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Football Books: News and Reviews



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…

The Complete George Best: Every Match, Every Goal 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

The Complete George Best: Every Match, Every Goal, by Darren Phillips (2007)

George Best is widely regarded as the finest footballer ever produced by the British Isles, and his death last November prompted lengthy analysis of his career and his standing in the game – a debate this book aims to help settle.

The author attempts to shed more light on Best’s football career which was, after all, the source of his fame before it was overtaken by his Rock ‘n’ Roll lifestyle. Read more…

Scoring at Half Time, by George Best 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Scoring at Half Time, by George Best (2003)

The late Manchester United legend is in a breezy, self-deprecating mood in this book, and looking forward to a sober future – which, following his return to alcoholism and subsequent death just two years later in November 2005, is filled with extra poignancy.

But, as the title of this book suggests, Best was a natural wit, which comes through in his writing – he made a lucrative career in after-dinner speaking out of it; here, he entertains readers with a number of humorous anecdotes which offer a lighter tone than his previous book, the more introspective Blessed.

Also recommended is Best’s final book, Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths.

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Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths: The Inside Story of Football’s Golden Era, by George Best 0

Posted on August 24, 2011 by samh

Hard Tackles and Dirty Baths: The Inside Story of Football’s Golden Era, by George Best (2005)

This book, which offers an insight into the late Manchester United legend’s view of one of football’s golden eras, was published barely a month before his death in November 2005.

Informed by Best’s own experiences and those of his fellow professionals, the book is a complete history of the 1960s and 1970s – from the abolition of the maximum wage, and the humble beginnings of the likes of George as bootroom apprentices to the star-studded era of sideburns, collar-length hair and universal adulation.

The book follows the drama and intrigue of each successive season (1963 to 1973) in league, cup and abroad, pondering the key themes from each year to offer an intimate pitch-level view of football’s greatest generation.

It is a fitting sign-off from a much-missed football hero, whose other books, Blessed and Scoring at Half-time are also recommended.

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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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