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.

My Autobiography
by Ricky Villa with Joel Miller & Federico Ardiles
Vision Sports, £18.99
Reviewed by Huw Richards
From WSC 290 April 2011

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The title, evoking the famous commentary on his greatest moment, and three pages of adverts for other Spurs-related books, make it clear that there is one reason why Ricky Villa's autobiography was commissioned. There are, though, many more reasons than one for reading it. This might easily have been a lazy exercise focussed exclusively on Spurs and treating everything as though it leads to a single glorious moment in the 1981 FA Cup final replay.

The Alex Stepney Story
by Alex Stepney with David Saffer
Vertical Editions, £17.99
Reviewed by Terry Staunton
From WSC 293 July 2011

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On the morning of Manchester United's 1977 Cup final showdown with Liverpool, Alex Stepney left the team's hotel for a stroll and, on coming across a barbershop, decided to get his haircut. As Stepney settled down in front of the mirror, the man with the scissors asked him if he was planning to watch the game later that day, seemingly unaware that his customer was one of English football's most famous keepers.

by Kevin Drinkell
Black and White, £14.99
Reviewed by Pete Green
From WSC 293 July 2011

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Kevin Drinkell was a great centre-forward whose career never quite hit the top. There's a credible argument that he was unlucky not to have made the England squads of the late 1980s. This was partly down to the wrong transfers at the wrong times, admits the player in this autobiography, and partly due to the intransigence and skulduggery of Robert Chase, his chairman at Norwich, in handling approaches from Manchester United and Tottenham.

by Paul Merson
HarperSport, £16.99
Reviewed by Tom Lines
From WSC 292 June 2011

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Most football memoirs carefully ration the racy bits as a way of punctuating the otherwise straightforward retelling of a career. How Not To Be A Professional Footballer does precisely the opposite. Cast adrift with Merse on a seemingly endless sea of lager, cocaine and crumpled betting slips, the sensitive reader ends up desperately scanning the horizon for Alan Shearer paddling towards them aboard an uncreosoted fence panel.

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