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Football Books: News and Reviews

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…

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…

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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Strachan: My Life in Football 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Strachan: My Life in Football, by Gordon Strachan (2006)

Gordon Strachan has had one of the most illustrious careers in modern football.

As a player, he was the heartbeat of Alex Ferguson’s Aberdeen in the early 1980s, before being poached by Ron Atkinson to play for Manchester United. He captained Leeds to championship in the early 1990s, won 50 Scottish caps and went on to manage Coventry and Southampton.

A former regular on Match of the Day, and one of the most honest and interesting voices on the game, he was manager of Celtic at the time this book was published. The book is a mix of both Strachan’s story and an analysis on the way the game is played and run. It is refreshingly candid on everything from the stress and pressure managers are under to the players and bosses Strachan has worked with.

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Thirty Miles from Paradise: My Story, by Bobby Lennox 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Thirty Miles from Paradise: My Story, by Bobby Lennox (2007)

Bobby Lennox epitomises an era in which Celtic were the best and most successful football club in the UK.

In May 1967, he and his fellow Lisbon Lions achieved footballing immortality when they lifted the European Cup – the first British side to do so. Lennox’s 300 goals for Celtic and Scotland make him the second-highest goal scorer in Celtic’s history and the highest since the Second World War.

With the Scottish national side, Lennox famously scored the second goal in Scotland’s stunning 3-2 victory over England at Wembley in 1967, when the Scots became the first country to defeat the then world champions. In this definitive autobiography, Lennox recounts with his famous dry wit and openness his part in these extraordinary achievements and reveals aspects of his career which until now he has never previously made public.

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Jock Stein: The Definitive Biography 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Jock Stein: The Definitive Biography, by Archie Macpherson (2004)

This is a definitive biography of one of the most influential managers in the history of British football and the first British manager, in 1967, to win the European Cup.

By the time of his death at the side of a pitch in 1985, Jock Stein had become a legend. He redesigned the landscape of the Scottish game as the great innovator, and successfully exported his values outside the country when European football was in the grip of an ice-age of defensive negativity.

This compelling biography reappraises Stein’s career and looks closely at the personality of the man whose shrewdness and cunning stamped him with greatness. The author worked his entire professional life as a contemporary of Stein and travelled the world with him. He was present at nearly all of the great triumphs associated with the Celtic and Scotland manager.

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Jock Stein: The Celtic Years, by Tom Campbell and David Potter 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Jock Stein: The Celtic Years, by Tom Campbell and David Potter (1998)

During his long reign at Celtic, Jock Stein was a legendary figure in the world of football.

He led a youthful Celtic side to a memorable European Cup triumph in Lisbon in 1967, and was in charge of the home-grown Celtic teams which won nine Scottish league championships in a row as well as numerous domestic trophies.

Tom Campbell and David Potter have produced an affectionate and in-depth portrait of Stein, but are not afraid to delve below the surface of the legend to examine the manager’s mistakes and failings as well as his triumphs and strengths. Calling on such expert witnesses as Bobby Murdoch, Ronnie Simpson and Charlie Gallagher, as well as a host of other important figures in the game, this book presents a detailed picture of a man who, at the height of his powers at Celtic Park, revolutionised the game of football in this country.

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Gordon Strachan: The Biography 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Gordon Strachan: The Biography, by Leo Moynihan (2004)

In recent years, Gordon Strachan has become best known among football fans for his realistic and often witty assessments of his teams’ performances and football matters in general.

It is easy to forget that Strachan forged a career as a player where his abilities made him the only player ever to win the Football Writers’ Player of the Year Award both north and south of the border.

From his time as a young player at Dundee via Aberdeen, where he was nurtured by the then fledgling manager Alex Ferguson and became an integral part of the team which won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1983, to the dizzy heights of life at Manchester United and Leeds and an international career involving two World Cups, Gordon Strachan showed not just his flair as a wily central midfielder but also strong leadership abilities. They provided him with the cornerstone of his management career that began at Coventry as he moved from player to player/manager before finally hanging up his boots and managing Southampton and Celtic.

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Celtic in Europe: From the Sixties to Seville 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Celtic in Europe: From the Sixties to Seville, by Graham McColl (2003)

This book captures the drama of Celtic’s European exploits, covering the excitement of the club’s initial steps in Europe during the early 1960s and the development of the team under the management of Jock Stein in the 1960s and 1970s.

The story concludes with Celtic’s revived success in Europe during the early 21st century, with the club reaching the Champions League for the first time and the gloriously successful UEFA Cup run in the 2002-03 season. It aims to revive memories of Celtic’s great clashes with clubs such as Real Madrid, Internazionale, Benfica, AC Milan, Valencia, Ajax Amsterdam, St Etienne, Porto, Liverpool and Juventus. Controversial matches, such as those with Atletico Madrid, Rapid Vienna and Neuchatel Xamax, will also be scrutinised. Interviews with a host of players and managers illuminate this analysis.

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Bhoys, Bears and Bigotry: Rangers, Celtic and the Old Firm in the New Age of Globalised Sport 0

Posted on August 25, 2011 by samh

Bhoys, Bears and Bigotry: Rangers, Celtic and the Old Firm in the New Age of Globalised Sport, by Bill Murray (2003)

Rangers entered the new world of sport and big business in April 1986 when they signed Graeme Souness, a man with no previous connections to a club steeped in its own historical traditions.

These traditions are ineluctably intertwined with those of their great Glasgow rivals, Celtic, whose origins as an Irish Catholic club set up the rivalry that became known as the Old Firm, one said to be “a business based on bigotry”. Read more…

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