What's New: this week's new titles in sports books

August 1-7 2011: by Jon Culley

I'm Not Really Here

Paul Lake was a brilliantly gifted Manchester City player earmarked as a future England captain when he snapped the cruciate ligament in his right knee at only 21.  He underwent surgery 15 times but his treatment and rehabilitation were often poorly managed and after six nightmare years in which breakdown followed every attempted comeback, his first marriage collapsed, he suffered financial problems and clinical depression, he was forced to retire.  Lake tells his story with sometimes harrowing candour but without bitterness in a biography already hailed as outstanding.

Published by Century (August 4)

The Smell of Football

Engaging story of Mick ‘Baz’ Rathbone, who rose from awe-struck apprentice at Birmingham to become a decent journeyman pro and ultimately one of football’s most respected physios.  Honest, candid and not always complementary, particularly over the way young players were treated at St Andrew’s.

Published by Vision Sports Publishing (July 26)

Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2011-2012

The ‘Wisden’ of football, the bible of the statistically minded fan, the fat, blue chronicle of the game is rolled out for the 42nd time after another year of meticulous recording, checking and updating of facts and figures by former journalist Jack Rollin and his daughter Glenda, who gave up her job as a legal secretary to work full time on her father’s annual opus.

Published by Headline (August 4)


Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads

Chris Hargreaves was a youth team player at Everton but never made it at the top level, plying his football trade in the lower divisions for 20 years, not pulling a caravan but because of his preference for shoulder length hair attracting the taunts of opposition supporters who assumed he must live in one.  This autobiography follows his trail, which ends with him reaching the top, after a fashion, by scoring a goal in a winning team at Wembley.

Published by The Friday Project (August 4)


My Liverpool Home

Kenny Dalglish’s latest biographical story of his life and enduring love affair with Liverpool Football Club, an emotional tale of highs and lows spanning his time as player and manager,  is updated in paperback to take in his return to management at Anfield in 2010-11.

Published by Hodder and Stoughton (July 21)


No Smoke, No Fire: The Autobiography of Dave Jones

Paperback version of Dave Jones’ candid and painful story of the ordeal the former Southampton manager had to endure after he was falsely accused of sexual abuse while working at a care home on Merseyside after he had retired from playing. The allegations cost him his job and, he believes, hastened the death of his father. Yet he has rebuilt his career. Skilfully ghosted by journalist Andrew Warshaw.

Published by Pitch Publishing (August 1)


No Glossing Over It: How Football Cheated Leeds United
A third book by writer and sometime painter and decorator Gary Edwards, a man so devoted to Leeds United and so scornful of Manchester United that he refuses to paint anything red and offers a discount to customers who ask him to paint red things white.  No Glossing Over It charts more than 40 years in which no success for Leeds has ever healed the scars of perceived injustice.

Published by Mainstream (August 4)


32 Programmes

Dave Roberts, author of The Bromley Boys, relocates to the United States under orders to whittle down his collection of 1,134 football programmes to the number he can fit inside a Tupperware container the size of a Dan Brown hardback, which turns out to be 32.  The story behind each selection effectively tells the story of his life, from ‘youthful football obsession tocrushes on disinterested girls, rubbish jobs and trying to impress skinheads.’

Published by Bantam Press (August 4)


Cyrille Regis: My Story

Paperback version of the autobiography of footballer Cyrille Regis, from growing up in racially divided London in the 1960s as a French Caribbean immigrant, through his development as a semi-professional and then professional footballer, culminating in  and his selection for England and being awarded an MBE for his services to the game and the community.

Published by Andre Deutsch (August 4)


Savage!: The Robbie Savage Autobiography

Paperback edition of the insightful memoirs of football’s most famous pantomime villain. Robbie Savage came through Manchester United’s football school with David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville only to be told he was not good enough to graduate. Yet he fought back to build a successful career and become a love-him-or-loathe-him figure. Co-written by Janine Self.

Published by Mainstream (August 4)


The Man With Maradona's Shirt

Steve Hodge, who managed to put bitterness aside to swap shirts with Diego Maradona at the end of the ‘Hand of God’ match at the 1986 World Cup and still owns the little number 10’s blue and white top, recalls that game and other episodes from football in the 1980s and early ‘90s in this paperback edition.

Published by Orion (August 4)


Gareth Bale: The Biography

Author Frank Worrall’s sixth football biography and the first whose subject does not play for Manchester United, this one tracks the story of Tottenham and Wales wing back Gareth Bale from his schooldays to the Champions League.  Worrall has written three other books with a Manchester United theme, including a biography of Sir Alex Ferguson.  Giggsy, his take on the Ryan Giggs story, came out earlier this summer.

Published by John Blake Publishing (August 1)


Robin Van Persie: The Biography

Robin van Persie has had to live with high expectations ever since Arsene Wenger signed him in 2004 as the man to step into Dennis Bergkamp’s shoes. Then he was asked to lead the Arsenal line following the departure of Thierry Henry.  Injuries have blighted his progress but he has still delighted Arsenal fans with his creativity and intelligence.  Young journalist Andy Lloyd-Williams tells the Dutchman’s story.

Published by John Blake Publishing (August 1)


Swansea City 2010/2011: Walking on Sunshine

Swans fans will enjoy reliving the story of their team’s ascent from the Championship to the Premier League, via the drama of the end-of-season play-offs, as told by Swansea and Welsh football historian Keith Haynes.

Published by The History Press (August 1)


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