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Recently I spoke about Arsene Wenger's autobiography and Brian Clough was mentioned by Richard. Over the years there have been some great written memoirs from players, managers and sports commentators. With Christmas coming and therefore an opportunity to think of gifts as Home Waters suggested, has anybody got a book they would recommend ?

Some time ago, I read the autobiography of Willie John Mc Bride - the great Irish Rugby International and thoroughly enjoyed it. There must surely be books you enjoyed too.

I have introduced this as a subject for consideration. It seems that live local football is going to be scarce/non existent for a while. We don't want the forum to come to a complete halt do we ?

Where are those members who brought us daily laughs - fenman etc,. That said, we haven't had a post from fenman for a good while now. Hope he's ok !

 

Edited by Keith B
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HI Keith, read literally hundreds of autobiographies on holiday etc and I enjoy the really honest ones! If you ever see these they are all brilliant mate! Stan Ternant - got promised a Merc with the Bury job and got a Fiat Panda that broke down! 😂 Tony Cascarino Full time- dyed his hair and knocked 2 years off his age on his passport when he signed for Marseille! Also got no Irish relations! Played bout 80 times for Ireland! 😁🤔 Tony Adams- Addicted, when England lost on pens to Germany in the 96 semi he went on a 3 day bender, found him in a hedge shit himself! Bloke thought he was a tramp! Paul Merson great honest book as well! Put 20 grand on Scotland to beat Costa Rica in the World Cup, to get 5 grand return, lost 1-0!!  Ruined his wedding day!! All Played Out by Pete Davies about Italia 90 World Cup is fantastic as well Keith! Actually read that twice it was so good!! Which is stupid cos I’ve got about 500 books I’ve not read yet! Loads more if I think about it but those are all excellent and cheap these days, couple of quid amazon or Ebay for the paperback mate!!! 

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6 minutes ago, RAPPO said:

HI Keith, read literally hundreds of autobiographies on holiday etc and I enjoy the really honest ones! If you ever see these they are all brilliant mate! Stan Ternant - got promised a Merc with the Bury job and got a Fiat Panda that broke down! 😂 Tony Cascarino Full time- dyed his hair and knocked 2 years off his age on his passport when he signed for Marseille! Also got no Irish relations! Played bout 80 times for Ireland! 😁🤔 Tony Adams- Addicted, when England lost on pens to Germany in the 96 semi he went on a 3 day bender, found him in a hedge shit himself! Bloke thought he was a tramp! Paul Merson great honest book as well! Put 20 grand on Scotland to beat Costa Rica in the World Cup, to get 5 grand return, lost 1-0!!  Ruined his wedding day!! All Played Out by Pete Davies about Italia 90 World Cup is fantastic as well Keith! Actually read that twice it was so good!! Which is stupid cos I’ve got about 500 books I’ve not read yet! Loads more if I think about it but those are all excellent and cheap these days, couple of quid amazon or Ebay for the paperback mate!!! 

Ahh - thank you RAPPO. I shall look one or two of those up. If a book was worth reading again - that may be my first then. Thanks again sir.

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One of the most enjoyable autobiographies I have read was that of Dickie Bird, the celebrated cricket umpire. It is full of mirth and accounts of memorable matches.

One account comes to mind and the scene set is of a certain day's play in a test match. Dickie Bird was umpiring and those who follow cricket will know that Dickie was a stickler to make sure everything was done properly. He would stand for no mucking about either by players or cricket supporters at the match. Well - Ian Botham and Allan Lamb were both playing for England and England were batting. Mobile phones were banned from the field of play.

Suddenly a mobile phone started ringing on field and Dickie went purple with rage. Alan Lamb and Botham had planned this event to annoy Dickie so - Botham was ringing Lamy's phone from the dressing room. Lamb took the phone out and answered it - Dickie Bird raged ''what the hell do you think you're doing'' he said. Allan Lamb turned to him and said -  ''it's for you Dickie'', and offered him the instrument. The whole team fell about laughing !

Buy the book, it's a great and amusing read, even if you're perhaps not a follower of cricket. 

