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Close Quarters is the inspirational, against the odds story of Wycombe Wanderers, the poorest club in League One, and how it shapes into a side that sustains a nine-month challenge for promotion before the global pandemic stops the team in its tracks. When the season restarts, Wycombe finds itself in the play-offs behind closed doors, an unprecedented opportunity through unprecedented turmoil. Led by the longest-serving boss in professional football, the charismatic Gareth Ainsworth, this becomes an astonishing campaign, witnessed up close by award-winning sportswriter Neil Harman thanks to his special access. Harman gets to the heart of the team, joins them in the dressing room, on the coach, in the medical room and in team meetings to chart this unparalleled challenge. He gets the inside story of Ainsworth's rise from a working-class upbringing on the back streets of Blackburn, through a rumbustious playing career, to a one-club manager moulding Wycombe while dealing with an American takeover that could make the difference between the club's life and death. Close Quarters is a book that resonates, not just with Wycombe supporters, but fans of underdog clubs everywhere.
Carlisle United On This Day revisits all the most magical and memorable moments from the club's rollercoaster past, mixing in a maelstrom of quirky anecdotes and legendary characters to produce an irresistibly dippable blue-and-white diary - with an entry for every day of the year. From the club's Edwardian formation through to the 21st century, the Brunton Park faithful have witnessed championships, promotions and relegations, fire and flood and fantastic Cup runs - all featured here. All-time greats including Jimmy McConnell and Chris Balderstone, Allan Ross, Peter Beardsley and Hugh McIlmoyle all loom larger than life. Revisit 24 August 1974, when Alan Ashman's lads went top of the Football League with three wins from three games. 19 November 1969: United 1-0 WBA in the first leg of the League Cup semi-final! Or 8 May 1999, when goalie Jimmy Glass scored in the 94th minute to keep United in the Football League.
From the Cypriot fourth division to the Indian national team, Stephen Constantine's career has taken the scenic route. Ever since leaving his home in Cyprus with nothing at the age of 16, Constantine has been used to life on the road; his sense of adventure dwarfed only by his appetite to improve and develop those he works with. That yearning for fresh experience has inevitably led Constantine into a host of unique situations. He has hugged a pitch- invading prince in Kathmandu. He has been threatened with kidnap in Khartoum. He has seen the Millwall chairman tip GBP10,000 onto the changing room floor, and he has watched his goalkeeping coach attack a pitch invader in Congo. Many in the game allege to have seen it all, but there is no one with a better claim to such a statement than Constantine, a veteran manager of six different national sides across four continents. But 'From Delhi to the Den' isn't simply a tale of one man planning his next coaching expedition in another far-flung corner of the world.Constantine explores the pressures of paying the mortgage when most jobs don't last 12 months, and the solitude of life on the road when your wife and children still reside thousands of miles away. We hear of how qualifications are trumped by reputations, and why dealing with Football Associations isn't exactly plain-sailing, especially with governmental interference. Constantine's journey - for the time being, anyway - ends up India, where he is looking to stir the passions and enhance the professionalism of Asia's sleeping giant. Progress has already been achieved, but nothing is finished yet. Anyone interested in football, travel, or adventure will love this book.
Respected across the world, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is credited with revolutionising one of the biggest clubs in Europe - famously bringing free-flowing football to 'boring, boring Arsenal' - and with influencing approaches to the modern game. In an industry of disposable contracts and ruthless sacking, his long tenure is testament to his success and dedication, and to the loyalty of players and fans. Wenger cooperated with leading sports journalist Xavier Rivoire to write this authorised and definitive biography, which includes exclusive interviews with Wenger, ex and current players, family, colleagues and observers, across Japan, France and England. The result is a highly readable portrait of an astute and incisive manager, a shrewd talent scout and man manager, as well as an intensely private and intriguing man.
Fine Margins is the definitive story of how two mainstays of English football took their feuding on to the game's biggest stages. The Manchester City and Liverpool rivalry is synonymous with the Premier League, but its roots go back much further. For over half a century, these two clubs from opposite ends of the M62 have been perennial thorns in each other's side. Bill Shankly laid the groundwork in the late 1960s before a series of clashes a decade later further stoked the fires, culminating in an attack on City's team bus in 1981 after they beat Liverpool 3-1 at Anfield. The feud was reignited in the mid-1990s when Liverpool relegated City on the final day of the 1995/96 Premier League season. When they returned to the top flight, Manchester's blue half became the scourge of Merseyside's Redmen, snatching players and points away from them. Countless managers, players and directors have continued what started in the Bill Shankly era, with the rivalry ramped up a notch through the reigns of Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp.
Football fans love nothing more than to read about their favourite teams. Although this books is aimed at young teenagers they will delight all ages with their mixture of funny and enlightening stories and will give hours of pleasure discovering quirky facts about your favourite team. Each title is also augmented with a selection of sketches by the young sketch artist Becky Welton that depict some of the stories within.
