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Football Books: News and Reviews


Archive for ‘History’


COMING SOON – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants: A Cultural Analysis of Manchester United 0

Posted on May 09, 2013 by samh

A Cultural History of Manchester UnitedWith the news of  Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement on May 8, a new book is set to provide an insight into the legacy of the most successful British club manager ever. While we wait the announcement of his replacement, author Søren Frank discusses the possible replacements for the (un)enviable position as Red Devils manager in his new book Standing on the Shoulder of Giants. Read more…

A new chapter in Hillsborough story 0

Posted on September 13, 2012 by samh

Hillsborough: The Truth, by Phil Scraton

Yesterday the families of the 96 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough were finally told what they had known for 23 years: the tragedy wasn’t the fault of the fans, and a cover-up of monumental proportions had been orchestrated by the very people who should have been there to serve and protect.

Much has been written about the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which concluded that South Yorkshire Police had deliberately sought to change their version of events in order to protect senior officers whose abject failure to control crowds on the day (and, indeed, their decisions in the months ahead of the match) led to the needless and preventable deaths of nearly 100 men, women and children. Read more…

Football: A Short History, by Matthew Taylor 0

Posted on December 04, 2011 by samh

This is a slim volume, but then it is called ‘a short history’. At just 64 pages, it might not seem possible to cover in great detail the history of the game, but the conciseness of this book (published in October 2011) is what makes it attractive, as well as the many illustrations in what is an attractive layout.

Taylor starts with the origins of association football, which lie “in the chaotic and unregulated forms of folk football popular throughout Britain from the Middle Ages”, before discussing the split between the amateur and professional games. Read more…

November Round-up 0

Posted on December 01, 2011 by samh

In November, Jonathan Wilson revisited the legend that was Brian Clough in Nobody Ever Says Thank You: The Biography. It claimed to be ‘the final word’ on the man, while the Sunday Times hailed it as “the most comprehensive account we have had of this remarkable man so far”. Read more…

The Official Biography of Rangers, by Ronnie Esplin and Graham Walker 0

Posted on October 30, 2011 by samh

Hot on the heels of We Are Celtic Supporters comes this ‘official’ story of bitter Glasgow rivals Rangers. Whereas the former was a rather abstract look at the club’s culture and history through a series of interviews with diverse followers, this is a more traditional chronological history – though it still boasts a number of exclusive interviews with the likes of Sandy Jardine and Ally McCoist. Read more…

September Round-up 0

Posted on September 30, 2011 by samh

Red: My Autobiography, by Gary NevilleSeptember 2011 has seen the release of a quite a few notable Manchester United-related autobiographies. First up was Red, by Gary Neville (published September 1). Paul Scholes announced his retirement just months after Neville, at the end of the 2010-11 season, and came similarly hot on his former team-mate’s heels with the rather simply titled My Story (Sep 29). Read more…

We Are Celtic Supporters, by Richard Purden 0

Posted on September 21, 2011 by samh

We Are Celtic Supporters, by Richard Purden, with a foreword by Rod Stewart (2011)

This book, published in September 2011, examines what created the culture, ideas and beliefs around Celtic football club. Author Richard Purden travels the world to find fans far and wide, from the ordinary to the celebrity. And there are indeed a wealth of the latter – as well as rocker Rod Stewart, who writes the foreword, there are exclusive interviews with famous fans such as Billy Connolly, Jim Kerr and Noel Gallagher. Read more…

Kissing the Badge: How Much Do You Know About 20 Years of the Premier League? 0

Posted on September 12, 2011 by samh

Kissing the Badge: How Much Do You Know About 20 Years of the Premier League? by Phil Ascough (2011)

This is a quiz book that offers just that little bit more than mere trivia. It’s perfect for long car or train journeys on away days (especially, of course, if you follow a Premier League team), but it’s also one of those books that’s interesting to dip in and out of whether you feel like testing your fellow footy mates or just yourself. Read more…

When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Book 0

Posted on September 02, 2011 by samh

When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Book (2005)

This comprehensive A-Z covers all aspects of the beautiful game, from ‘abandoned matches’ to ‘Wrexham FC’ via celebrity fans, mascots, pitch invasions and the Bosman ruling.

Every club in the English League and the Scottish League has a separate entry, Fifa, Uefa, the PFA and the Football Supporters’ Association are covered, and the murkier areas of football such as boardroom politics and match-fixing are explored and explained with When Saturday Comes’ inimitable mix of humour and intelligence. It’s all the discerning fan needs to be reminded why football is still (against the odds) the people’s game.

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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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