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Best Books On Football

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Following on from my thread on another section of this site recommending Ian Ridley- Floodlit Dreams as a fine read, I thought I would throw it open to other people's favourite books on football. Personally, I always prefer reading out the less obvious and well known people and stories. I have been given many pretty awful autobiographies on the big names for Christmas, they usually find there way to the charity shop soon after New Years Day.

My top 5 are as follows;


Robin Friday, The Best Footballer You Never Saw- Paolo Hewitt .

All Played Out - Pete Davies

Left Foot Forward - Garry Nelson

The Glory, Glory Game - Hunter Davies

Friday Night Lights - HG Bissinger ( OK, it's American Football. Still brilliant though).



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I'm an avid reader , sometimes I will read 5 to 6 books a week < I must be my libraries top loaner , I read a weird variety of books , crime thrillers , engineering books , science , architecture , , art and history . I tend to look at some of the biographies on the shelves and ask myself who is he or she , or was has he or she done . In most cases it's very little and the books have no interest to me . However some football biographies are really interesting reading ,mainly because they are by people who have long retired  and detail a genuinely interesting life . Currently I'm reading Alan Hodgekinsons  biography . He was England's goalie in the 60's prior to the 66 world cup . There's some really interesting tales about the attitudes of the FA  and club owners during his time .

 I must admit , I will read anything about Brian Clough or Fred Truman the cricketer .. Both of them were great characters and the sport world is crying out for someone like them today . I suppose Mouriniou  is the nearest to it . One of my favourite Cloughie stories is about  him trying to get Larry Lloyd to sign for him . He went round to his house and pleaded with him to sign and Lloyd was wavering  , Clough noticed that Lloyd's wife was doing the washing by hand .Lloyd said they couldn't afford a washing machine . Clough said that if he signed he would buy him a washing machine himself . Lloyd signed and the machine was delivered and installed ./ On his first training day Lloyd was introduced to the other players and the rest of the staff . The kit woman said " you're the new player whose got my washing machine are you ? I'm having to wash the dirty kit by hand  thanks to you and Mr. Clough .

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  • 2 weeks later...

Agree on All Played Out (my favourite), Left Foot Forward and The Glory, Glory Game. I'd also add Only A Game by Eamon Dunphy and, a bit more up to date, The Bottom Corner by Nige Tassell (' a season with the dreamers of non-league football'). There's plenty in it that'll be familiar to followers of Cornish football.

And as a kid I loved Goalkeepers Are Different by Brian Glanville.

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