Showing posts from September, 2014

New e-book taster brings together some classic Cloughie stories

Nottingham Forest and Derby fans have been paying tribute to the memory of Brian Clough in the last few days, 10 years on from his death at the age of 69 on September 20, 2003.   Supporters set aside their differences joined in a minute's applause when the East Midlands rivals met at the City Ground while at Forest's match with Fulham last week, the players entered the field with a guard of honour made up of Forest season ticket holders, all dressed in the green sweatshirt that was the great manager's matchday uniform. Hundreds of Forest fans at the Capital One Cup match against Tottenham wore green sweatshirts provided by the competition sponsors, who are based in Nottingham. Everyone who encountered Cloughie seems to have a favourite story about him, among them the Midlands journalist Dave Armitage, who gathered together 150 of them -- some of his own and a great many shared by others -- in a book cleverly titled 150 BC and had enough left over to follow up wit

FA Cup memories recreate the experience of bygone eras on and off the field

Books that fall into the category of football nostalgia can sometimes become a little tedious, particularly if the author is simply banging on about how the game was better in 'his' time and it is clear that his view of the past comes with a filter for the bad bits. Readers might be forgiven for expecting Matthew Eastley's two-volume offering to be more of the same, a lament for a lost era by a writer who finds it impossible to see any virtue in the football of today. But to suggest that Eastley's look back on the FA Cup finals in the 60s and 70s -- there is another about the 80s on the way -- amounts merely to an outpouring of discontent at the decline of a football institution would do his work an enormous disservice. A corporate journalist by profession, and a lifelong Charlton Athletic fan, Eastley has told the story of two decades of Cup finals not by rehashing the well-worn details of what happened on the field but by revisiting each match through the m

Pietersen in profile: a dispassionate view ahead of the controversial star's own version of events

Kevin Pietersen's autobiography is due out next month, with a promise to reveal the detail of his parting of the ways with the England cricket team, until now shackled by the confidentiality clause that accompanied his dismissal.  Its impending publication has been a long time in the public domain, allowing rival publishers to offer something by way of competition. More often than not, such spoilers are barely worthy of mention, old material rehashed in haste by a writer with no sources of information beyond a pile of newspaper cuttings or, these days, whatever he can turn up on Google. Simon Wilde's book, On Pietersen: The Making of KP, is considerably better than that, being not so much a biography as an appraisal, in the form of a series of essays, by the Sunday Times cricket correspondent, who has reported on Pietersen's career in its entirety, certainly since he first crossed England's radar, and has diligently gone back to many of the coaches and fellow pl