On the Brink

A Journey Through English Football's North West
Author: Simon Hughes
Publisher: Decoubertin Books
ISBN: 9781909245600
Category: England, North West
Page: 330
View: 4852

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In the winter of 2016 Simon Hughes began a journey through English football's most successful region, meeting the players, the managers, the chairmen and owners that shape the mood of a changing time. From the Premier League to grassroots, in On the Brink, Hughes examines how the landscape of the game across the north west is shifting: how geography explains the way things are; how industry defines identity; how money threatens existence -- and what Brexit might mean for the future.

Two Tribes

Liverpool, Everton and a City on the Brink
Author: Tony Evans
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473526566
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 304
View: 7542

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Cup Final Day, 1986, and the eyes of the world are on Liverpool and Everton as they walk out on to Wembley’s lush green turf. Pumped with pride and passion, the two best teams in Europe are about to engage in a gladiatorial battle in front of 100,000 fanatical supporters. But this is not just another match, another cup final. On this warm day in May, the future of English football – and a city’s reputation – is on the line. A year before this momentous Cup Final, Liverpool fans had been involved in the Heysel disaster. Thirty-nine people had died in the decaying stadium – a tragedy which cast a long, dark shadow over the sport. English clubs were banned from Continental competition, and football reached its lowest point. Tony Evans’s Two Tribes recalls the tumultuous 1985/86 season and the titanic struggle for supremacy between the two great Merseyside clubs. Set against a backdrop of social and political turmoil, it reveals the full impact of Thatcher’s policies, the vibrant northwest music scene and the burgeoning anti-establishment vibe on the streets and on the terraces. Giving voice to players, managers, politicians and musicians, Two Tribes follows the remarkable twists and turns of a season and how Merseysiders took over London for one unforgettable day with deafening chants of ‘Merseyside! Merseyside!’ ringing around Wembley Stadium. Ultimately, this is the story of Liverpool’s renaissance and Everton’s private agony, masked by a show of solidarity and communal spirit on the day, and how a season which began in shame ended in pride.

Making The Grade


Author: Stan Osborne
Publisher: Legends Publishing
ISBN: 190679653X
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 184
View: 6382

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A wonderfully evocative, witty and thought-provoking trip down Memory Lane – one that every Evertonian and ‘nearly-but-didn’t-quite-make-it’ footballer will adore. Stan Osborne’s debut book captures a very special era in footballing history and his highly detailed ‘fly-on-the-wall’ insight into Everton’s 1969/70 title-winning season gives a unique perspective on a very special season – one that also underlines how different life is for today’s want-for-nothing footballing starlets.

Outside the Box

A Statistical Journey through the History of Football
Author: Duncan Alexander
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473536774
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 352
View: 3292

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In football, numbers are everywhere. From touches in the opposition box to expected goals, clear-cut chances to win-loss ratios. In the modern game, these numbers help provide the narrative, the drama, and the conversation. They are scrutinised in order to justify results and to predict future outcomes. They even dictate transfer policy and drive clubs to achieve the impossible. But when did the numbers become so important and what do they mean? In Outside the Box, Duncan Alexander looks back at twenty-five years of the Premier League and beyond, uncovering the hidden truths and accepted myths that surround the game. Using the archives of OptaJoe and never-before-seen data, we discover why Liverpool have gone 27 years without winning a league title and why Lionel Messi is the best player in the game’s history. Or is he? Insightful, wry, and hugely entertaining, Outside the Box is an enlightening and accessible account of football across the decades, analysing data from the some of the greatest seasons, players, teams and managers.

A Civil War

Army vs. Navy Tag - A Year Inside College Football's Purest Rivalry
Author: John Feinstein
Publisher: Little, Brown
ISBN: 0316378046
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 432
View: 6668

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Feinstein follows the Army and Navy football teams through the 1994 season, culminating with an account of the dramatic December face-off, and brings to life one of the oldest and most heated rivalries in American sport.

