Working Class Heroes is much more than the story of a football club. This is the tale of a working-class neighbourhood, its people's relationship with both their team and the outside world, and how they co-exist. Founded in 1924, Rayo Vallecano recently achieved their highest ever position in the Spanish football league, though shortly after this feat they were brought back down to earth with relegation to the second tier of Spanish football - an outcome wholly in keeping with the historical ups and downs of the club. Madrid is a city overwhelmed by the existence of Real Madrid, though out in Vallecas, just a short metro ride from the city centre, Rayo Vallecano are the only team for the local people. While they accept their role as Madrid's third team, they wear their fandom like a badge of honour, and the club's fan group pride themselves on being anti-fascist. Working Class Heroes is the story of a writer who followed Los Vallecanos around for a year, learning from the fans about the football club and its chequered past.
Author: Gabriel Kuhn
Publisher: PM Press
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Political Science
Examines the effects of big money interests of television and huge stadiums and corrupt politicians on the sport. Explores a radical soccer underground that sees the soccer as "the people's game" and tries to use it to effect fundamental change.
FC Sankt Pauli – the football club in the red-light district of Hamburg; a transvestite chairman; terraces populated by punks, pimps and prostitutes; a club run by anarchists, united under the skull and crossbones flag.This is the cliché that has been lazily peddled, one which attracts clueless stag parties from the Reeperbahn to the Millerntor stadium. But it’s not the real St Pauli.In Pirates, Punks & Politics author Nick Davidson puts the record straight, intermingling the history of FC St. Pauli, and the district it represents, with an account of his own involvement with the club. Back in 2007 Davidson travelled with his father to watch his first game at the Millerntor. What he found reinforced his faith in football.This book goes beyond the stereotype to seek out the real St. Pauli – a club with a passionate, left-wing fan base that has made a stand against, fascism, racism, sexism and both in football and wider society. As the author and countless others have discovered, the Millerntor is also a place which welcomes with open arms fans seeking an alternative to the rabid commercialisation of football elsewhere, encouraging them to stay for hours after the final whistle and immerse themselves in the vibrant fan culture. Read this book and fall in love with a different kind of football.
Author: David Bolchover
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
Release Date: 2017-05-18
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2017. Longlisted for the Coutts Football Writers Association Award 2018. Before Pep Guardiola and before José Mourinho, there was Béla Guttmann: the first superstar football coach, and the man who paved the way for the celebrated coaches of the modern age. More extraordinarily still, Guttmann was a Holocaust survivor. Having narrowly dodged death by hiding for months in an attic near Budapest as thousands of fellow Jews in the neighbourhood were dragged off to be murdered, Guttmann later escaped from a slave labour camp. He was one of the lucky ones. His father, sister and wider family perished at the hands of the Nazis. But by 1961, as coach of Benfica, he had lifted one of football’s greatest prizes: the European Cup a feat he repeated the following year. Rising from the death pits of Europe to become its champion in just over sixteen years, Guttmann performed the single greatest comeback in football history. This remarkable story spans two visions of twentieth-century Europe: a continent ruptured by barbarism and genocide, yet lit up by exhilarating encounters in magnificent cities, where great players would strive to win football s holy grail. With dark forces rising once again, the story of Béla Guttmann s life asks the question: which vision of Europe will triumph in our times?
Sociedad Deportiva Eibar is the Basque side from a passionate soccer town one-third the size of the Camp Nou. Eibar the Brave tells the amazing Cinderella story of La Liga's smallest club, which has seen Barcelona and Real Madrid playing top-tier football at Ipurua, the 5000-capacity stadium that Eibar calls home. Promotion-party pitch invasions are not uncommon; but the night of May 25, 2014 saw a promotion with a difference, involving a wildly unorthodox club. There weren't enough fans to cover the pitch. The celebration was 45 minutes after the final whistle. The team was wearing their away kit despite having played at home. And Eibar could still potentially be relegated! Having followed Eibar and witnessed the madness first-hand, Euan McTear documents the club's first season in La Liga and discusses all the pieces put into place over the years to make 2014/15 a season like no other.