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Really enjoy the sporting books that focus on the workaday, daily grind of being a professional athlete at the lower end of the scale. 

Two of my favourites are;

Left Foot Forward by ex Argyle player Garry Nelson.

Lot Of Hard Yakka by former Middlesex cricketer Simon Hughes.

 

Also, not a sporting book, but on  similar vain;

Diary Of A Rock N Roll Star by Ian Hunter (Mott The Hoople). The hard work,insecurity and minimal rewards life of a  rock star who is always waiting for the next royalty cheque, and anxiously checking concert ticket sales. This is a diary of their 1972 USA tour, the first few pages are covering his remembering to empty the fridge, pay the electric bill and finding someone to look after his Ford Anglia (!!) before he spends two months away.

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I'm fit and well Keith thank you , I've struggled to stay off posting on the site although I read it every day . I know this sounds pathetic for a grown man , but I've stayed off after reading  comments on both the BBC  football reports and comments in our local newspaper . As mentioned on another post on this forum a similar thing is creeping onto this forum .. I thought to myself do I really want read some of these comments and respond  ( having said that I don't comment on any other site bar this one , I just read them ) . Some of the ones on this forum are just about tolerable but some of the others I've mentioned on the BBC and the paper  makes one wonder what sort of people we breed today . I gather that this sort of childish exchange of insults is common on social media . 

Anyway to join the conversation about books  . My wife says that I have a serious illness regarding books and magazines . I've bought masses over the years and read about 10 library books a month . My tastes are wide , my main interests are motorcycle and formula one engineering books and biographies  , football biographies , history  and art . I'm shocked at the number of people who tell me they've never read a book , I've got books that I've read over and over again , one in particular about  a railwayman in Wales in the early 1900's .

One of the problems with biographies is  you can change your feelings toward an individual having read them , I was a great fan of both John McGuiness the TT racer and Jason Plato the British touring car champion until I read their respective books , reading them I  learned that neither of them were the men I imagined them to be .

I agree on the Brian Clough books , I've several about him and a number by his ex players . One story about him still makes me titter every time I think about it . He desperately  wanted to  sign  Larry Lloyd from Liverpool  and almost camped in his street in an effort to sign him . He was in his house pressing him into signing with no luck . Clough noticed that Lloyd's wife was doing the laundry by hand , Lloyd said that they hadn't got a washing machine . Clough said that he would buy him a new washing machine if he signed  . He signed and good as his word a machine machine turned up a few days later . A week or so later Lloyd had his first training session at Notts Forest . The players arrived back at the clubhouse and they introduced Lloyd to the backroom  staff  . A woman said " are your'e the man whose got our washing machine " Cloughie had taken it and given it to Lloyd .

On a non sporting theme for anyone interested in engineering  " from first principles " the story of Keith Duckworth the designer of the Cosworth formula one engine is very interesting . A very interesting man with a great view on life .

I've been off the site for 6 months now I can't shut up , as an aside ,  I was shocked to see that Laurence Reed is retiring from Radio Cornwall . There's obviously a cull of older experienced , sensible radio presenters by the BBC , it's happening up here as well , 4 have suddenly retired .. I used to enjoy Laurence Reeds programme during my visits down there . 

 

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8 hours ago, fenman said:

I'm fit and well Keith thank you , I've struggled to stay off posting on the site although I read it every day . I know this sounds pathetic for a grown man , but I've stayed off after reading  comments on both the BBC  football reports and comments in our local newspaper . As mentioned on another post on this forum a similar thing is creeping onto this forum .. I thought to myself do I really want read some of these comments and respond  ( having said that I don't comment on any other site bar this one , I just read them ) . Some of the ones on this forum are just about tolerable but some of the others I've mentioned on the BBC and the paper  makes one wonder what sort of people we breed today . I gather that this sort of childish exchange of insults is common on social media . 