Ring of Fire

Liverpool into the 21st century: The Players' Stories
Author: Simon Hughes
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473540283
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 432
View: 4280

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Following the success of Simon Hughes’ Red Machine and Men in White Suits, books which depicted Liverpool FC’s domination during the 1980s and its subsequent fall in the 1990s, Ring of Fire focuses on the 2000s and the primary characters who propelled Liverpool to the forefront of European football once again. With a foreword by Steven Gerrard, this is the third edition in a bestselling series based on revealing interviews with former players, coaches and managers. For Liverpool FC, entry into the 21st century began with modernisation and trophies under manager Gérard Houllier and development was then underpinned by improbable Champions League glory under Rafael Benítez. Yet that is only half of the story. The decade ended with the club being on the verge of administration after the shambolic reign of American owners, Tom Hicks and George Gillett. In Ring of Fire, Hughes’ interviewees – including Jamie Carragher, Xabi Alonso and Michael Owen – take you through Melwood’s training ground gates and into the inner sanctum, the Liverpool dressing room. Each person delivers fascinating insights into the minds of the players, coaches and boardroom members as they talk frankly about exhilarating highs and excruciating lows, from winning cups in Cardiff and Istanbul to the political infighting that undermined a succession of managerial reigns. Ring of Fire tells the real stories: those never told before by the key players who lived through it all.

Running with the Firm


Author: James Bannon
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448175313
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 336
View: 5017

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'Of course I'm a f**king hooligan, you pr**k. I am a hooligan...there I've said it...I'm a hooligan. And, do you know why? Because that's my f**king job.' In 1995, a film called I.D., about an ambitious young copper who was sent undercover to track down the ‘generals’ of a football hooligan gang, achieved cult status for its sheer brutality and unsettling insight into the dark and often bloody side of the so-called beautiful game. The film was so shocking it was hard to believe the mindless events that took place could ever happen in the real world. Well, believe it now... Almost twenty years on, the man behind the film has explosively revealed that the script was largely a true story. That man, James Bannon, was the ambitious undercover cop. The football club was Millwall F.C. and the gang that he infiltrated was The Bushwackers, among the most brutal and fearless in English football. In Running with the Firm, Bannon shares his intense and dangerous journey into the underworld of football hooliganism where sickening levels of violence prevail over anything else. He introduces you to the hardest thugs from football’s most notorious gangs, tells all about the secret and almost comical police operations that were meant to bring them down, and, how once you’re on the inside, getting out from the mob proves to be the biggest mission of all. A disturbing but compelling read, this is the book that proves fact really is stranger than fiction.

A Great Aridness

Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest
Author: William Debuys
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199974675
Category: Science
Page: 369
View: 7687

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With its soaring azure sky and stark landscapes, the American Southwest is one of the most hauntingly beautiful regions on earth. Yet staggering population growth, combined with the intensifying effects of climate change, is driving the oasis-based society close to the brink of a Dust-Bowl-scale catastrophe. In A Great Aridness, William deBuys paints a compelling picture of what the Southwest might look like when the heat turns up and the water runs out. This semi-arid land, vulnerable to water shortages, rising temperatures, wildfires, and a host of other environmental challenges, is poised to bear the heaviest consequences of global environmental change in the United States. Examining interrelated factors such as vanishing wildlife, forest die backs, and the over-allocation of the already stressed Colorado River--upon which nearly 30 million people depend--the author narrates the landscape's history--and future. He tells the inspiring stories of the climatologists and others who are helping untangle the complex, interlocking causes and effects of global warming. And while the fate of this region may seem at first blush to be of merely local interest, what happens in the Southwest, deBuys suggests, will provide a glimpse of what other mid-latitude arid lands worldwide--the Mediterranean Basin, southern Africa, and the Middle East--will experience in the coming years. Written with an elegance that recalls the prose of John McPhee and Wallace Stegner, A Great Aridness offers an unflinching look at the dramatic effects of climate change occurring right now in our own backyard.