Author: Eoin Hand
Publisher: The Collins Press
Release Date: 2017-11-10
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Eoin Hand’s term as manager of the Republic of Ireland soccer team is often overshadowed by the glory days of Jack Charlton. If Charlton had good luck, Hand was all too familiar with its quarrelsome sibling: bad luck. This is the inside story of his time in football, from his start with Swindon Town at eighteen, through playing for Portsmouth and Ireland, to managing the Irish team. With one of Ireland’s greatest generations of players, such as Liam Brady, Ronnie Whelan and Frank Stapleton, the luck of the draw repeatedly pitched Hand against elite teams. His tenure came to an end when Ireland failed to qualify for the 1986 World Cup. Despite having come closer than any previous manager to qualifying, he endured intense criticism from the press. Eamon Dunphy, who grew up close to him and played alongside him for Ireland, mounted a campaign of fierce abuse. Hand responds for the first time, revealing significant unknown facts about Dunphy. Along with anecdotes about top players and managers, he exposes the inner workings of the FAI and assesses its stewardship of Irish football. Chronicling his time abroad, from England to Saudi Arabia, he reveals how his life was threatened in apartheid South Africa. With unflinching honesty and bracing humour, he also lays bare the personal issues that led to heavy drinking and almost dying of acute pancreatitis. That he managed to pull through at all is testament to the resilience with which this provocative memoir crackles.
For years, Barcelona and Real Madrid maintained a firm grip on the country's and the continent's silverware, but Los Rojiblancos have managed to turn La Liga into a three-team league, with the help of a fiery Argentine coach, a squad of cast-offs, an electric home support, and an overarching commonsense financial plan. In 2000, the capital city side had suffered their first relegation from the top flight since 1930, but just 14 years later they would be crowned La Liga champions. Euan McTear explores the key moments, decisions, goal, s and matches in their extraordinary resurgence, one which has converted Atletico Madrid into one of world soccer's most powerful clubs.
Punk Football tells the story of how supporters have made the incredible journey from the terraces to the boardroom. Initially intrigued by the rise of AFC Wimbledon, the supporter-owned club set up after Wimbledon FC’s relocation to Milton Keynes, Jim Keoghan was drawn into a world in which ordinary fans have started new clubs, taken a stake in those they once followed, and sometimes saved clubs from disappearing altogether. The fan-ownership movement has touched every echelon of the game, challenging the private model that has dominated soccer for over a century. There have been highs and lows, successes and failures, but through it all the dogged determination of fans to be more than paying customers has shone through. Regarded as a revolutionary force in modern sport, the story of Punk Football is one that will appeal to every fan who has ever thought, “I could run this club better myself.”
Once upon a time football was run by modest local businessmen. Today it is the plaything of billionaire oligarchs, staggeringly wealthy from oil and gas, from royalty, or from murkier sources. But who are these new masters of the universe? Where did all their money come from? And what do they want with our beautiful game? While almost cloaked in secrecy, the billionaire owner has to raise his head above the bunker when it comes to football ownership – a rare Achilles heel that allows access to worlds normally off limits journalists and outsiders. In the Billionaires Club James Montague delves deeper than anyone ever dared, to tell this story for the first time. He criss-crosses the world – from Dhaka to Doha, from China to Crewe, from St Louis to London, from Bangkok to Belgium – to profile this new elite, their network of money and their influence that defies geographic boundaries. The Billionaires Club is part history of club ownership, part in-depth investigation into the money and influence that connects the super-rich around the globe, and part travel book as he follows the ever-shifting trail around the globe in an attempt to reveal the real force behind modern-day football. At its heart The Billionaires Club is a football book, about some of the biggest clubs in the world. But it is also about something bigger: the world around us, the global economy, where the world is headed and how football has become an essential cog in this machine.
