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Football Books: News and Reviews

Over the Moon, Brian: The Language of Football 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Over the Moon, Brian: The Language of Football by Alex Leith (1998)

‘IT’S A game of two halves – and a million words’ – so says the cover of this book, which attemps to deal with all aspects of football’s terminology.

The scope is staggering – Leith delves into the history behind clich├ęs, chants, team names, player positions, tactics, tabloid-speak, commentator-speak, pub-speak and much more. Read more…

My Autobiography, by Bob Wilson 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

My Autobiography, by Bob Wilson (2003)

Bob Wilson spent 39 years at Arsenal – as a player, and then as the first goalkeeping coach in the first division.

Following his retirement as a footballer, a career in television beckoned, making him a household name. This autobiography reflects on his days as a sports commentator and presenter at the BBC, and his subsequent switch to ITV, and also includes his account of the Grobbelaar trial and his relationships with some of the most popular names in sport and television, including Des Lynam, Jimmy Hill and David Seaman. Wilson also has affectionate memories of Jill Dando and Helen Rollason, and tells the moving story of his daughter’s illness and legacy.

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Big Ron: A Different Ball Game 0

Posted on August 25, 2011 by samh

Big Ron: A Different Ball Game, by Peter Fitton (1998)

THE irreverent and outspoken Ron Atkinson remembers a management career that has seen him at just about every British club (well, not really, but it seems like it).

He offers his views on famous and equally outrageous characters he has worked with down the years such as Brian Clough and Tommy Docherty, as well as some allegations about drug use in the game which proved controversial at the time of the book’s release in 1998.

In an entertaining read, ghostwriter Peter Fitton manages to convey the big character and cliche-tastic voice of the Ron we all know from his subsequent incarnation as a TV commentator. But one cannot help but read this book with hindsight, following more recent events saw Atkinson landed in even more hot water over allegations of racism.

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Interesting, Very Interesting: The Autobiography, by Barry Davies 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Interesting, Very Interesting: The Autobiography, by Barry Davies (2007)

Commentator Barry Davies, whose face and voice are instantly recognisable to any UK sports fan, relives the magic of some of the most compelling and exciting moments in televised sport over the past 40 years.

He has broadcast at a record 10 World Cup finals, and until stepping down in 2004 he was Match of the Day‘s longest-serving commentator.

But his expertise goes far beyond football: 10 Olympic Games, memorably crying out in the 1988 hockey final when Britain scored to win gold, “Oh, where were the Germans – but frankly, who cares?”; and numerous Winter Olympics, sharing in Torvill and Dean’s success in 1984 and heartbreak 10 years later. He is also synonymous with Wimbledon and the Boat Race. The controversies of sport are also addressed, from the Hand of God to crooked judges and professional rivalries off-screen, together with many light-hearted mishaps played out in front of millions of viewers.

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