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Football Books: News and Reviews

September Round-up 0

Posted on September 30, 2011 by samh

Red: My Autobiography, by Gary NevilleSeptember 2011 has seen the release of a quite a few notable Manchester United-related autobiographies. First up was Red, by Gary Neville (published September 1). Paul Scholes announced his retirement just months after Neville, at the end of the 2010-11 season, and came similarly hot on his former team-mate’s heels with the rather simply titled My Story (Sep 29). Read more…

Meet Me in the Roker End: A Revealing Look at Sunderland’s Footballing History 0

Posted on August 29, 2011 by samh

Meet Me in the Roker End: A Revealing Look at Sunderland’s Footballing History, by Martin Howey and David Bond (2004)

The writers offer a special insight in to Sunderland’s history, revealing many previously untold stories from the past.

Fascinating stories include those of the long-serving captain who thought his manager was a schizophrenic, the England international who spent the night at Joan Collins’ house and the big-time buy whose afternoons were spent playing one-a-side with the legendary Bill Shankly.

There are also the yarns of the all-time-great who was portrayed on a postage stamp, the wing-half who sparked a diplomatic incident by signing his name as “Eggs and Bread”, the FA Cup winner who was an expert tap dancer and the winger who studied poultry-keeping.

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The Len Shackleton Story: Clown Prince of Soccer? 0

Posted on August 28, 2011 by samh

The Len Shackleton Story: Clown Prince of Soccer? by Colin Malam (2004)

Len Shackleton never won a thing in his 17-year career – not a League Championship medal, not an FA Cup medal, not even a medal for topping the old Second Division.

Not only that, but ‘Shack’ collected only five England caps. His legion of admirers regard that as an insult to the outstanding ability of this unusual footballer, but many will have to take their word for it because little or no film exists of the great man in action. Yet, more than half a century after he stopped playing, Shackleton remains a legend, particularly in Bradford, Newcastle and Sunderland where fans preserve precious memories of his magical ball control and outrageous showmanship. They insist he would have been a sensation in today’s game. But would he? That is one of the questions Colin Malam attempts to answer in this biography. Was the Clown Prince more Prince than Clown?

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The Far Corner, by Harry Pearson 0

Posted on August 22, 2011 by samh

The Far Corner: A Mazy Dribble Through North-East Football, by Harry Pearson (1994)

The telling words on the front of the 1997 edition of The Far Corner (shown in picture) say: “Forget Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch, this is the football book of the new age”.

Bearing in mind that Fever Pitch was published just two years before The Far Corner, it is clear to see that new ages come and go with increasing rapidity these days, not least in football literature. This tale of north-east football from the grass roots to the glamour of the Premiership brilliantly satirises the glut of “devoted fan” books that inevitably followed Hornby’s book. Read more…

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