Anyway to join the conversation about books  . My wife says that I have a serious illness regarding books and magazines . I've bought masses over the years and read about 10 library books a month . My tastes are wide , my main interests are motorcycle and formula one engineering books and biographies  , football biographies , history  and art . I'm shocked at the number of people who tell me they've never read a book , I've got books that I've read over and over again , one in particular about  a railwayman in Wales in the early 1900's .

One of the problems with biographies is  you can change your feelings toward an individual having read them , I was a great fan of both John McGuiness the TT racer and Jason Plato the British touring car champion until I read their respective books , reading them I  learned that neither of them were the men I imagined them to be .

I agree on the Brian Clough books , I've several about him and a number by his ex players . One story about him still makes me titter every time I think about it . He desperately  wanted to  sign  Larry Lloyd from Liverpool  and almost camped in his street in an effort to sign him . He was in his house pressing him into signing with no luck . Clough noticed that Lloyd's wife was doing the laundry by hand , Lloyd said that they hadn't got a washing machine . Clough said that he would buy him a new washing machine if he signed  . He signed and good as his word a machine machine turned up a few days later . A week or so later Lloyd had his first training session at Notts Forest . The players arrived back at the clubhouse and they introduced Lloyd to the backroom  staff  . A woman said " are your'e the man whose got our washing machine " Cloughie had taken it and given it to Lloyd .

On a non sporting theme for anyone interested in engineering  " from first principles " the story of Keith Duckworth the designer of the Cosworth formula one engine is very interesting . A very interesting man with a great view on life .

I've been off the site for 6 months now I can't shut up , as an aside ,  I was shocked to see that Laurence Reed is retiring from Radio Cornwall . There's obviously a cull of older experienced , sensible radio presenters by the BBC , it's happening up here as well , 4 have suddenly retired .. I used to enjoy Laurence Reeds programme during my visits down there . 

 

Good to hear from you again fenman and to know you are ok. Understand completely about some of the types and their comments on the forum. I guess that's what a forum is comprised of when drawing a following from all backgrounds. There are some good posts too, from some nice people and some good match reports from some, wish there were more of those. Looking forward to the season starting again properly, though goodness knows when that will be.

Motorbikes. Had one or two in my teens. Started with a BSA C15 250cc, then had a Royal Enfield Constellation 700cc and went on to a Triumph Bonneville 650cc. Enjoyed those days, but now am happy in the snug of my car. 

Yes, it's worrying really when you realize how many folk just don't read books or even a newspaper. How many houses did you go into as a police officer and realized that there was not a book, magazine or newspaper anywhere to be seen in the house ?! During my years in the job and afterwards in local government, the number of people I encountered who admitted that they couldn't read was worrying and sad too of course. 

Good to have you back sir - hope you stay. I was tempted to send you a personal message on here, due to your long silence, but thought it best not to, being aware that the reason for a long silence could be personal of course and none of my business. Best wishes.

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9 hours ago, fenman said:

I'm fit and well Keith thank you , I've struggled to stay off posting on the site although I read it every day . I know this sounds pathetic for a grown man , but I've stayed off after reading  comments on both the BBC  football reports and comments in our local newspaper . As mentioned on another post on this forum a similar thing is creeping onto this forum .. I thought to myself do I really want read some of these comments and respond  ( having said that I don't comment on any other site bar this one , I just read them ) . Some of the ones on this forum are just about tolerable but some of the others I've mentioned on the BBC and the paper  makes one wonder what sort of people we breed today . I gather that this sort of childish exchange of insults is common on social media . 

Anyway to join the conversation about books  . My wife says that I have a serious illness regarding books and magazines . I've bought masses over the years and read about 10 library books a month . My tastes are wide , my main interests are motorcycle and formula one engineering books and biographies  , football biographies , history  and art . I'm shocked at the number of people who tell me they've never read a book , I've got books that I've read over and over again , one in particular about  a railwayman in Wales in the early 1900's .

One of the problems with biographies is  you can change your feelings toward an individual having read them , I was a great fan of both John McGuiness the TT racer and Jason Plato the British touring car champion until I read their respective books , reading them I  learned that neither of them were the men I imagined them to be .

