Showing posts from December, 2015

Books for Christmas: A Sports Bookshelf selection of gift idea for the sports fan

What can be recommended as a Christmas stocking filler from 2015's crop of sports books? Given the whiff of corruption rising pungently from the upper echelons of athletics and football, this may not be a good Christmas to celebrate the glories of contemporary sport.  As an antidote to unwelcome scandals, there is always the memory of more innocent days to fall back on and this year there are several absorbing diversions. Football romantics, particularly those with ties in Nottingham and Manchester, have a couple of gems to take them back. Evocative of a wonderful moment in the history of the English game is I Believe In Miracles: The Remarkable Story of Brian Clough's European Cup-winning Team (Headline), a superb reconstruction by Daniel Taylor of the rise, in the late 1970s, of Nottingham Forest from Midland mediocrities to double European Cup winners under a manager of unconventional genius, Brian Clough. Taylor's interviews with many of the principal chara

The Summerbee, Bell and Lee years: new book revisits Manchester City's other golden era under Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison

Forever Boys: The Days of Citizens and Heroes, by James Lawton (Wisden Sports Writing) £18.99 Jim Lawton's disappearance from the pages of The Independent has been mourned by many whose reading experience was enriched by the depth and elegance of his prose as he described the great moments in sport from around the world. Happily, freed from the requirement to deliver a daily commentary -- not that he ever saw it as a chore -- Lawton has had time to research and write a fine book that has taken him back to the beginnings of his career as a national newspaper sports writer in Manchester, when he was privileged to report on the emergence from United's shadows of the Manchester City side managed by the venerable Joe Mercer and coached by his assistant, the maverick Malcolm Allison, who between them oversaw the creation of a brief but brilliantly golden period for the sky blue half of Lancashire's great city. It might be argued that, in many respects, there has never