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Football Books: News and Reviews

A new chapter in Hillsborough story 0

Posted on September 13, 2012 by samh

Hillsborough: The Truth, by Phil Scraton

Yesterday the families of the 96 people who lost their lives at Hillsborough were finally told what they had known for 23 years: the tragedy wasn’t the fault of the fans, and a cover-up of monumental proportions had been orchestrated by the very people who should have been there to serve and protect.

Much has been written about the findings of the Hillsborough Independent Panel, which concluded that South Yorkshire Police had deliberately sought to change their version of events in order to protect senior officers whose abject failure to control crowds on the day (and, indeed, their decisions in the months ahead of the match) led to the needless and preventable deaths of nearly 100 men, women and children. Read more…

Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Talking Shankly: The Man, The Legend, The Genius, by Tom Darby (1998)

There is no doubt that Bill Shankly was one of the greatest football managers of all time.

The former miner from the tiny Lanarkshire village of Glenbuck used football as an escape from the harshness and danger of life down the pit. After spells as a player with Carlisle and Preston North End, Shankly took over as manager of Second Division Liverpool. He revolutionised the club, replacing most of the players he had inherited and giving a chance to up-and-coming youngsters.

Shankly’s first success came in 1962 as Liverpool took the Division Two championship. Two years later they were league champions and followed that up in 1965 by winning the FA Cup for the first time in their history. Over the next nine years, as Shankly ruled supreme at Anfield, Liverpool lifted two more league titles as well as the FA Cup for a second time and the UEFA Cup. It was he who created the modern Liverpool, transforming a sleeping giant into the great club it is today. This biography charts his rise from down the pit to footballing legend.

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The Real Bill Shankly 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

The Real Bill Shankly, by Karen Gill (2006)

This book tells the inside story of the man who turned Liverpool FC from a struggling Second Division outfit to one of the bastions of world football.

It provides a fascinating insight into the mind of this unique character through recollections from the fans who idolised him, the players who responded to his inspirational team talks and the family who loved him. The book is compiled by Karen Gill, the great man’s granddaughter, who called him ‘Grandee’ while the fans called him ‘The Messiah’. It features photography from the archive collection of the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo and is officially endorsed by Liverpool FC.

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The Miracle of Istanbul: Liverpool FC, from Paisley to Benitez 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

The Miracle of Istanbul: Liverpool FC, from Paisley to Benitez, by John Williams and Stephen Hopkins (2005)

This book offers an insight into the many foreign highs and domestic lows of the amazing 2004-05 Liverpool season.

It also maps out key connections between the great Liverpool European legacy of the 1970s and 1980s and the new Benitez era – via a detour of the ultimately doomed Gerard Houllier period of initial Continental Liverpool management. The authors look at some of the key players of the recent successful European campaign – Gerrard, Hamman, Carragher and the erratic Jerzy Dudek among them – and at the music and football cultures in the city that have uniquely shaped what is still known locally as the Liverpool Way.

The book compares Benitez with his key rivals: his Iberian ‘cousin’ Jose Mourhino at Chelsea and the fiercely competitive David Moyes at neighbours Everton. But it ends on that glorious night of May 25 in Istanbul, with fans’ recollections and memories.

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Gerard Houllier: The Liverpool Revolution 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Gerard Houllier: The Liverpool Revolution, by Stephen F Kelly (2003)

“GERARD who?” was the question Liverpool fans asked when a rather academic-looking Frenchman arrived at Anfield in the summer of 1998 to partner Roy Evans.

They soon found out, although not before the uneasy pairing with Evans had ended in tears. Many more questions were posed early on, particularly when Gerard Houllier brought in a number of players very few had ever heard of. Could this really be the man who had masterminded France’s famous victory in the World Cup and who was promising to turn Liverpool into a world-beating side? Read more…

Hillsborough: The Truth 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Hillsborough: The Truth, by Phil Scraton (1999)

The Hillsborough disaster left 96 men, women and children dead, hundreds injured and thousands traumatised. This account details the tragic day in 1989 and the subsequent seven-week-long trial.

It reveals the contradictions between the Taylor Inquiry, which found the main reason for the disaster to be falure of police control, the South Yorkshire police acceptance of liability in negligence and the controversial inquest system which returned verdicts of accidental death when negligence had been clearly established.

The author also exposes the appalling treatment endured by the bereaved and survivors in the immediate aftermath, the inhumanity of the identification process; problems concerning the emergency response; and the systematic review and alteration of police statements by South Yorkshire police managers and their solicitors.

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The Day of the Hillsborough Disaster 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

The Day of the Hillsborough Disaster, by Rogan Taylor, Andrew Ward and Tim Newburn (Editors) (1995)

This is an account of the whole day of the worst disaster in Britain’s sporting history, which occurred at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium on April 15, 1989.

The disaster ultimately claimed the lives of 96 Liverpool fans as a result of crushing on the Leppings Lane terrace. In the aftermath of the tragedy, the media spotlight served largely to confuse and even distort the truth about how 96 people died. This is a narrative of the day of the disaster, in the words of those who were there: players, referee, police, emergency service workers, doctors in the crowd, club and FA officials, and those at the heart of the tragedy.

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Alan Hansen: A Matter of Opinion 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Alan Hansen: A Matter of Opinion, by Alan Hansen (2000)

As former Liverpool star Alan Hansen knows only too well, football is a game of opinions. During his career as a player he faced intense criticism from the media which undermined his confidence and often threatened to overwhelm him. In this book, Hansen looks back on the triumphs and tragedies that marked his career.

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Groove Armada: Rafa Benitez, Anfield and the New Spanish Fury 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

Groove Armada: Rafa Benitez, Anfield and the New Spanish Fury, by John Williams (2006)

This book examines the developing connections between the English and Spanish game and focuses on Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez’s attempt to bring the Premiership title to Anfield in the 2005-06 season.

In 2004, Benitez decamped from success at Valencia to become Reds manager, bringing with him a platoon of Spanish players and designs on the club’s first league title since 1990. In his first season in England Benitez offered both hope and misery to Liverpool supporters. In Europe the club battled to the final of the Champions League in 2005 and, against all expectations, won. Domestically, though, they faltered. Could he yet turn Liverpool around and learn from his early mistakes? And could Liverpool overcome its own structural and funding problems to deliver a new stadium, new investors and a team to match its supporters’ ambitions?

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Bob Paisley: Manager of the Millennium 0

Posted on August 26, 2011 by samh

Bob Paisley: Manager of the Millennium, by John Keith (1999)

Bob Paisley’s name stands at the summit of managerial achievement in British football.

A stunning array of 19 trophies in nine seasons in charge of Liverpool was his incredible response to accepting a job he never wanted, that of succeeding the legendary Bill Shankly as Anfield manager.

It was a challenge many pundits rated impossible. But Paisley proved he was a reluctant genius by becoming a legend himself and outstripping Shankly’s deeds and every other manager in the history of the British national game. This authorised biography by broadcaster John Keith was written with the co-operation of the Paisley family. It traces his life from his humble beginnings in a North East pit village, his wartime experiences, his playing days at Anfield and the time he spent as Shankly’s right-hand man.

With a foreword by Kenny Dalglish and reflections and reminiscences from a wide variety of soccer legends, including Kevin Keegan, Billy Liddell, Alan Hanson and many others, this is the definitive, compelling story of a unique manager.

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