The Bottom Corner

A Season with the Dreamers of Non-League Football
Author: Nige Tassell
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1473546184
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 320
View: 3203

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Everyone loves an FA Cup upset: a smug Premier League team being knocked out by plucky underdogs. In these days of oligarch owners, superstar managers and players on sky-high wages, the tide is turning against the big teams as fans search for football with a soul. Enter non-league football – the heartland of the beautiful game. Nige Tassell spends a season among the characters who inhabit this world. The raffle-ticket seller who wants her ashes scattered in the centre-circle. The envelope salesman who discovered a future England international. The ex-pros still playing with undiluted passion on Sunday mornings. One thing unites them: they are all dreamers. Tassell ventures all over the footballing map, from the giantkillers of Salford City to hungover cloggers on Hackney Marshes, interviewing obsessive groundhoppers, record-smashing goalscorers, dictatorial managers, ukulele-strumming fans and the captain of the Filipino national team. He makes extended stopovers at both new boys Tranmere Rovers looking for a speedy return to the Football League and the inhabitants of the ‘bottom corner’ Bishop Sutton, who are just trying to get eleven men on a pitch. Hope and ambition. Triumph and tragedy. Faith and despair. All human life is here in the win-or-sink drama of non-league football.

Mud Sweat and Shears

Tales from the Turf - Life as a Football league Groundsman
Author: Dave Thomas
Publisher: Pitch Publishing
ISBN: 1785312952
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 318
View: 7849

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Mud, Sweat and Shears is the story of Roy Oldfield - groundsman at Burnley FC through the 1970s and 1980s. It tells of how he went from miner to parks and recreation man and eventually became one of football's most-respected turf men. On the pitch he saw more bad times than good, but his offer to "Av a brew" was gladly accepted by a procession of football greats: from Brian Clough to Bill Shankly, and Denis Law to Kevin Keegan. He faced daily battles with the weather and directors, but single-handedly produced a pitch which received continued praise from players, managers and referees well before the modern immaculate pitches. Roy used his wits, a mower, wheelbarrow, a couple of forks and sand; in an age when most pitches turned to mudbaths at a drop of rain and games were played on snow. This is a unique football book: through a groundsman's eyes, and it tells the story of what typically went on behind the scenes at one club before football became the multi-million-pound industry it is today.

Massively Violent & Decidedly Average


Author: Lee Howey
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
ISBN: 1785903675
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 352
View: 3134

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Lee Howey was inspired to write this book after reading the autobiographies of other footballers. These were household names with glory-laden careers whose exploits on the pitch will never be forgotten. Yet, despite access to such fabulous raw material, they have mostly produced bloody awful books – predictable, plodding, repetitive, self-important and just plain boring. They may have been better footballers than Howey, but he has written the most entertaining football memoir you are ever likely to read. Not that Lee Howey’s football career is in any way undistinguished. He won the First Division Championship with his beloved Sunderland in 1995 and played in the Premier League against some of the most celebrated names in English football, including Jürgen Klinsmann, Ryan Giggs, Eric Cantona, Gianfranco Zola, Peter Schmeichel, Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Fabrizio Ravanelli – and not always unsuccessfully. It wasn’t all assaults upon the kneecaps on wet Tuesday nights in Hartlepool (though there is plenty of that too). This honest, thoughtful and hilarious book may not end with an unforgettable game at Wembley, or a 100th England cap. However, it will amuse and delight fans of all teams in its portrait of the game of football before it disappeared up its own backside.