I agree on the Brian Clough books , I've several about him and a number by his ex players . One story about him still makes me titter every time I think about it . He desperately  wanted to  sign  Larry Lloyd from Liverpool  and almost camped in his street in an effort to sign him . He was in his house pressing him into signing with no luck . Clough noticed that Lloyd's wife was doing the laundry by hand , Lloyd said that they hadn't got a washing machine . Clough said that he would buy him a new washing machine if he signed  . He signed and good as his word a machine machine turned up a few days later . A week or so later Lloyd had his first training session at Notts Forest . The players arrived back at the clubhouse and they introduced Lloyd to the backroom  staff  . A woman said " are your'e the man whose got our washing machine " Cloughie had taken it and given it to Lloyd .

On a non sporting theme for anyone interested in engineering  " from first principles " the story of Keith Duckworth the designer of the Cosworth formula one engine is very interesting . A very interesting man with a great view on life .

I've been off the site for 6 months now I can't shut up , as an aside ,  I was shocked to see that Laurence Reed is retiring from Radio Cornwall . There's obviously a cull of older experienced , sensible radio presenters by the BBC , it's happening up here as well , 4 have suddenly retired .. I used to enjoy Laurence Reeds programme during my visits down there . 

 

Unfortunately Fenman The BBC will continue to cull presenters, producers researchers etc until all that remains are all like Zoey Ball - Her breakfast show is like listening to an adolescent teenager 

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I agree with you Rappo . from my experience books by or about relatively unknown sportsmen or women are far more interesting than ones about " celebrity  sports people " . It's a bit the same with tv and radio interviews , I don't include chat shows because they're all about promotions of records , latest film or books , some of them are really interesting . One in particular I enjoyed was Neil Warnock , I'm not necessarily a fan of his but I did find him interesting to listen to . I gather that his touring chat shows are sell outs .Another I enjoyed on one of my trips down to Cornwall was listening to Gary Mabbut ,  a very good player largely forgotten about today 

The Tom Finney story is  also very interesting and is an eye opener when comparing todays wage situation to the 1950's and 60's . One of England's greatest  footballers earning  , as a footballer a bit more than a bricklayer , and carrying on as a plumber as well . Aside from sporting biographies some of the stories of relatively unknown people who  made major contributions to the second world war for example , I enjoy . People like Sir Stanley Hooker  whose book " not much of an engineer " is a  fascinating  story  of how  a young student by strange circumstances improved the engines powering most of Britain's  aircraft  ( the Rolls Royce Merlin ) doubling their power output and then effectively taking over  the jet engine project from Sir Frank Whittle  . The book isn't just about technical issues but about strange occurences in a mans life  which  led to the creation of the jet age  which revolutionised travel .

Freddy Truman  books I also enjoy , another real character  and a great bowler . I think books about sportsmen from yesteryear interesting from a social history point of view . Footballers for example  were heroes to thousands  but travelled to home games on trains or buses among the fans . How times change .

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Plucked this one down off the bookshelf the other day;

Different Class- The story of Laurie Cunningham by Dermot Kavanagh. If not for a career blighted by injury and racism, he could have been the English Cristiano Ronaldo.

Found the highlights of Man U v West Brom from 1978 on YouTube in which he was brilliant.

The Baggies,featuring Cunningham, Cyrille Regis, Brendan Batson and Bryan Robson won a thrilling match 5-3.

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6 hours ago, fenman said:

I agree with you Rappo . from my experience books by or about relatively unknown sportsmen or women are far more interesting than ones about " celebrity  sports people " . It's a bit the same with tv and radio interviews , I don't include chat shows because they're all about promotions of records , latest film or books , some of them are really interesting . One in particular I enjoyed was Neil Warnock , I'm not necessarily a fan of his but I did find him interesting to listen to . I gather that his touring chat shows are sell outs .Another I enjoyed on one of my trips down to Cornwall was listening to Gary Mabbut ,  a very good player largely forgotten about today 

