Friday, October 13, 2006
Stewart Imlach for Nottingham Forest (v Manchester United), 22nd February 1958
[Predictions are here.]
I made a conscious decision recently to read more football books. Not your average rubbish Cole/Gerrard/Terry/Rooney autobiography, but some interesting books about individuals, eras or teams.
I am going to have trouble finding anything as good as the first one I picked.
"My Father And Other Working-Class Football Heroes" by Gary Imlach tells the story of his father Stewart's career. Whilst ostensibly a biography of his dad, it is more interesting for the way it paints a picture of the game during the 1950s and 1960s. Maximum wages, going to the World Cup with no team manager, life outside football in the 50s all come under the spotlight.
It is an emotional and brilliant read, even if you have never heard of Stewart Imlach or are no supporter of the teams he represented (Bury, Derby, Forest, Coventry, Crystal Palace).
In fact, I'd say it was the second best football book I have ever read (after Tony Cascarino's autobiography which is bloody brilliant.)
Indeed, Gary Imlach's book won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in 2005 which, I think, was probably richly deserved. Well worth a read.