This book includes all the papers presented at a second World Congress of Science and Football (Liverpool 1987) (Eindhoven).
Stand By Your Reds, written by award-winning sports journalist Bryan Cooney, takes readers to locations where few have ventured - notably, the sacrosanct dressing room and those secretive corridors of power. This engaging narrative, built from a chronology of forensic interviews, ranges from the fifties to the present and tells the stories of an idiosyncratic team and an inveterate fan. Although it never neglects the triumphs, it refuses to ignore the turbulences. Cooney features: The incendiary reign of Eddie Turnbull, manager, martinet; Stuart Kennedy - the first player to front up Furious Fergie; Why Jim Bett was unable to forgive the directors; Steve Paterson makes an extraordinary drinking debut; Leigh Griffiths - why he was the one who got away; The loneliest, most intimidating sacking of Milne's life; and McInnes reveals what makes him really see red. Stand Free. Stand By Your Reds. Enjoy.
There was a season when the world's greatest footballers were all on show at British grounds. Best, Keegan, Charlton and Moore were joined by Pele, Cruyff, Beckenbauer and Eusebio, while in the dugouts Clough, Shankly, Revie and Allison duked it out in the closest ever Championship title race. That season was 1971/72. Britain's footballing culture was simpler - purer - than the one we know today, with the game played for the public, not for TV companies. It was a time when players shared pints with fans, A&BC football cards were schoolyard currency, Roy Race ruled the comic world and teleprinters saw footy devotees hold their collective breath every weekend. As well as covering the superstars, '71/'72 is a treasure trove of tales of lesser-known names who added to that extraordinary season. Read about the Aldo Poy goal that is still fanatically celebrated today, Toni Fritsch revolutionising the NFL, cricketing footballers and the OAP ball boy who rowed the River Severn. '71/'72 is a compelling and fast-paced account of a season like no other, and as John Motson labelled it: 'glorious'.
Brian Horton is one of the most respected managers in English football. As a player, manager and assistant, he took part in over 2,000 games - in Britain only Sir Alex Ferguson can claim more. Horton's career started in the World Cup summer of 1966 and ended over half a century later. His playing career began unceremoniously when Port Vale bought him from non-league Hednesford for the price of a pint of shandy. But later, as Brighton captain, he became a club legend, skippering the Seagulls from the Third to the First Division. He continued this success at Luton and Hull, before managing the Yorkshire side. Horton further distinguished himself as boss at Oxford and then Manchester City, keeping the Citizens in the Premier League for two thrilling seasons. Spells at Huddersfield, Brighton, Port Vale and Macclesfield followed before Brian was catapulted back to the Premier League at Hull City as assistant manager to Phil Brown. He continued to work with Brown at Preston, Southend and Swindon until his retirement in 2018.
From the author of `He's one of our own' comes `We're not going to Wembley', the story of Sheffield United's 2018/19 promotion season from the Championship - just two years after winning promotion out of League One. A thrilling promotion battle with rivals Leeds saw the Blades emerge victorious, and culminated in memorable scenes as everyone connected with the club ensured they drank in every single moment. With contributions from players, fans and manager Wilder himself - who writes the foreword - this is the story of a remarkable season that will be remembered forever in the illustrious history of this proud football club.
Where the Cool Kids Hung Out is the story of the UEFA Cup's glory years, when it was a tournament that boasted a stronger field of teams than its senior siblings, the European Cup and the European Cup Winners' Cup. Since then it has drifted into its poor current form as the Europa League, the Champions League having siphoned off most of Europe's biggest clubs. Yet the UEFA Cup enjoyed some very stylish years, no more so than during the two-legged final period. It was an era when Ipswich Town swept to glory, Liverpool conditioned themselves to conquer the continent, Tottenham Hotspur twice captured the cup and Dundee United came agonisingly close. It was also a time when Borussia Monchengladbach made their name, Real Madrid regenerated as a force and Serie A came to dominate. Drawing on an encyclopaedic knowledge of the tournament plus interviews with players, journalists and fans who lived and loved the competition, Steven Scragg brings you the definitive account of the UEFA Cup's halcyon days.
How much do you really know about Manchester United? Put your knowledge to the test with this bumper book of brainteaser quizzes and fascinating facts, beautifully illustrated by one of the world's leading sports artists. It's packed with trivia on all the great Man United sides and players - from the 'Busby Babes' to 'Fergie's Fledglings', from Charlton, Law and Best to Rooney, Ronaldo and Rashford - providing hours of highly dippable fun and entertainment. Which player earned a taekwondo black belt and seriously considered abandoning his football career to work as a docker? Which Republic of Ireland international was raised in orphanages? Son of a Greco-Roman wrestling champion, which striker served in the Norwegian army? Which United striker made history when he played for Stockport County alongside his father? Which player appeared opposite Cate Blanchett in the 1998 movie Elizabeth? Trivquiz Manchester United holds the answers to all these questions and hundreds more.