The Tom Finney story is  also very interesting and is an eye opener when comparing todays wage situation to the 1950's and 60's . One of England's greatest  footballers earning  , as a footballer a bit more than a bricklayer , and carrying on as a plumber as well . Aside from sporting biographies some of the stories of relatively unknown people who  made major contributions to the second world war for example , I enjoy . People like Sir Stanley Hooker  whose book " not much of an engineer " is a  fascinating  story  of how  a young student by strange circumstances improved the engines powering most of Britain's  aircraft  ( the Rolls Royce Merlin ) doubling their power output and then effectively taking over  the jet engine project from Sir Frank Whittle  . The book isn't just about technical issues but about strange occurences in a mans life  which  led to the creation of the jet age  which revolutionised travel .

Freddy Truman  books I also enjoy , another real character  and a great bowler . I think books about sportsmen from yesteryear interesting from a social history point of view . Footballers for example  were heroes to thousands  but travelled to home games on trains or buses among the fans . How times change .

Gary Mabbut - good footballer and nice man too. Always had time for the young supporters and very generous with his time when signing autographs. A diabetic, he had to inject himself before the game and some times at half time too, if the game was very hectic. Nice guy all round. 

Saw a lot of him when I was taking my eldest daughter to White Hart Lane. She always wanted to be there early, so she could get the players autographs as they came in to the car park. She had a thing for Teddy Sherringham, goodness knows how many times she got his signature ! 

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On 13/11/2020 at 10:46, fenman said:

I agree with you Rappo . from my experience books by or about relatively unknown sportsmen or women are far more interesting than ones about " celebrity  sports people " . It's a bit the same with tv and radio interviews , I don't include chat shows because they're all about promotions of records , latest film or books , some of them are really interesting . One in particular I enjoyed was Neil Warnock , I'm not necessarily a fan of his but I did find him interesting to listen to . I gather that his touring chat shows are sell outs .Another I enjoyed on one of my trips down to Cornwall was listening to Gary Mabbut ,  a very good player largely forgotten about today 

The Tom Finney story is  also very interesting and is an eye opener when comparing todays wage situation to the 1950's and 60's . One of England's greatest  footballers earning  , as a footballer a bit more than a bricklayer , and carrying on as a plumber as well . Aside from sporting biographies some of the stories of relatively unknown people who  made major contributions to the second world war for example , I enjoy . People like Sir Stanley Hooker  whose book " not much of an engineer " is a  fascinating  story  of how  a young student by strange circumstances improved the engines powering most of Britain's  aircraft  ( the Rolls Royce Merlin ) doubling their power output and then effectively taking over  the jet engine project from Sir Frank Whittle  . The book isn't just about technical issues but about strange occurences in a mans life  which  led to the creation of the jet age  which revolutionised travel .

Freddy Truman  books I also enjoy , another real character  and a great bowler . I think books about sportsmen from yesteryear interesting from a social history point of view . Footballers for example  were heroes to thousands  but travelled to home games on trains or buses among the fans . How times change .

Agree - read both Tom Finney (saw him play too at Fratton Park) and Fred Truman, great reads. John Charles ex Leeds United and Wales great read as well. 

''Gentleman John'' Charles as they called him. Watched him playing for Leeds against  Southampton at The Dell years ago. The Saints defenders couldn't stop him - he was quick and of large build. In sheer exasperation Terry Pain, the Southampton and England winger (horrible tempered man) tried to hack Charles down as he headed for their goal. In so trying, Pain injured himself - Charles continued on, scored another goal and then went back to Pain and lifted him back up onto his feet, asking him if he was ok ! Yes John Charles, a true gentleman.

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I watched him play for Hereford against Kings Lynn in the old Southern League  or could have been the Midland League , sometime in the 60 's  . At that time there were many ex. internationals and ex top players playing  at that level . I'm not sure whether it was a shortage of money or a love of the game , probably the former . He played in Italy for a while and many still worship his memory even to this day . He could , and did , play in several positions for Wales and the other teams he played for . Giant of a man , a true gentleman ( the English version , not the American version , where any male is called a gentleman ) by all accounts .Sadly he succumbed to dementia .

