Life Of A Football Legend
by John Harding 
DB Publishing, £16.99
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
From WSC 284 October 2010

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Transfer negotiations between the two world wars may not have been as rife with the creative – and occasionally dubious – wheeler-dealings of modern times, but there were still a few inspired solutions to securing the services of a top player. In 1929, when Alex James was looking for a move away from a supposedly tight-fisted Preston to what he considered a bigger and more ambitious club, he resisted overtures from both Liverpool and Manchester City before Arsenal stepped in with an ingeniously structured offer.

The Lost Legacy of a Dundee and Spurs Legend
by James Morgan
Back Page Press, £9.99
Reviewed by Ken Gall
From WSC 286 December 2010

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Your reviewer approached this book with what can be fairly described as some scepticism. After all, can anything be more wearying than another "Where did it all go wrong, George?"/birds 'n' booze/study of a legend of the 1960s and 70s? Happily, however, while there are elements of the above, James Morgan's study of Alan Gilzean offers something else again; combining the career of a great player with an exploration of a personality at odds with our expectations of the great names of the past.

The Robbie Savage Autobiography
by Robbie Savage with Janine Self
Mainstream, £17.99
Reviewed by Joyce Woolridge
From WSC 286 December 2010

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"I have probably watched every adult movie ever made. There's not a lot else to do on Wales duty!... It was the only way to while away a little time when intense boredom set in." Beetroot can turn your pee red. Robbie Savage didn't need to shave until he was 22. He has a big hooter. Steve Claridge is one of the best dancers he has ever seen. At Leicester his team-mates labelled his sillier comments ("What train did the Krays rob?") "the Savisms" and here rattlepate Robbie quite entertainingly reveals every inconsequential detail in his own distinctive style.

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.

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