When he was inducted into the Hibs' Hall of Fame on Eater Road in 2012, Eric Stevenson declared "This means everything to me. My uncle founded the Bonnyrigg Hibs supporters' club in 1949-50 and I started going to games when I was seven". This book traces Stevenson's fanatical interest in the club from a very young age , his time as a left-winger wearing the number eleven green and white jersey in the 60s, and the well-deserved recognition that he has gained today.
How did George McCluskey become one of Celtic F.C.'s most memorable football players? What binds the fans and players and creates this strong sense of belonging? And what does the Irish diaspora have to do with Celtic F.C.? George McCluskey was one of the key strikers for the Hoops in the '70s and '80s, a successful time in the club's history. He did not only score for his team, but changed the entire game in favour of Celtic more than once. In this account of his life story told by his close friend Aidan Donaldson, George McCluskey is praised as the embodiment of the Celtic spirit. His individual history is intertwined with the history and mentality of the club. However, George McCluskey did not only influence Celtic F.C. but also other clubs he played for and the people he has met during his life. This book takes you on a journey through the development of the club from its very beginning, as well as exploring the evolution of football in general. How did we get from football legends like George McCluskey to football celebrities like David Beckham? What did professional football look like back then, what constitutes it nowadays? This timely book will appeal not only to Celtic supporters, but to anyone interested in the development of professional football. His exuberant celebration depicted on the cover of the book remains iconic in the eyes of Celtic supporters today. His Cup winning goal led inadvertently to a riot and the banning of alcohol in Scottish football grounds.
Show Me The Way To Plough Lane is the ultimate story of football fan power. It is the story of how Wimbledon reclaimed its football club and brought it back to the heart of its community after years of nomadic existence. It retraces the club's history from its genesis on Wimbledon Common to Plough Lane, the place Wimbledon FC called home for the best part of a century. After rumours of mergers and relocations, the club ground-shared after the Taylor Report. A decade passed with the fans sold lie after lie until the club was ripped from its community and re-sited many miles away. Not only was the club homeless, it was now dead. A group of fans who were at the heart of protests against the move decided to start again - from the very bottom if necessary. And they vowed to bring football back to Wimbledon, to where it all started. After an absence of almost 30 years, the side finally returned home - just a long ball away from where the original ground sat, in Plough Lane.
Soccer has long been known as 'the beautiful game'. This multi-disciplinary volume explores soccer, soccer culture, and the representation of soccer in art, film, and literature, using the critical tools of aesthetics, poetics, and rhetoric. Including international contributions from scholars of philosophy, literary and cultural studies, linguistics, art history, and the creative arts, this book begins by investigating the relationship between beauty and soccer and asks what criteria should be used to judge the sport's aesthetic value. Covering topics as diverse as humor, national identity, style, celebrity, and social media, its chapters examine the nature of fandom, the role of language, and the significance of soccer in contemporary popular culture. It also discusses what one might call the 'stylistics' of soccer, analyzing how players, fans, and commentators communicate on and off the pitch, in the press, on social media, and in wider public discourse. The Aesthetics, Poetics, and Rhetoric of Soccer makes for fascinating reading for anybody with an interest in sport, culture, literature, philosophy, linguistics, and society.
He may live in Madrid but he continues to make front-page headlines. This is David Beckham's own story of his career to date, for Manchester United, Real Madrid and England, and of his childhood, family and private life. Featuring David's first full account of a turbulent year in Spain, on and off the field, and England's fortunes in Euro 2004. This is Beckham's fascinating life story in his own words. His rise through the ranks at the biggest club side in the world. His complex relationship with United boss Alex Ferguson. The England story, from being vilified by the nation before returning as the prodigal son to eventually captaining his country. His acrimonious falling-out with his manager and departure from Old Trafford in June 2003. And starting a new chapter of his life on foreign soil in the glare of the world's press. Now from Beckham himself, we gain a vivid and eye-opening insight into the family man behind the famous footballer, the international model and fashion leader. He describes how he first met and then married ex-Spice girl Victoria Adams, and the upbringing of their two children Brooklyn and Romeo. How his family's every step is monitored by a posse of newshounds and paparazzi. Also, the influence of his parents, growing up as a shy youngster in the family home, and how their subsequent split affected him. Intimate and soul-searching, this is the real David Beckham like we have never seen before. NEW FOR THIS PAPERBACK EDITION: - Beckham's first season with Real Madrid from within the dressing room, with key stories on the likes of Figo, Roberto Carlos and Zidane. - His exclusive reaction to the sensational allegations about his private life; their effect on his relationship with Victoria and a reappraisal of their living arrangements. - England and Euro 2004: the players' threatened strike in support of Rio Ferdinand; Eriksson as England boss; and all the behind the scenes stories leading up to and including the Finals in Portugal. - One year down the line, does Beckham have any regrets about leaving Manchester United? And is there any truth in the rumours that he is unsettled in Madrid?
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