Orient to the Emirates

Burnley's Bumpy Ride from the Basement to the Top Flight
Author: Tim Quelch
Publisher: Pitch Publishing
ISBN: 9781785313127
Category:
Page: 272
View: 8016

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This is the story of Burnley Football Club's remarkable recovery from the brink of oblivion, made without the help of ultra-rich benefactors. It concerns the fall and rise of a small-town club, once renowned for its advanced playing style, tactical and coaching innovations and flourishing youth policy.From Orient to the Emirates tells how this former leading club was brought to its kneesduring the mid-80s by adverse economic circumstances and imprudent management, how it narrowly escaped relegation to the Vauxhall Conference in 1987 - and with it probable liquidation - to once again become a force at the top of English football. The story is largely told in the words of those who took part in this incredible 30-year journey - the directors, managers, players, support staff and supporters. It is an uplifting account of success achieved very much against the odds, founded on indomitable spirit, canny planning and, above all, hard graft. As Burnley's brilliant manager, Sean Dyche, puts it: -Maximum effort is the minimum requirement.-

Report from the Interior


Author: Paul Auster
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 0805098593
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 352
View: 6837

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Paul Auster's most intimate autobiographical work to date In the beginning, everything was alive. The smallest objects were endowed with beating hearts . . . Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, internationally acclaimed novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world in Report from the Interior. From his baby's-eye view of the man in the moon, to his childhood worship of the movie cowboy Buster Crabbe, to the composition of his first poem at the age of nine, to his dawning awareness of the injustices of American life, Report from the Interior charts Auster's moral, political, and intellectual journey as he inches his way toward adulthood through the postwar 1950s and into the turbulent 1960s. Auster evokes the sounds, smells, and tactile sensations that marked his early life—and the many images that came at him, including moving images (he adored cartoons, he was in love with films), until, at its unique climax, the book breaks away from prose into pure imagery: The final section of Report from the Interior recapitulates the first three parts, told in an album of pictures. At once a story of the times—which makes it everyone's story—and the story of the emerging consciousness of a renowned literary artist, this four-part work answers the challenge of autobiography in ways rarely, if ever, seen before. A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

From Orient to the Emirates

The Plucky Rise of Burnley FC
Author: Tim Quench
Publisher: Pitch Publishing
ISBN: 1785313711
Category: Sports & Recreation
Page: 333
View: 2295

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This is the story of Burnley Football Club's remarkable recovery from the brink of oblivion, made without the help of ultra-rich benefactors. It concerns the fall and rise of a small-town club, once renowned for its advanced playing style, tactical and coaching innovations and flourishing youth policy. From Orient to the Emirates tells how this former leading club was brought to its knees during the mid-80s by adverse economic circumstances and imprudent management, how it narrowly escaped relegation to the Vauxhall Conference in 1987 - and with it probable liquidation - to once again become a force at the top of English football. The story is largely told in the words of those who took part in this incredible 30-year journey - the directors, managers, players, support staff and supporters. It is an uplifting account of success achieved very much against the odds, founded on indomitable spirit, canny planning and, above all, hard graft. As Burnley's brilliant manager, Sean Dyche, puts it: "Maximum effort is the minimum requirement."

Fifty Years of Hurt


Author: Henry Winter
Publisher: Bantam Press
ISBN: 9780593077139
Category:
Page: 384
View: 6492

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'England invented football, codified it, became champions of the world in 1966 but humiliatingly then forgot how to play the greatest game of all. England took their eye off a ball they arrogantly thought they owned, allowing other nations to run off with it.' It has been "Fifty Years of Hurt" since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup trophy at Wembley, and in this groundbreaking book, Henry Winter will address the state England are in on the golden anniversary of their greatest moment. Part lament, part anatomy of an obsession, both personal and collective, it analyses the truth behind the endless excuses, apportions the blame for the crimes against English football, but is also a search for hope and solutions. "Fifty Years of Hurt w"eaves more than forty exclusive interviews with the biggest names in the game - Jack Charlton, Alan Mullery, Peter Shilton, Glenn Hoddle, John Barnes, Chris Waddle, Gary Lineker, Ian and Mark Wright, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Roy Hodgson - with a narrative dissection of the highs and lows of five decades of football. And as well as players and managers, Henry Winter talks to the fans, to agents, to officials, to the governing bodies, about every aspect, good and bad, of English football, to provide answers to the question: 'where did it all go wrong?'. It is a passionate journey by a writer with vast personal insight into the national team, with unprecedented access to all areas of the game, but also by a fan who wants his England back. The "Fifty Years of Hurt" must end.

