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Good/bad football autobiography

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Old 15-04-2013, 01:44
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What is the best/worst autobiography you have ever read before?
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Old 15-04-2013, 10:28
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According to Holly the computer in
'Red Dwarf' its Kevin Keegans own
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Old 15-04-2013, 10:30
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Peter Schmeichel's was good, so was Ronaldo's(the Brazilian one). I only picked up Ronaldo's because I wanted to know what his full name was and realised I had spent most of lunch-time reading it and so really should buy it.
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Old 15-04-2013, 13:18
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I really liked both of Steve Claridge's.
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Old 17-04-2013, 09:59
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It depends on what you want from an autobiography. Do you want kiss and tell lifestyle type of autobiograhies or one that is more about football?

If you want the football side then I liked two by former Charlton Athletic striker Garry Nelson. He was a footballer, not a celebrity footballer. He didn't do the TV shows, in the newspapers etc.

He wrote two books both getting good reviews from the critics. They are out of print now so unless you want to fork out about £45s on Amazon look on Ebay and they are usally under a tenner including postage.

The first book

Left Foot Forward: A Year in the Life of a Journeyman Footballer (1996)

Garry Nelson is not one of football's household names yet he made almost 650 League appearances in a career stretching back to 1979. This book describes the 1994-5 season at Charlton Athletic but it could be any in which he reveals the ups and downs of what it is like to be an ordinary professional player.

There are the injuries, the battles for selection, and the worries that age is catching up on him, which would mean the end of his career. But there are also the occasional triumphs, such as when he was appointed captain and scored the winning goal in a televised match.

Written with wit, intelligence and insight, LEFT FOOT FORWARD reveals far more about what it is really like to be a footballer than any number of ghosted autobiographies by the big stars. It is destined to become a classic of football writing.

'If your interest in professional athletes lies this side of idolatory, read it. Fear is Nelson's companion; fear lit with occasional shafts of relief. And that is what sport is about' (Simon Barnes, The Times )

'A very good read indeed' (Brian Moore )

'For all the glamour of your Giggsys, Nelson's season portrays a more accurate picture of what life is like for 99 per cent of pros' (Amy Lawrence, FourFourTwo )

'It should be compulsory reading for any ambitious parent intent upon their son playing professional football' (Michael Parkinson, Daily Telegraph )

'The most candid and compelling behind the scenes football book you'll come across' (90 Minutes )

'He has produced a rarity: a book by a practising sportsman that seems to tell it like it really is, intelligently and engagingly' (Independent on Sunday )

Second book

Left Foot In The Grave (1997)

Garry Nelson’s diary of the highs and lows of a struggling third division football league club is an authentic and refreshingly vivid expose of English professional football, with an insight into the problems and day-to-day anxieties of players, backroom staff and management alike.

From the temperamental mini-star through to the no-hoper reject, from early season cheer to end of season gloom, from a glorious triumph to a struggle to put eleven players on the field, this portrayal of the life and times of Torquay United FC captures the essence of what football is all about.

The book also takes in the wider issues, such as the funding of soccer, FIFA and the British transfer system. Through it all, the former Torquay United player-coach never fails to illuminate his words with sharp comparisons and ironic contrasts that are part and parcel of the game in this country.

Following on from his first book, the bestselling Left Foot Forward, Garry Nelson has established himself as an excellent writer and a shrewd and thoughtful analyser of football.

‘Don’t be lured into believing anyone who has spent their career splashing about in the lower divisions can’t possibly write a book that stands up to critical acclaim. How wrong you would be’
Daily Mail

From the Back Cover

In the spring of 1996 Garry Nelson found himself at a cross-roads in his career. His club, Charlton Athletic, was letting him go. After eighteen seasons as a professional player, he was out of a job.

What now for this thirty-something footballer? A move into marketing? Or journalism, perhaps? No, Nelson’s love of the game would not let him walk away so easily. Even though coming from the football league’s bottom club, an offer to join Torquay as player/assistant coach was one he could not refuse.

Overnight, Garry Nelson found himself both a player and back room boy. With one foot in either camp, he began charting the highs, if any, and the many lows of life down among football’s perennial strugglers. In his book, as he takes in these and wider issues such as FIFA, England’s qualifying campaign for the World Cup Finals, players’ wages and the ever increasing commercialism of soccer, Nelson’s sharp comparisons and ironic contrasts soon make it clear that he is writing not only about Torquay but about scores of English clubs, from the likes of Lincoln and Mansfield to Liverpool and Manchester United.

A best-seller in hardback, shortlisted for the 1997 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and now out in paperback, 'Left Foot in the Grave' communicates not how the beautiful game appears to the bystander but, simply, how it is – from the inside. English football has never been more authentically portrayed.
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Old 18-04-2013, 00:16
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I've not read that many but of those I have Tony Cascarino's was the best. It's very good.
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Old 18-04-2013, 09:54
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An old one but Kicked Into Touch by Fred Eyre is well worth a read if anyone can get hold of a copy. It's hilarious.
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Old 19-04-2013, 03:12
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I really enjoyed Terry Christian's "Reds in the Hood".
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Old 20-04-2013, 17:01
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Best I've read is "Walking on Water", Brian Clough. An absolutely fantastic read.

It feels a shame to label it as the "worst" as such, but "Blessed", George Bests autobiography, was a bit of a let down for me. The football aspect of it was fantastic to read about, Manchester United's glory days and all, but I came away from the book feeling no sympathy for the man himself at all - which feels strange in a way, because he was always a bit of a hero of mine.
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Old 20-04-2013, 17:48
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I actually found both of Paul Gascoigne's books really interesting. I didn't mind Michael Owen's either.

Wasn't a huge fan of Robbie Fowler's autobiography.
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