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Football Books: News and Reviews

Fallen Idle, by Peter Marinello 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Fallen Idle: Fighting Back from the Booze, Swindles and Drugs That Ripped My Life Apart, by Peter Marinello (2007)

Peter Marinello was the footballing sensation of 1970 and was instantly hailed as the new George Best – but, like the great Northern Irishman, drinking and reckless behaviour ultimately proved to be his downfall.

But one could argue that Marinello’s fall from grace was even more spectacular than Best’s – he was kidnapped in Nigeria while on tour with Hibernian and lost his virginity in front of six teammates. Read more…

Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Provided You Don’t Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough, by Duncan Hamilton (2007)

Journalist Duncan Hamilton was there through all the madness, the success, the failures, the fall-outs, the drink, and the crumbling of Brian Clough’s heady twenty years as manager of Nottingham Forest.

After his first day on the job sitting in Clough’s office, as a nervous, green 16-year-old sitting opposite one of the self-proclaimed giants of the English game, politely refusing a morning whisky, Hamiton would become an integral part of Clough’s empire, and eventually one of his most trusted confidants. Read more…

George Best: A Life in the News 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

George Best: A Life in the News, by Richard Williams (Editor) (2006)

November 2006 marked the first anniversary of the death of George Best, the most magical footballer of his generation, and the most notorious and sad example of a great talent gone to waste.

This collaboration with the Guardian represents a unique chronicle of Best’s life. His whole career is told through the newspaper reports and features that appeared in the Guardian and the Manchester Evening News, from his first appearances for Manchester Utd as a teenage starlet and the European Cup win in 1968, to the long obituary assessing his sad later decline. Read more…

Blessed: My Autobiography, by George Best 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Blessed: My Autobiography, by George Best (2001)

This is Best’s moving and personal attempt to ask himself why he sought to destroy the unequalled greatness he had by his descent into alcoholism.

The late, lamented legend candidly describes his shock, embarrassment and humiliation at seeing a recording of himself drunk on Terry Wogan’s TV show which went out to millions of viewers, who would ever after see him as a foul-mouthed drunk – rather than the brilliantly talented footballer who won the European Cup with Manchester United.

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Being Gazza: My Journey to Hell and Back, by Paul Gascoigne 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Being Gazza: My Journey to Hell and Back, by Paul Gascoigne (2006)

This is a rather odd book, on the whole – part autobiography, part self-help book, though whether it eventually helps the reader more than the author is an interesting question.

Ghosted by acclaimed writer Hunter Davies, the book is made up of transcripts of Gazza’s sessions with his therapist, John McKeown – first in the rather stream-of-consciousness voice of Gazza himself and then in more formal analyses by McKeown, and every chapter ends with a short note written to Gazza from his fellow residents in the US rehab centre Cottonwood (along the lines of “Hey, man, you were amazing, you really made me laugh”, etc). Read more…

Addicted, by Tony Adams 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

Addicted, by Tony Adams and Ian Ridley (1998)

Former England and Arsenal captain Tony Adams tells his story of what it is like playing with the best players in the game, from Paul Gascoigne to Dennis Bergkamp; and working with some of the most successful managers, including George Graham, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Arsene Wenger.

But above all, his story is that of a winner, a man who has brought the intense determination he has shown on the field to his recovery from illnesses off it.

Adams recalls openly his descent into alcohol addiction, which at one point saw him jailed for drink-driving. Just as he was finding his feet again after the slow rehabilitation process, problems with his marriage surfaced and soon after Adams found himself heading for a divorce. He talks honestly about that traumatic period in his life and also about the pressures and demands of being a top-class footballer in the modern era.

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