Apologies for the dig at the modern language again . I've just had one  letter from our county council and another from a book publisher . Both of them said that they take the opportunity to " reach out to me "  and from " the get go "  the Pandemic has caused a delay of responding to me . What infantile drivel !!!!!! a few weeks ago they would have apologised for not contacting me because of delays due to the pandemic . 

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19 hours ago, fenman said:

I watched him play for Hereford against Kings Lynn in the old Southern League  or could have been the Midland League , sometime in the 60 's  . At that time there were many ex. internationals and ex top players playing  at that level . I'm not sure whether it was a shortage of money or a love of the game , probably the former . He played in Italy for a while and many still worship his memory even to this day . He could , and did , play in several positions for Wales and the other teams he played for . Giant of a man , a true gentleman ( the English version , not the American version , where any male is called a gentleman ) by all accounts .Sadly he succumbed to dementia .

Apologies for the dig at the modern language again . I've just had one  letter from our county council and another from a book publisher . Both of them said that they take the opportunity to " reach out to me "  and from " the get go "  the Pandemic has caused a delay of responding to me . What infantile drivel !!!!!! a few weeks ago they would have apologised for not contacting me because of delays due to the pandemic . 

Spot on fenman - in all points made.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Footnote to this topic. In the week that the great,divisive and downright crazy Diego Maradona died, I would recommend his autobiography from 2000, El Diego. A book in which he always refers to himself in the third party, regards himself as above everybody else and vindicates every action and moment in his career.

Also, if you have All4, the brilliant film "Diego Maradona" is available to stream free of charge. The opening scenes alone are worth the watch, it lays out the turbo charged brilliance and frenzied chaos that was the heart and soul of the man. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Refering to Tom Finney , one of England's greatest players  , a real gentleman by all accounts , he had a plumbing business at the same time as being a full time player for Preston North End and England . His biography is very interesting and it shows how players were treated in his day .

One story surrounding him concerns Tommy Doherty and Bill Shankley both team mates of Finney at Preston . In the 40's , 50's and to a lesser degree the 60's players contracts were yearly . The player would sit outside the chairman's office until summoned in to hear his future .On this occasion Shankley was summoned in and the chairman said " you've had a decent year Shankley  , next season you will receive £15 per week in the season and £ 12 per week in the summer , £ 2 bonus for a win and £1 for a draw ". Shankley left and Tom Finney was next in . You've  had a reasonable season Finney and you've played for England  you will be retained by the club at £17 per week in the season and £14 per week in the summer , £2 bonus for a win £1 for a draw " Doherty  goes in " you've had a reasonable season etc etc . you will receive £15 per week in the season and £11 per week in the summer " Doherty said " how come Tom is getting more than me ?" the chairman said " because he's a much better player than you " Doherty replies " not in the summer when we aren't  playing he's not " ..

At this time a skilled bricklayer's wages would be about £10 a week , how television income  has changed the world for footballers .

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 16/12/2020 at 16:38, fenman said:

Refering to Tom Finney , one of England's greatest players  , a real gentleman by all accounts , he had a plumbing business at the same time as being a full time player for Preston North End and England . His biography is very interesting and it shows how players were treated in his day .

One story surrounding him concerns Tommy Doherty and Bill Shankley both team mates of Finney at Preston . In the 40's , 50's and to a lesser degree the 60's players contracts were yearly . The player would sit outside the chairman's office until summoned in to hear his future .On this occasion Shankley was summoned in and the chairman said " you've had a decent year Shankley  , next season you will receive £15 per week in the season and £ 12 per week in the summer , £ 2 bonus for a win and £1 for a draw ". Shankley left and Tom Finney was next in . You've  had a reasonable season Finney and you've played for England  you will be retained by the club at £17 per week in the season and £14 per week in the summer , £2 bonus for a win £1 for a draw " Doherty  goes in " you've had a reasonable season etc etc . you will receive £15 per week in the season and £11 per week in the summer " Doherty said " how come Tom is getting more than me ?" the chairman said " because he's a much better player than you " Doherty replies " not in the summer when we aren't  playing he's not " ..

