On Life, Football & Cosmetic Surgery
by John Ryan with John Brindley
Scratching Shed, £15.99
Reviewed by Glen Wilson
From WSC 281 July 2010

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"Just a lad from a Doncaster council estate", John Ryan made his money in cosmetic surgery, not as a surgeon, but as a salesman. As he himself says: "I've always seemed to have the ability to persuade people to do what I want." So we can all be thankful that he chose to channel his powers to resurrecting his hometown football club rather than becoming the world's first true super-villain. A life-long supporter, Ryan has taken Rovers from their lowest point to their highest, and all in little more than a decade.

The Story Of The Greatest FA Cup Final Shock Of All Time
by Lance Hardy
Orion, £18.99
Reviewed by Ed Upright
From WSC 283 September 2010

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As a Sunderland supporter born nine years later, I have, on occasion, been accused of intergenerational grumpiness towards the club's 1973 FA Cup win. Acutely aware of the folklore that surrounds it – Bob Stokoe's trilby, John Peel's favourite ever gig (the Faces in the town a week after the semi-final), street parties and rented colour TVs – I've witnessed more rain-soaked half-time raffles drawn by members of the winning squad, while play-off hopes foundered or relegation fears worsened, than I care to remember.

Me, My Dad And The Dons
by Stuart Donald
Hachette Scotland, £ 12.99
Reviewed by Keith Davidson
From WSC 284 October 2010

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Despite the title, this book has nothing to do with Sir Alex Ferguson and his time at Pittodrie. Instead it's a memoir by Stuart Donald, looking back on his childhood as a Perth-based Aberdeen fan in the late 1970s and 1980s, and how his relationship with his father developed while they watched the Dons together during the club's most successful era.

Liverpool Football Club – The Biography
by John Williams
Mainstream, £16.99
Reviewed by Seb Patrick
From WSC 284 October 2010

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There's an inherent problem in writing a "biography" of a football club. The term can suitably be applied to people, who have a finite lifespan of anything up to 80 or 90 years – but when it comes to top-level clubs, the fact that they can reasonably be expected to outlive the author means that it's impossible ever to write a complete one.

The Reinvention of Leeds United
Anthony Clavane
Yellow Jersey, £16.99
Reviewed by David Stubbs
From WSC 285 November 2010

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Thanks to the searing influence of David Peace, Leeds Utd currently burn vividly on the collective consciousness. It helps that their team-sheet remained so constant under Don Revie – nine of the 1963-64 promotion squad were still regulars nearly a decade later. Even many non-supporters of a certain age can recite the classic line-up, as easily as if it were the Dad's Army platoon – Sprake, Reaney, Cooper, Madeley, etc, invariably culminating in Bates – Mick Bates, the perennial substitute and Private Sponge of the organisation.

(and other football stories)
by Mark Hodkinson
Pomona, £7.99
Reviewed by Tom Davies
From WSC 286 December 2010

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Rochdale have long been a totem of English football's fourth tier, a traditional by-word for lower-division failure alongside "the likes of" Hartlepool, Crewe, Torquay or Macclesfield. All of those have nonetheless enjoyed a promotion or two in the past four decades. Rochdale hadn't, until last season when they finally ended a 36-year spell in the basement. Mark Hodkinson had been there for all of them.

The Story
by David Redshaw
Troubador Publishing, £9.99
Reviewed by James Calder
From WSC 289 March 2011

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Admirable though it is, David Redshaw's history of the club he has been following since the late 1980s is not without its flaws. The organiser of a sizeable band of Malaga-supporting foreigners known as the Guiri Army, the ex-pat fan has trawled a variety of sources to piece together a history of football in the city, from the first match in Easter 1904 through to Malaga CF's final game of 2008-09.

The Story of Derby County's Record Breaking 2007-08 Season
by Edgar Smith
Pure Phase, £8.95
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
From WSC 289 March 2011

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Early on in a top-flight campaign that would ultimately end in a litany of unwelcome "records", Derby County's website did manage to strike a brief note of positivity. Pride Park was (drum roll) the first UK football ground to install a branch of Starbucks. However, as the back slaps and double-espressos-all-round subsided, it was soon time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Revie Revered And Reviled
by Richard Sutcliffe
Great Northern Books, £16.99
Reviewed by Duncan Young
From WSC 291 May 2011

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Keep Fighting The Billy Bremner Story
by Paul Harrison
Black and White, £14.99
Reviewed by Duncan Young
From WSC 291 May 2011

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Don Revie and Billy Bremner, manager and captain of the triumphant Leeds Utd team of the 1960s and 1970s, are inseparable in the public consciousness. There's also the idea of an unshakeable bond between them and, not far under the service, the suggestion that their success was sinister and tainted. The Damned United reanimated their pantomime villain incarnations, but feelings of injustice have inspired some authors to try to counter these perceptions and highlight what was good about both men.

Conflicts and Conscience in an English Football Club
by Matthew Bell & Gary Armstrong
Peakpublish, £16.99
Reviewed by Ian Rands
From WSC 292 June 2011

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A book detailing the comings and goings of the Sheffield United boardroom over the last 30 years may not seem to have universal appeal. But while stories of mismanagement and its fallout are familiar to a large number of football fans, this tale warrants further telling due to the extraordinary cast of characters. These include the country's biggest white-collar fraudster, an Iraqi businessman later to undergo gender realignment before subsequent reversal, a chairman subject to an international arrest warrant, a fugitive still on the run from Interpol and a London socialite known as "The Count" with indirect connections to Libyan arms dealers.

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