Sunday, November 05, 2006

Trevor Cherry for Leeds United (v Liverpool), 10 August 1974

A while back I mentioned I had decided to read some interesting football books, and the first choice had been a good one.

I have just finished this astonishing work.

I am not sure where to start. The Guardian's Richard Williams describes it thus: "Amazing. I can't imagine there's ever been a more extraordinary football novel in any language".

That pretty much sums it up. It is a fictional account (if based on facts) of Brian Howard Clough's forty-four days in charge of Leeds United in the early 1970's. Whether you liked Cloughie or Leeds, it is a sensational read and I would urge anyone out there to give it a try. You really won't be disappointed.

Sports Book of the Year. Fact.


Martin said...

Can't agree with you enough, Lord B. I haven't read any other football book that comes close. Being a Forest supporter it doesn't cover the period of Clough's life that I'm most interested in but that really doesn't matter. The characterisation, movement between different clubs and writing style is outstanding.

Not sure what your average Leeds fan would think about it though.

El Tel said...

I guess the thing about a novel/biography with a heavy football theme, is that it would be a big turn-off to almost all non-football people. I'd have prejudices against cricket, rugby union, and a lot more too. Must be quite pleasing when this sort of book is taken up by a non-football person who then appreciates it... reminds me of taking 'non-football people' to their first match and trying (and succeeding) to show them that football can be about a lot more than just 90 minutes of 22 men faffing about after a ball (or whatever else their expectations are - usually related to hooliganism).

'Thought for the Day' was presented by the Reverend El Tel. And now, Woman's Hour...