two wildly divergent careers and an insight into the national game, from the staggering money and prestige of the premier League to the precarious living and hard knocks of the Nationwide League.

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Willie Maley: The Man Who Made Celtic 0

Posted on September 02, 2011 by samh

Willie Maley: The Man Who Made Celtic, by David Potter (2003)

Celtic owe almost everything to Willie Maley.

He played in their first ever game in 1888 and won Scottish caps in 1893, before becoming Celtic’s manager in 1897. He then set about building Celtic into the best team in Scotland and, from the beginning, envisaged the club as a powerful presence in world football – playing games in England, Europe and the United States. This book chronicles his playing career, the building of the great Edwardian Celtic team, the devastating effect of the Great War and the wealth of talent that he uncovered until his dismissal from office in 1940.

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Viollet: The Life of a Legendary Goalscorer 0

Posted on September 02, 2011 by samh

Viollet: The Life of a Legendary Goalscorer, by Roy Cavanagh and Brian Hughes (2001)

This book about “Busby Babe” Dennis Viollet puts the often underrated Manchester United striker up there in his rightful place alongside his more famous colleagues.

The authors also tell the story not only of that legendary United team of the 1950s but also about football in general in the post-war years. It was undoubtedly a golden era, but one in which the players earned little more than the people who watched and adored them.

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We Are Tottenham: Voices from White Hart Lane 0

Posted on September 01, 2011 by samh

We Are Tottenham: Voices from White Hart Lane, by Martin Cloake and Adam Powley (2004)

Rodney Marsh once infamously dubbed them ‘the worst fans in Britain’, but ‘fickle’ is the more familiar label applied to supporters of Tottenham Hotspur. But who are these seemingly forever unhappy fans?

We Are Tottenham puts Spurs supporters at the centre of the tale of a dramatic season at White Hart Lane, one in which fans’ hero Glenn Hoddle was axed after only six games, and the club faced a fight for its reputation. The book aims to expose the myth of the ‘average football fan’, providing a compelling account of the joy, frustration and absurdity of following a Premiership club. It uses the events and themes of the 2003-04 campaign to address the issues that matter to many football fans today, from the dominance of money to the passions of a local derby.

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The Tommy Taylor Story 0

Posted on September 01, 2011 by samh

The Tommy Taylor Story, by Brian Hughes (1996)

When Tommy Taylor signed for Manchester United from Barnsley in 1953 he was generally regarded as the finishing touch to Sir Matt Busby’s famous Babes.

It had been rumoured that as many as 17 clubs had been chasing the 20 year-old’s signature and United’s fee (£29,999) instantly made Tommy one of the highest profile players in England. But was the Second Division striker worth it? Would he live up to the pressure at Old Trafford where so many before and since have failed? In the event, history records that Tommy went on to score 112 goals in 166 league games, 11 goals in 14 European Cup matches and five in nine FA Cup ties.

Taylor represented England 19 times, scoring 16 goals. He quickly became known among United fans as ‘the Smiling Executioner’, and was an integral part of the Busby Babes side that dominated the English game during the mid-1950s, until tragedy struck in 1958, when he was one of the eight United players who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster.

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The Complete Centre Forward: The Story of Tommy Lawton 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

The Complete Centre Forward: The Story of Tommy Lawton, by David McVay and Andy Smith (2000)

This book chronicles Lawton’s days from his birth in the back streets of Bolton to being signed at 17 by Everton to replace the legendary Dixie Dean.

Next he went to Chelsea, where after a falling-out he ended up, astonishingly, with Notts County, a Third Division club, despite being in his prime. Then came Brentford and finally Arsenal, the club who tried to sign him as a teenager. The book also touches on the darker side of Lawton’s life. The court appearance for passing dud cheques, his failed marriage and the dodging of bailiffs before he was re-discovered as a pundit and journalist.

Tommy Lawton died in 1996 but he lives in the memory of all the fans who idolised him. The authors David McVay and Andy Smith, were among the latter, although they never saw him in his prime. They spoke to Lawton on several occasions and received his full co-operation. They also traced many of his contemporaries, who provided a fascinating insight into the pre-and post-war football.

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The Doc: My Story – Hallowed Be Thy Game, by Tommy Docherty 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

The Doc: My Story – Hallowed Be Thy Game, by Tommy Docherty (2006)

‘The Doc’ is one of the most colourful characters in football. Always outspoken and honest, headlines have followed him throughout his career.

He achieved success on the pitch with Preston and Scotland, but it is as a manager that he secured his place in football history. The remark that he has had more clubs than Jack Nicklaus cannot be disputed: 14 teams in four different countries. He resigned from Chelsea; he was sacked by Manchester United within two weeks of winning the 1977 FA Cup and at Derby he became embroiled in a bitter legal dispute. Docherty tells all about his life in football and those he has shared it with – including Shankly, Busby, Clough, Ramsey and Stein.

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Terry Butcher: My Autobiography 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Terry Butcher: My Autobiography (2005)

Terry Butcher is a name that resonates with all football fans of a certain age, instantly bringing to mind the pictures of the giant central defender, fists clenched, bloody head bandaged, his once white England shirt streaked with claret.

Butcher has earned his stripes and his reputation over the years not only as an honest and committed footballer but also as a broadcaster who says it exactly as he finds it and a manager who never asks for more or less than 100% from his players. This autobiography chronicles – with candour and a great sense of fun – Butcher’s playing days with Ipswich and England before his momentous move to Scotland where he led a rampant Rangers side to just about every domestic prize.

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Tappy: From Barry Town to Arsenal, Cardiff City and Beyond 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Tappy: From Barry Town to Arsenal, Cardiff City and Beyond, by Derek Tapscott and Terry Grandin (2004)

In April 1954, Derek “Tappy” Tapscott pulled on his Arsenal shirt, made his first-team debut against Liverpool, scored two goals and signalled the start of an extraordinary career.

He tells his life story in an engaging style – growing up in Barry with 15 brothers and sisters, his early days as a forward with Barry Town, then a fateful journey to London, unaware that the Arsenal were keen to sign him and finally returning to Cardiff City.

Tappy relates the many highs and lows in his career, including being signed to play for Wales 48 hours after his Arsenal debut, playing against the “Busby Babes” in their last league game before the Munich air crash, lining up with John Charles against an England side sporting Stanley Matthews and Len Shackleton, and being chased down the pitch by Real Zaragoza defenders for shoulder-charging their keeper when Cardiff City faced them in the Fairs Cup.

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Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius, by Tom Darby (1998)

There is no doubt that Bill Shankly was one of the greatest football managers of all time.

The former miner from the tiny Lanarkshire village of Glenbuck used football as an escape from the harshness and danger of life down the pit. After spells as a player with Carlisle and Preston North End, Shankly took over as manager of Second Division Liverpool. He revolutionised the club, replacing most of the players he had inherited and giving a chance to up-and-coming youngsters.

Shankly’s first success came in 1962 as Liverpool took the Division Two championship. Two years later they were league champions and followed that up in 1965 by winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Over the next nine years, as Shankly ruled supreme at Anfield, Liverpool lifted two more league titles as well as the FA Cup for a second time and the UEFA Cup. It was he who created the modern Liverpool, transforming a sleeping giant into the great club it is today. This biography charts his rise from down the pit to footballing legend.

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