At this time a skilled bricklayer's wages would be about £10 a week , how television income  has changed the world for footballers .

Yes I read Tom Finney's biography too. My interest, obviously because he was a great footballer (great winger for England), but also because I too started working life as a plumber's apprentice and then became a fully qualified plumber. Recognised a lot of what was written in that regard. Finney was plumbing before me of course, but my apprenticeship being in the late 50's early 60's was not so different. Plumbing whilst very different now in terms of materials used and methods, back then was still very similar to what Tom would have been doing. Wages - well now a plumber can command fantastic wages as we all know.

 When I was at sea, during a few days in Los Angeles, I was with a girlfriend in her car when it broke down on a freeway. We were picked up by a Highway Patrol Police Car and taken to a garage, so she could arrange for a breakdown vehicle to collect her car. I was in danger of missing my ship's sailing time and the police officer very kindly took me back to San Pedro to the ship. Whilst on the journey we chatted and the officer said that I could earn a fortune as a plumber in the US - apparently they were at the time, the highest paid tradesmen in the United States. 

Ok - sorry, back to the football and sporting biographys.

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2 hours ago, Keith B said:

Yes I read Tom Finney's biography too. My interest, obviously because he was a great footballer (great winger for England), but also because I too started working life as a plumber's apprentice and then became a fully qualified plumber. Recognised a lot of what was written in that regard. Finney was plumbing before me of course, but my apprenticeship being in the late 50's early 60's was not so different. Plumbing whilst very different now in terms of materials used and methods, back then was still very similar to what Tom would have been doing. Wages - well now a plumber can command fantastic wages as we all know.

 When I was at sea, during a few days in Los Angeles, I was with a girlfriend in her car when it broke down on a freeway. We were picked up by a Highway Patrol Police Car and taken to a garage, so she could arrange for a breakdown vehicle to collect her car. I was in danger of missing my ship's sailing time and the police officer very kindly took me back to San Pedro to the ship. Whilst on the journey we chatted and the officer said that I could earn a fortune as a plumber in the US - apparently they were at the time, the highest paid tradesmen in the United States. 

Ok - sorry, back to the football and sporting biographys.

Keith, sounds like you have an interesting autobiography that is just waiting to be written.

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2 hours ago, Way Of The Park said:

Keith, sounds like you have an interesting autobiography that is just waiting to be written.

It's funny you should say that WOTP. Actually I have written what you could call an autobiography - it's really for my daughters. Covering a period from early childhood, through my teens, learning a trade and going away to sea for some years, cruising the world. Then my years in the Met Police and having retired from that, a short period in forestry (loved every minute) and then twenty odd years as a planning enforcement officer for the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Faced almost as much violence against me in the last job, than I did in the Met, death threats included. Three very different jobs and happy in them all - well most of the time.

Now back to the football lads or I shall get threats again - from Mr Deacon and Co. 

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On 12/01/2021 at 16:56, Keith B said:

It's funny you should say that WOTP. Actually I have written what you could call an autobiography - it's really for my daughters. Covering a period from early childhood, through my teens, learning a trade and going away to sea for some years, cruising the world. Then my years in the Met Police and having retired from that, a short period in forestry (loved every minute) and then twenty odd years as a planning enforcement officer for the Dartmoor National Park Authority. Faced almost as much violence against me in the last job, than I did in the Met, death threats included. Three very different jobs and happy in them all - well most of the time.

Now back to the football lads or I shall get threats again - from Mr Deacon and Co. 

Was speaking to somebody at work a few weeks who was born and raised in the Hoxton area, and remembered your old stomping ground of City Road nick.  He doesn't remember an officer Keith, although he admitted to having "acquaintances" with several of the Queens's constabulary of that parish (we left it at that 🙄).

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On 14/01/2021 at 13:40, Way Of The Park said:

Was speaking to somebody at work a few weeks who was born and raised in the Hoxton area, and remembered your old stomping ground of City Road nick.  He doesn't remember an officer Keith, although he admitted to having "acquaintances" with several of the Queens's constabulary of that parish (we left it at that 🙄).

