Ex-Palace striker Mark Bright's moving story among new football titles
OUT NOW: A selection of the latest football books
Mark Bright, the former Crystal Palace and Sheffield Wednesday striker, is the week’s headline-maker with his autobiography, My Story: From Foster Care to Footballer (Constable), which has been featured or serialised in a number of national newspapers, including an excellent piece for the Mail on Sunday by James Sharpe.
Written with the help of Kevin Brennan, who has previously ghosted for ex-Scotland footballer John McGovern, snooker player Willie Thorne and football manager Alan Curbishley, the book describes Bright’s journey from a troubled upbringing in Staffordshire, to earning £10-a-week for his first contract at Port Vale and finally reaching the top of the game, forming a famous partnership with Ian Wright at Crystal Palace and playing in two FA Cup finals before retiring to a career as a sometime media pundit and now full-time coach at Palace.
It is an engaging, sometimes harrowing story. Particularly moving and insightful is his account of his tough childhood in the 1960s and early ‘70s, abandoned by his mother and promptly put into care by a father who could not handle the responsibility, finally settling with a loving foster family in Kidsgrove, and his coming to terms in later life with the effect it had on him.
Another former star whose autobiography has arrived on the shelves in time for Christmas is Tottenham Hotspur icon Steve Perryman, whose record of 854 first-team appearances for Spurs will almost certainly never be beaten.
Perryman was captain for more than 550 of those matches, winning two UEFA cups, two FA Cups, and two League cups in his time at White Hart Lane. In Steve Perryman: A Spur Forever (Vision Sports Publishing) - a beautifully presented book that includes more than 150 illustrations alongside the text - Perryman Steve recalls players he shared the dressing room with, managers he learnt from and many colourful opponents on the pitch. Perryman had a second career in management, including a spell working with Ossie Ardiles at Spurs, and made a bold decision to work in Japan, enjoying a successful stint in charge of J-League side Shimizu S-Pulse, winning the league title and the Asian Cup-Winners’ Cup.
If you’ve ever wondered what’s really going on behind the scenes during those frenetic closing hours and minutes of football’s twice-yearly transfer window, then Boot Sale: Inside the Strange and Secret World of Football's Transfer Window (Yellow Jersey) may be the book to answer your questions.
Writer Nige Tassell speaks to players, managers, chairmen, agents, scouts, analysts, fans, journalists, broadcasters and even bookmakers to hear their experiences of what has become a key period during the football season.
Tassell is the author of The Bottom Corner: A Season with the Dreamers of Non-League Football, also published by Yellow Jersey.
Fans from one half of Manchester will love Manchester City: 125 Years - Our Unseen History (Reach Sport), published to coincide with the club’s 125th anniversary in 2019, which brings together rarely seen pictures from those 125 years in a lovingly-compiled memento.