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Football Books: News and Reviews

When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Book 0

Posted on September 02, 2011 by samh

When Saturday Comes: The Half Decent Football Book (2005)

This comprehensive A-Z covers all aspects of the beautiful game, from ‘abandoned matches’ to ‘Wrexham FC’ via celebrity fans, mascots, pitch invasions and the Bosman ruling.

Every club in the English League and the Scottish League has a separate entry, Fifa, Uefa, the PFA and the Football Supporters’ Association are covered, and the murkier areas of football such as boardroom politics and match-fixing are explored and explained with When Saturday Comes’ inimitable mix of humour and intelligence. It’s all the discerning fan needs to be reminded why football is still (against the odds) the people’s game.

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Steak… Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Steak… Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody, by David McVay (2003)

This book opens on a rubbish tip that doubles for a training ground littered with refuse engineers – known in those distant pre-politically correct days of 30 years ago as dustmen – and ends, more or less, at Elland Road, home of Leeds United and the European Cup finalists the previous season.

The diaries of David McVay, written during his formative years as a teenager with Notts County during the 1970s, invite readers on an undulating and nostalgic soccer sojourn that can never be repeated in the context of the modern game. Read more…

Lows, Highs and Balti Pies: Manchester City Ruined My Diet 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Lows, Highs and Balti Pies: Manchester City Ruined My Diet, by Steve Mingle (2004)

This book comprises vivid, colourful and highly individual recollections of City’s most memorable games over the past 37 years.

One hundred matches are featured, starting with a 5-2 drubbing of Sheffield United in 1967 and ending with the 4-1 triumph in the first derby at the cursed City of Manchester Stadium. Read more…

Manchester Buccaneers: The Diary of a Manchester United Fan, aged 12, from Tampa Bay 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Manchester Buccaneers: The Diary of a Manchester United Fan, aged 12, from Tampa Bay, by Adrian Sherling (2006)

THIS is a satirical diary of a young American soccer fan who supports Malcolm Glazer’s new Manchester Buccaneers.

Roswell P Shambling is an American youngster who likes Malcolm Glazer and has decided to support Manchester United (or Manchester as he calls them).

From his home in Tampa, he follows all the latest developments of his new team, commenting on what he believes Sir Ferguson should do, worrying about Ferdinand Rio getting into a bar brawl in the northern English town of Sweden (and why would he be there when Manchester is in the south?), sadly watching his beloved Roy Keano leave and questioning why he never played for England, delighting in watching Manchester take on the Russian side London Chelseas and seeing the Roonaldo brothers succeed… Through his website, Roswell attempts to spread the word about Manchester and their successes and failures against teams such as Tott Nam (made up predominantly of young Vietnamese players).

A great antidote for any Manchester United hater, or United fans disillusioned by recent events.

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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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Balls: Tales From Football’s Nether Regions 0

Posted on August 23, 2011 by samh

Balls: Tales From Football’s Nether Regions, by Paul Brown (2004)

Balls is an eclectic collection of amazing true stories from the world of football, revealing the bizarre and hilarious reality behind the beautiful game.

Favouring left-field over legend, the book celebrates colour-blind referees, colourful commentators, dodgy kits, dodgier haircuts, footballers called ‘Primrose’, players with prosthetic body parts, dangerous goal celebrations, suicidal own goals, pathetic penalty misses, God-fearing goalkeepers, gun-toting fans, shocking scandals, horrendous tragedies, bung-taking managers, UFO-spotting chairmen, and loopy matches involving animals, robots and Nazis.

Recalling the antics of wayward geniuses like Paul Gascoigne, Diego Maradona and George Best, the book, by freelance journalist Paul Brown, profiles football’s most colourful and craziest characters. Who is the former top-flight footballer now living as a fully post-op transsexual? What possessed a World Cup superstar to kidnap 120 Cameroonian pygmies? Which ex-goalkeeper genuinely believes he is the Son of God? Why was a former Southampton fullback offered the throne of Albania? And whatever happened to Maradona’s fake rubber penis?

These burning questions, and a whole lot more besides, are answered in this entertaining and offbeat book.

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