What date/dates would that have been approximately WOTP ? I was based at City Road nick from 1972 until 79, when I was transferred into Central London. I married a young lady who was a missionary working in a Christian Youth Club in Ivy Street, just off Hoxton Street in 1976 (first time I saw this young lady she was playing football with some lads in a school playground just north of Hoxton Street). We then moved out to Enfield.  

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On 14/01/2021 at 16:55, Keith B said:

What date/dates would that have been approximately WOTP ? I was based at City Road nick from 1972 until 79, when I was transferred into Central London. I married a young lady who was a missionary working in a Christian Youth Club in Ivy Street, just off Hoxton Street in 1976 (first time I saw this young lady she was playing football with some lads in a school playground just north of Hoxton Street). We then moved out to Enfield.  

  

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Back to sporting autobiographies - I have read a number of life stories of rugby players over the years and most recently that of Paul O'Connell, middle row forward for Munster, Ireland and the British Lions. Great player, great thinker of the game and one of rugby union's hard men indeed. 

Struggled to read it after a bit I must admit, due to the way it's written for the most part. That said, like many things, if you persevere - things can get better. Out of respect for this great player I shall persevere and enjoy I'm sure, reading about this true rugby great. The book is entitled ''The Battle''.   

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Hopefully this could be regarded as a sporting biography . A book called " negative gravity " is the story of Beatrice " Tilly " Schilling  . It falls into this category because she was a motorcycle racer  in the 1930's . She was an engineer and built her own motorbikes , she built a supercharged 500cc Norton and raced at the famous Brooklands circuit with some success  and was awarded a Gold Star for averaging 102 mph around the circuit . Small in stature , wearing thick glasses and mostly wearing a boiler suit and a black beret she wasn't the picture of glamour . She worked for the Royal Aircraft Establishment and was somewhat of an expert on engines . During the second world war Spitfires and Hurricanes  had a problem when in dogfights in as much as the engines cut out during dives through fuel starvation . Tilly solved the problem that baffled many men by designing a simple weir system in the fuel bowl . Her simple invention improved  the planes performance and was a great help during the " Battle of Britain " . Her invention was and is forever  known as " Miss Schilling's Orifice "  Later in life she designed a 4 man bobsleigh for the British Olympic team and a braking system for the English Electric Lightning fighter plane . She also worked on formula one race engines as a consultant such was her skill .  She didn't suffer fools gladly and some of her comments on circulars sent from high office in the Air Ministry are quite amusing , for example " how can we make the department more effective and speed up  decision making ? " her reply " sack most of the middle management because the majority of them are  over promoted and bloody useless "    I must admit that she is a bit of a hero to me , taking into account what it was like for a woman to be accepted  as an engineer in a male dominated career . Plus of course she raced motorbikes and cars .

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Just finished a book called Bela Guttman- The Greatest Comeback

It details the story of the great Hungarian who was a trained dance teacher, doctor of psychology, ran an illegal speakeasy bar in Prohibition era New York, was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp and survived the holocaust,. He managed the national sides of Austria, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Brazil, Uruguay and Portugal as well as being head coach of, amongst many others, Milan and Benfica. It was at Benfica that he won two European Cups, discovered Eusebio and, after his sacking, put a 100 year curse on the club and told them that, "they would never win another European Cup in this time." They have since lost eight finals... He is also the man credited for developing the 4-4-2 system in the fifties with Sao Paolo. 

A truly remarkable story about a man few of us have probably heard of, but who can be considered amongst the greatest football coaches of all time.

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1 hour ago, Postman Pat said:

Providing you don’t kiss me- 20 years with Brian Clough. Duncan Hamilton.

I’m not really here. Paul Lake

two excellent books

Would also agree about the jock Morrison book. The good the mad and the ugly

Was thinking of including Jock Morrison in another thread on here (encounters with sport stars), but I am probably not the only person in the late eighties who encountered him in a state of being "highly refreshed"  on Union Street in Plymouth.

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