My Autobiography
by John Giles with Declan Lynch
Hodder & Stoughton, £19.99
Reviewed by Jonathan O'Brien
From WSC 287 January 2011

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British readers remember John Giles primarily as the stocky, gifted, hyper-aggressive midfield engine of Don Revie's Leeds United. In his native Ireland, he inhabits a loftier plane as the conscience of modern football, having spent 25 years as RTE's main studio analyst.

The Christian Roberts Story
by Christian Roberts and James Leighton
Vertical Editions, £16.99
Reviewed by Gary Andrews
From WSC 287 January 2011

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Christian Roberts burst onto the scene as a fearless 17-year-old at Cardiff City, seemingly set for a glittering career. What followed was an exasperating journey around the west country and Wiltshire while, unknown to fans and even some of his managers, Roberts battled with alcoholism. Eventually he cleaned up at Tony Adams's Sporting Chance clinic, only to see a long-term knee injury force him to retire at the age of 28. The fact that he played half his career drunk makes his performances and natural ability even more impressive and will cause fans of Cardiff, Exeter, Bristol City and Swindon to wonder what might have been.

My Life and Crimes as a Football Hatchet Man
by Peter Storey
Mainstream Publishing, £16.99
Reviewed by Jon Spurling
From WSC 287 January 2011

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Arsenal's Double triumph in the 1970–71 season garnered few of the plaudits which Tottenham had received ten years earlier after winning both the Championship and the FA Cup. Critics insisted that Charlie George (who was injured for much of the season) and George Graham aside, the team was overly functional and, to put it bluntly, dull.  No player appeared to typify the Gunners' distinctly blue-collar, often attritional approach better than midfield enforcer Peter Storey. Granted assorted nicknames during his career, including "Cold Eyes" and "Snouty" (due to his ability to "sniff" out weaknesses in the opposition's midfield), former Chelsea skipper and fellow 1970s hatchet man Ron "Chopper" Harris recently labelled Storey "the bastard's bastard".

Tommy Lawton – My Friend, My Father
by Barrie Williams and Tom Lawton Junior
Vision Sports, £16.99
Reviewed by Harry Pearson
From WSC 288 February 2011

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"Notts County will be the Arsenal of the Midlands." If anything demonstrates the cyclical nature of football it's this comment made by Magpies chairman Len Machin back in the summer of 1957. It is a statement that has been echoed in one form or another ever since by the owners and directors of provincial clubs – including, naturally, those of Notts County.

The Autobiography
by Rick Holden
DB Publishing, £16.99
Reviewed by Dan Turner
From WSC 288 February 2011

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A touchline-hugging, slaloming winger of the old school, Rick Holden brought a swagger to the teams he played for and a left peg capable of laser-guided crosses. Fans also loved his unusual reputation as both a footballing intellectual and all-purpose off-field loon. Read his autobiography and you'll quickly realise that this image is entirely based on fact.

The Autobiography of the First Black Icon of British Football
by Cyrille Regis
Andre Deutsch, £18.99
Reviewed by Neville Hadsley
From WSC 288 February 2011

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Football autobiographies are often a bit of a tease, promising to let fans of particular clubs behind the scenes, in exchange for a wad of cash. This effort from Cyrille Regis, ghost-written by Chris Green, attempts to confound that cliche and reach instead for redemption.

George Best at Hibs
by John Neil Munro
Birlinn, £9.99
Reviewed by Graham McColl
From WSC 289 March 2011

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Scottish club football began the 1970s in the cigar-toting strata of European football, but by the end of the decade it was doing the equivalent of rummaging around looking for fag-ends. Hibernian, whose hugely progressive Turnbull's Tornadoes side had jousted with the likes of Sporting Lisbon and Liverpool early that decade, were chief among the Scottish game's derelicts by the closing weeks of 1979. The Edinburgh club was in an abject state and heading for relegation.

More Than Just Tricks
by Lee Trundle with Chris Wathan
Mainstream, £16.99
Reviewed by Huw Richards
From WSC 289 March 2011

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Lee Trundle always did trade in the unexpected. There is some surprise in a large publisher seeing sufficient demand in a book about a lower-division local hero, but a changing media landscape means that where Robin Friday and co were confined to Saturday night football editions and fan word-of-mouth, Trundle has reached wider audiences through YouTube and Soccer AM.

Steve Hodge
by Steve Hodge
Orion Books, £18.99
Reviewed by Al Needham
From WSC 290 April 2011

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It's not at all surprising that Steve Hodge – who was the prototype for a seemingly unending line of nice, sensible-haircutted players turned up by Brian Clough – should choose to place himself in the role of spear-carrier in his own autobiography. The words "Model Professional" are etched through the book like the lettering in a stick of rock, from the photo of him holding his schoolboy contract in an outfit straight off the rack of C&A's Young Mr Disco collection to being poked in the eye by Eric Cantona at the end of his career.

The Frank McDougall Story
by Frank McDougall & Jeff Holmes
MacDonald Media, £9.99
Reviewed by Dianne Millen
From WSC 290 April 2011

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There are probably not many people who have punched Alex Ferguson in the face and lived to tell the tale – let alone stayed friends with the grumpy Govan genius. But Frank McDougall, the most legendary goalscorer never to be picked for Scotland, can count this among his many claims to Scottish footballing fame. It seems typical of the likeable but somewhat chaotic figure described in this likeable but somewhat chaotic book that he not only lived to tell the tale, but persuaded the great man to contribute a chapter.

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