The Lord of Milan is a work of fiction based on the life of Herbert Kilpin, a textile worker from Nottingham who in 1899 founded AC Milan and led the football team to its first three championship titles. He played for the club until he was 38, in a time of widespread hunger, ice cream-eating assassins and war, while the seeds of fascism took root in Italy. Posing nonchalantly for the camera in his team's famous red and black stripes, cigarette in hand, he openly drank Scotch whisky before, during and after matches, to recharge his batteries. Kilpin died in obscurity in 1916 while his club went on to become one of the most successful in world football. One hundred years after this death, Kilpin is regarded as the father of Italian football. To the fans of his team he is, simply, The Lord of Milan.
Ask a British football fan what they know about Turkish football, and they are unlikely to describe scenes of camaraderie, hospitality and humour. They are more likely to mention banners proclaiming 'Welcome to hell'. Or Leeds United supporters stabbed to death on an Istanbul street. Frustrated by the game's distorted image back home, John McManus set out to show the Turkish football that he knew - the rich, funny, obsessive, fan culture that he had encountered on the terraces. But he hadn't accounted for the politics. His voyage began at the start of one of the darkest periods in Turkey's modern history, marred by bombings, armed conflict and an attempted coup d'état. Football, he would soon discover, could not help but get dragged in. Travelling from the elite training facilities of Istanbul to dusty pitches on the Syrian border, taking in visits to far-flung clubs, encounters with characterful players and experiences at riotous matches along the way, Welcome to Hell? offers a unique perspective on an alluring yet troubled football culture, at once both familiar and miles apart from the game in Britain.
Author: Rob Smyth
Publisher: A&C Black
Release Date: 2014-04-24
Genre: Sports & Recreation
The Denmark side of the 1980s was one of the last truly iconic international football teams. Although they did not win a trophy, they claimed something much more important and enduring: glory, and in industrial quantities. They were a bewitching fusion of futuristic attacking football, effortless Scandinavian cool and laid-back living. They played like angels and lived like you and I, and they were everyone's second team in the mid-1980s. The story of Danish Dynamite, as the team became known, is the story of a team of rock stars in a polyester Hummel kit. Heralding from a country with no real football history to speak of and a population of five million, this humble and likeable team was unique. Everymen off the field and superheroes on it, they were totally of their time, and their approach to the game was in complete contrast to the gaudy excess and charmless arrogance of today's football stars. That they ultimately imploded in spectacular style, with a shocking 5-1 defeat to Spain in the 1986 World Cup in a game that almost everyone expected them to win, only adds to their legend. For the first time in Emglish, Danish Dynamite tells the story of perhaps the coolest team in football history, a team that had it all and blew it in spectacular style after a live-fast-die-young World Cup campaign. Featuring interviews with the players themselves, including Michael Laudrup, Preben ElkjÃ¦r and Jesper Olsen, as well as with those who played or managed against them, this is a joyous celebration of one of the most life-affirming teams the world has ever seen.
More than a century after the Easter Rising, football in Ireland -- like the country itself -- remains divided. At the Euro 2016 finals in France, the country sent two teams -- the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. Both teams did well -- each managed by a man called O'Neill, each resplendent in emerald green and backed by noisy, good natured supporters -- but still they were as much divided as they were united. Green Shoots examines why, almost a century after one Irish Association became two, this is still the case. It traces the overlapping stories and individuals in both associations, beginning with the tale of the boy on the front cover, Johnny Brown, a Belfast Protestant who played for Eire. Brown is the author's great uncle. This is only one strand of the broader story of Irish football. Green Shoots returns to the gures, often overlooked, who contributed so much to the growth of the game in Ireland and who made such an impact in England and Scotland too. Men such as William McCrum from Armagh, who invented the penalty-kick, and Billy McCracken from Belfast who changed the offside law in 1925 are brought back to life. A chronological thread leads from those men to Peter Doherty in the 1950s, George Best in the 1960s to Liam Brady in the 1980s and on to modern day players. Blending original archival research, travel writing, and interviews with many of the game's defining characters, Green Shoots looks at Irish football domestically and internationally. World Cups and European Championships are recalled and re-examined not just in sporting terms, but as defining moments in the country's modern history. Green Shoots is the engrossing account of the inside stories, dramas and dreams of the game in Ireland. Above all it is the definitive history of a footballing nation and its many paradoxes.