The Nowhere Men


Author: Michael Calvin
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448149967
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 400
View: 4020

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Winner of The Times British Sports Book Award 2014. A fascinating insight into the enclosed world of football scouts in the UK A teenaged boy plays football in a suburban park. His name is Raheem Sterling. The call is made: “Get down here quick. This is something special”. Another boy is 8, going on 28. His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town. A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two. His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England. Welcome to football’s hidden tribe. Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.

William Styron

A Life
Author: James L. W. West
Publisher: Open Road Media
ISBN: 1453202862
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Page: 506
View: 6457

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A compelling and authoritative portrait of an American literary master William Styron was one of the most highly regarded and controversial authors of his generation. In this illuminating biography, James L. W. West III draws upon letters, papers, and manuscripts as well as interviews with Styron’s friends and family to recount in rich detail the experiences that shaped each of his groundbreaking books. From Styron’s Southern upbringing, which deeply influenced the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Confessions of Nat Turner and National Book Award–winning Sophie’s Choice, to his feud with Norman Mailer and the clinical depression that led to his acclaimed memoir Darkness Visible, West’s remarkable biography provides invaluable insight into the life and works of a giant of American literature.

The Accusation

Forbidden Stories from Inside North Korea
Author: Bandi
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
ISBN: 0802189342
Category: Fiction
Page: 288
View: 1763

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The Accusation is a deeply moving and eye-opening work of fiction that paints a powerful portrait of life under the North Korean regime. Set during the period of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il's leadership, the seven stories that make up The Accusation give voice to people living under this most bizarre and horrifying of dictatorships. The characters of these compelling stories come from a wide variety of backgrounds, from a young mother living among the elite in Pyongyang whose son misbehaves during a political rally, to a former Communist war hero who is deeply disillusioned with the intrusion of the Party into everything he holds dear, to a husband and father who is denied a travel permit and sneaks onto a train in order to visit his critically ill mother. Written with deep emotion and writing talent, The Accusation is a vivid depiction of life in a closed-off one-party state, and also a hopeful testament to the humanity and rich internal life that persists even in such inhumane conditions.

Scunthorpe Hasta la Muerte

The Extraordinary Journey of English Football's Spanish Pioneer
Author: Inigo Gurrachaga
Publisher: Decoubertin Books
ISBN: 9781909245372
Category:
Page: 176
View: 9454

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In September 1996, Alex Calvo Garcia, a largely unknown Basque footballer arrived in England. Recently released by Eibar in the lower reaches of the Spanish league, the journey represented the 24 year-old's final opportunity to make it as a professional footballer. Without a word of English and at a time when foreign players were rare on British soil - and unheard of in the town of Scunthorpe - the odds seemed stacked against him. What followed was an unlikely eight-year long love affair, in which Calvo Garcia took Scunthorpe United to his heart and embraced the town as its people did him. A Spanish pioneer to the English game, his was a career spent not in the great arenas of football, like Old Trafford and Anfield, but in its less salubrious outposts While he may not have achieved the fame and wealth of some of his compatriots, the happiness Calvo Garcia took from his time at Glanford Park he says made him far richer. In Scunthorpe Hasta La Muerte (Scunthorpe 'til I die), the acclaimed Basque journalist Inigo Gurrachaga traces his Calvo Garcia's career from the Basque country to Wembley, where he scored the goal that took Scunthorpe to the old third division in the play-offs, and beyond. Its narrative embraces the history of football, of Scunthorpe, of the religions, social ideas and stories that shape the followers of a club in North Lincolnshire with a funny name. Part biography, part social history, part meditation on what it is to be an outsider ultimately embraced by the introverted world of football, Scunthorpe Hasta La Muerte is a rare thing: a beautifully written account of the underbelly of English football and a masterpiece of sportswriting.