Carra – My Autobiography
If you struggle to pick up the Liverpudlian accent then don’t bother trying to listen to Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher. You won’t understand a thing. But when it comes to the written word, the boy can really communicate. As an Everton fan, he hasn’t done too badly for the Reds and he tells his story with searing honesty, controversial opinions and loads of humour. Unlike many footballers who write an autobiography, Carragher does actually have something to say and a story to tell. The club’s longest serving player gives his views on managers past and present, the glory days including Liverpool’s extraordinary comeback in the Champions League final against AC Milan in 2005 and why he rejected calls from both Steve McClaren and Fabio Capello to return to the international fold. Like Carragher’s career, this is pretty good from start to finish.
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The Road from Wembley
Football fan John Stoneman came up with an idea in the summer of 2007. To follow every round of the FA Cup. He started off at Wembley FC and proceeded to criss-cross the country, witnessing 14 rounds of the competition, starting of in August and finishing up at Wembley Stadium in May 2008. This is a football odyssey and one that caused strained family relations and a serious hit to his bank balance. In all he travelled over 2000 miles, watched 19 matches and nearly 30 hours of live football. From the dilapidated stadiums of the extra preliminary round to the nightmare of having to try and locate tickets for the glamour games in the later rounds. This is the story of an epic journey and of a true football fan, interested in a little bit more than slavish tribalism.
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Kickups, Hiccups, Lockups: The Autobiography by Mickey Thomas
What can you say about Mickey Thomas? His life has had it all. From growing up on a tough council estate, being unable to read and write at the age of 14 to hitting the big time with Manchester United and Chelsea and of course, ‘that’ goa’l for lowly Wrexham against Arsenal. Off the pitch, he spent his time ‘on the pull’, until he himself got pulled for passing counterfeit money getting banged up for his trouble. Lots of Thomas’s life is public record but there are plenty of secrets revealed in this book by a man who in recent years, has reinvented himself as a successful soccer pundit in the North West. A cult hero and one of the game’s real characters.
Foul: The Secret World of FIFA: Bribes, Vote Rigging and Ticket Scandals
The sporting establishment must be sick to death of award winning investigative journo Andrew Jennings. He’s spent years putting the boot in to the IOC and now FIFA are copping it. The book has been out since last year but if you’ve any interest in the politics of football, this is for you. Jennings spent 4 years researching the book, interviewing hundreds of officials from all round the world. The result is a damning expose of those who run the game right up to the top man, Fifa President Sepp Blatter. Jennings is a master craftsman and his attention to detail marks him out from the rest. If you want to learn how to ‘stick the knife in’ you’ll certainly enjoy Foul.
Swanny: Confessions of a Lower League Legend
You might not have heard of Peter Swan but that shouldn’t put you off reading this belter of a book. He never hit the heights, playing for the likes of Leeds, Port Vale, Hull City and Plymouth but this is a book full of terrific stories and anecdotes. From getting the man of the match award in the 1993 Autoglass Final before which he’d been out on the lash until the early morning to getting sent off for Vale in the Division Two play off final against West Brom. There’s showbiz too, Swan being great mates with Robbie Williams and his number one drinking partner. During his career, he picked up 10 red cards, countless bookings, lived in a haunted house and was always in trouble with managers. But he was always on hand to give a bit back to the community and since retiring has become a successful radio pundit.