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Football Books: News and Reviews

Sir Alf, by Leo McKinstry 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Sir Alf: A Major Reappraisal of the Life and Times of England’s Greatest Football Manager, by Leo McKinstry (2006)

Award-winning author Leo McKinstry’s biography of England’s greatest football manager provides a thought-provoking insight into the world of professional football and the fabric of British society over the span of his life.

Alf Ramsey’s life is a romantic story of heroism. Often derided by lesser men, he overcame the prejudice against his social background to reach the summit of world football. Read more…

Nobby Stiles: After the Ball 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Nobby Stiles: After the Ball, by Nobby Stiles (2003)

This is Nobby Stiles’ account of a lifetime spent living and breathing football.

Signed to Manchester United at the age of 15, he progressed to the England team and had a starring role in the 1966 World Cup. He is one of only two Englishmen (Bobby Charlton is the other) to win both the World Cup and the European Cup.

After playing at the highest level, Nobby Stiles became a manager, then a youth coach at Old Trafford, where he dealt with the new United of Beckham, Scholes, Giggs and the Neville brothers. His appraisals of these players from this period are revealed, as well as studies of unforgettable teammates such as George Best and Bobby Charlton.

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McIlvanney on Football, by Hugh McIlvanney 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

McIlvanney on Football, by Hugh McIlvanney (1999)

HUGH McIlvanney is one of the best sports journalists to have ever graced the Sunday papers. This book represents a collection of his best football writing, spanning a career of nearly 40 years.

The book, at first glance, does not look all that large, but a second look reveals it to be a dense, 350-page volume of more than 70 articles mainly for The Observer which are arranged thematically, rather than chronologically. Read more…

The Ghost of 66: The Autobiography, by Martin Peters 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

The Ghost of 66: The Autobiography, by Martin Peters (2006)

This autobiography by one of England’s glorious World Cup winners was published to coincide with the 40th anniversary of England’s triumph in 1966.

Martin Peters was a gifted attacking midfield player with an uncanny ability to turn up at the right time and the right place, as he showed when scoring England’s second goal in the World Cup final. He was part of the legendary West Ham trio of Moore, Hurst, and Peters and spent nearly a decade at the club before moving on to Spurs for a record fee of 200,000.

After five years there, which saw him win the UEFA Cup, he moved to Norwich, and helped them to promotion to the First Division. At all three clubs, he is revered as one of their greatest stars. In his autobiography he recalls working with such great players as Bobby Charlton and Jimmy Greaves, and assesses the strengths of his managers, from Alf Ramsey to Ron Greenwood and Bill Nicholson. Renowned as being a decade ahead of his time as a player, he provides remarkable insight into that period.

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Jack and Bobby: A Story of Brothers in Conflict 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Jack and Bobby: A Story of Brothers in Conflict, by Leo McKinstry (2002)

The Charlton brothers hold a unique place in the history of football, thanks not least to their roles in England’s 1966 World Cup triumph.

But, as journalist Leo McKinstry recounts in this biography, little has previously been written specifically about the pair and their sometimes volatile relationship. This book goes behind the public image of the two and offers convincing portraits of two of English football’s most revered and intriguing characters.

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Greavsie: My Autobiography, by Jimmy Greaves 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Greavsie: My Autobiography, by Jimmy Greaves (2003)

Jimmy Greaves is one of the most well-known footballers to grace the English game, a goalscorer of legendary prowess.

His characteristically humorous autobiography journeys from his childhood in the East End, through his early career in the Chelsea youth team to being one of the great stars of 1960s football at Spurs, AC Milan and as an outstanding England forward.

There are darker aspects too – the bitter disappointment of failing to make the World Cup-winning team of 1966, and the battle against the alcoholism that followed his retirement from the game. This book is both Jimmy’s story and the story of football in the golden era of the 1950s and 60s, before money changed the game. It is populated by the great players who Jimmy played with and against, and animated by anecdotes about the game.

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Geoff Hurst: My Autobiography – 1966 And All That 0

Posted on August 27, 2011 by samh

Geoff Hurst: My Autobiography – 1966 And All That, by Geoff Hurst (2001)

Catapulted to fame in only his eighth international, Geoff Hurst scored a hat trick against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final.

His final goal has been played so many times that it has dominated his life ever since. This autobiography shows that there is more to the man than that one day. He relives the golden era in which he played, reveals some behind-the-scenes stories of events with England and his club sides that have never previously emerged, and he offers his views on the modern game.

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George Cohen: The Autobiography 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

George Cohen: The Autobiography, by George Cohen and James Lawton (2003)

England hero George Cohen played his entire professional footballing career at his beloved Fulham FC – something almost unheard of in modern football.

One of the foundations of Sir Alf Ramsay’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, Cohen formed the bedrock along with Ray Wilson at the back. George Best once described Cohen as “the best right-back I have played against”.

In this autobiography, Cohen talks about professional football through the 1950s and 1960s and the glory of World Cup triumph – drawing comparisons between the current England team and the 1966 winners – as well as his views on modern football and tactics. His battle with cancer, his slow recovery and the tragedy of his brother’s murder (the father of the England rugby international Ben Cohen) add poignancy to the story.

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Bobby Moore: By the Person Who Knew Him Best 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Bobby Moore: By the Person Who Knew Him Best, by Tina Moore (2005)

This biography tells the fascinating story of the late Bobby Moore, captain of England’s World Cup-winning side of 1966, one of the greatest footballers of his generation, and a man who personified Britain in the swinging sixties.

It is his powerful and moving human-interest life story, including his battle against cancer, as told by his first wife Tina. She was his true friend and confidante, his boyhood sweatheart whom he met at 17 and married soon after. Read more…

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