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Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God and the Biggest Rows in World Football [Hardcover]

Graham Poll
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Oct 2009

Ex-referee and now fearless writer and football pundit, Graham Poll is no stranger to controversy. His latest book is an entertaining and provocative reappraisal of the major incidents in World and English football down the years – from Geoff Hurst’s goal in ‘66, through Maradona’s ‘Hand of God’ to the infamous Battle of the Bridge in 2009.

Graham Poll, England’s highest profile referee of the last two decades, refereed over 400 Premiership games, involving more than 1.5 million spectators, and at two World Cups, placing him at the centre of some of the most controversial incidents in football.

So what does Poll make of some of the biggest rows in English and World football down the years? Would modern referees have reached different key decisions? What can the game learn from the mistakes of history?

In this follow-up book to Seeing Red, Poll’s bestselling memoirs, we get an informative, frequently provocative but always entertaining romp through the pages of football history and the major incidents that sent shockwaves through the game. The book revisits in startling clarity all those much talked about football moments that continue to be the topic of pub debate among football fans the world over – and turns everything on its head.

What was the real reason for the linesman giving Geoff Hurst’s goal in 1966 at Wembley? In the infamous Maradona ‘Hand of God’ game, why should the behaviour of Argentine players have helped the ref disallow the goal? How does Kim Milton Nielson, the official who red-carded David Beckham against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, view the decision now? And was video technology used to 'convict' Zinedine Zidane of his World Cup Final head-butt?

Framed with other fascinating football facts, personality profiles and colourful anecdotes, these stories and more – including football's most recent controversies – provide a rich seam of material for Graham Poll, in his usual no-nonsense style, to set the topical football agenda and to enrich our knowledge and understanding of the beautiful game.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperSport (1 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007313748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007313747
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 13.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


Praise for Seeing Red:

‘Poll's fascinating response to years of criticism as one of England's top officials is far more interesting than the standard fare trotted out by most players these days – it also evokes the rarest of things in a football fan: sympathy for the referee.' FourFourTwo

Praise for Graham Poll:

‘He’s made a real contribution to football with his ability and personality’ Sir Alex Ferguson

About the Author

Graham Poll was born in 1963. A one-time employee of Coty – where he turned down a Sales Directorship to pursue a refereeing career – he has over 27 years of experience as an FA Premier League and international referee. He has been the English representative at two World Cups and Euro 2000, and has handled games from the Bernebeu to the San Siro, and from Old Trafford to Stamford Bridge. He retired from refereeing in the summer of 2007 and currently works in the media and as a motivational speaker at corporate events.

Mick Dennis is the football correspondent on the Daily Express and collaborated with Poll on his bestselling autobiography Seeing Red.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The referee can make mistakes....a good read. 23 Jun 2012
Wan't sure I would read enjoy this but I did. It provides real insight into the work of a referee. I like most football fans probably blame the referee when decisions go against my team. Maybe not so much again. The discussion on some of the most contraversial decisions in recent times are discussed and reasons put forward why they might have been wrong ....or right......! Maradona's hand of God....was the referee the only one in the World who did not see it? Was the Goal over the line in the 1966 Wolrd Cup Final? I will not give anyhting away but the disussion on it makes for interesting reading. His comments on the bahvaiour of the press makes for interesting reading and I am sure most decent minded readers will agree with him. I suppose the real message of this book is that referees are human and do make mistakes.....The book is intelligent, interesting, well written and an ejoyable read. Highly recommended to all football fans and the football media experts......who clearly do not know what they are talking about!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Poll's opinions worth reading 27 Sep 2010
Most football fans will find learn something from this book.
In the media Poll can come across as a bit of a know-all but he does a good job here in recounting some of the most controversial World Cup decisions over the years, from Hurst's second goal in the 1966 World Cup Final (nice one, lino!) to Zidane's dismissal in the 2006 Final (which most people believe was down to the fourth official looking at a TV monitor).
Try taking it to the next match you attend and hand it to the bloke behind you when he leaps out of his seat to berate one of the officials.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Insight 17 Feb 2010
Graham examines many major incidents in detail, gives his opinion and that of other referees involved at the time to provide a fascinating insight into them.
The book not only provides such thoughts and opinions but gives food for thought for any referee who thinks deeply about his own performance and could be very useful to newer referees. In my opinion, a different kind of refereeing book and definitely one of the best ever books by referees.
Geoff Hurst, the Hand of God and the Biggest Rows in World Football
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4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 4 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Always interesting to get anothers point of view but I found the style of writing a bit basic but maybe that's what it was supposed to be. A good holiday read, which is what I chose it for.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Helps a bit 2 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I only really bought this as it was on offer at 99p.It has however helped me understand a few of footballs laws better.However he still seems to have a chip on his shoulder over the 3 yellow cards incident.We all make mistakes like he says,but dwells a bit too much on it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Maridoa excuses and hurst 30 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The old time soccer news and history about things I lived through and what a hard job a ref has got
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