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In Search of Alan Gilzean - The Lost Legacy of a Dundee and Spurs Legend
 
 

In Search of Alan Gilzean - The Lost Legacy of a Dundee and Spurs Legend [Kindle Edition]

James Morgan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Review

In Search of Alan Gilzean is as enigmatic as the subject and James Morgan, whose father I may have bumped into while worshipping the early Gillie at Dens Park, should take that as the highest compliment. An absolutely enchanting book. A cracking read. --Patrick Barclay, The Times

Morgan too is modest. He is something of a philosopher. At one point he notes that in satisfying our hunger for truth, we stifle our imagination. But his book is a quest, a search for truth that never offends the imagination but stimulates it ... Gilzean was evasive, but Morgan was assiduous as he tracked down his old team-mates in the Dundee title-winning team, spoke to people who d known him as a boy, and talked with journalists and some of Gilzean's Spurs contemporaries ... Morgan writes with such unaffected honesty ... So many football books are laddish, flashy and in your face; this one is gracious and subtle, and in many ways its modest tone reflects its subject. Gilzean was a sublime player, but a quiet man. --Harry Reid, The Herald

The memory of Gilzean has been re-awoken. Morgan is rightly aghast that there is no plaque honouring Gilzean, or a street named after him in Coupar Angus. He likens it to his own hometown, Belfast, failing to mention that George Best happened to be a native. But Best, unlike Gilzean, is no longer with us --Alan Pattullo, The Scotsman

Morgan too is modest. He is something of a philosopher. At one point he notes that in satisfying our hunger for truth, we stifle our imagination. But his book is a quest, a search for truth that never offends the imagination but stimulates it ... Gilzean was evasive, but Morgan was assiduous as he tracked down his old team-mates in the Dundee title-winning team, spoke to people who d known him as a boy, and talked with journalists and some of Gilzean's Spurs contemporaries ... Morgan writes with such unaffected honesty ... So many football books are laddish, flashy and in your face; this one is gracious and subtle, and in many ways its modest tone reflects its subject. Gilzean was a sublime player, but a quiet man. --Harry Reid, The Herald

The memory of Gilzean has been re-awoken. Morgan is rightly aghast that there is no plaque honouring Gilzean, or a street named after him in Coupar Angus. He likens it to his own hometown, Belfast, failing to mention that George Best happened to be a native. But Best, unlike Gilzean, is no longer with us --Alan Pattullo, The Scotsman

Morgan too is modest. He is something of a philosopher. At one point he notes that in satisfying our hunger for truth, we stifle our imagination. But his book is a quest, a search for truth that never offends the imagination but stimulates it ... Gilzean was evasive, but Morgan was assiduous as he tracked down his old team-mates in the Dundee title-winning team, spoke to people who d known him as a boy, and talked with journalists and some of Gilzean's Spurs contemporaries ... Morgan writes with such unaffected honesty ... So many football books are laddish, flashy and in your face; this one is gracious and subtle, and in many ways its modest tone reflects its subject. Gilzean was a sublime player, but a quiet man. --Harry Reid, The Herald

The memory of Gilzean has been re-awoken. Morgan is rightly aghast that there is no plaque honouring Gilzean, or a street named after him in Coupar Angus. He likens it to his own hometown, Belfast, failing to mention that George Best happened to be a native. But Best, unlike Gilzean, is no longer with us --Alan Patullo, The Scotsman

Morgan too is modest. He is something of a philosopher. At one point he notes that in satisfying our hunger for truth, we stifle our imagination. But his book is a quest, a search for truth that never offends the imagination but stimula --Alan Patullo, The Scotsman

Morgan too is modest. He is something of a philosopher. At one point he notes that in satisfying our hunger for truth, we stifle our imagination. But his book is a quest, a search for truth that never offends the imagination but stimulates it ... Gilzean was evasive, but Morgan was assiduous as he tracked down his old team-mates in the Dundee title-winning team, spoke to people who d known him as a boy, and talked with journalists and some of Gilzean's Spurs contemporaries ... Morgan writes with such unaffected honesty ... So many football books are laddish, flashy and in your face; this one is gracious and subtle, and in many ways its modest tone reflects its subject. Gilzean was a sublime player, but a quiet man. --Harry Reid, The Herald

The memory of Gilzean has been re-awoken. Morgan is rightly aghast that there is no plaque honouring Gilzean, or a street named after him in Coupar Angus. He likens it to his own hometown, Belfast, failing to mention that George Best happened to be a native. But Best, unlike Gilzean, is no longer with us --Alan Patullo, The Scotsman

Product Description

NOMINATED FOR BEST FOOTBALL BOOK OF 2010 IN THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS
Updated second edition

True greatness does not feel the need to proclaim itself from the rooftops. It is happy to state its case quietly, yet with utter conviction. Alan Gilzean was a truly great footballer. Every observer of his talent confirms this as an indisputable fact: from the legendary Jimmy Greaves, who regards him as the best striker he ever played with, to Don Revie, the former Leeds United and England manager, who described the former Tottenham striker as the best touch player in Europe, and Spurs fans whose spine-tingling refrain, Gilzean, Gilzean, Born is the King of White Hart Lane, continues to echo down the generations.

It is now 36 years since Gilzean retired from professional football and his life and times have become shrouded in mystery and rumour. All that exists are the memories of his greatness ... but how long before even those are forgotten forever? After fans on Tottenham Hotspur online forums claim that Gilzean is living as a down-and-out, James Morgan, a lifelong Spurs fan and sports journalist with The Herald, Scotland's leading quality newspaper, is filled with a fierce desire to separate fact from fiction and sets out on a journey In Search of Alan Gilzean.

The facts of his illustrious career are down in black and white: 169 goals for Dundee, including 52 in one season, a record that stood until Henrik Larsson broke it in 2001; a league championship medal with the great Dundee team of the early 1960s; then, a move to Spurs in December 1964, where, over the course of the next decade, he forms unforgettable partnerships with Greaves and Martin Chivers. Gilzean's greatness shines like a beacon, but where is the rest of his story?

Morgan soon discovers that a sprinkling of newspaper cuttings, a Wikipedia page and idle internet chatter, are all that exist of a life less ordinary. The Scottish Football Association Hall of Fame website included a Swede, Larsson, and a Dane, Brian Laudrup, but no Gillie. Dundee FC has named lounges after former players who are not fit to lace Gilzean's boots. Spurs haven't heard from him in years. Former team-mates are none the wiser. One of the best British strikers of his generation is a forgotten man. Morgan's desire to change this, and find out the full story, takes him on an exhilarating personal journey all over Britain. From Gillie's birthplace, in the small Perthshire village of Coupar Angus, to Dundee, London and beyond, he leaves no stone unturned.

Initially, Gillie hovers in the shadow before emerging as a fascinating and complex character whose natural reticence has obscured his legacy. Morgan's portrait of the original King of White Hart Lane restores him to his rightful place in football folklore and stands as the only faithful testimony to the life of a bona fide British football legend.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 477 KB
  • Print Length: 250 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0956497101
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: BackPage Press; 2 edition (17 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005ZG3Y3E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,568 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

James Morgan is a sports journalist with The Herald, Scotland's leading quality newspaper. Born in Northern Ireland in 1974, he grew up on stories of the great Spurs double-winning team of the 1960s and has been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter since waking one Christmas morning to discover a hair shirt of an Admiral kit waiting for him on the living-room settee. Thirty-two years on, he is still waiting for Spurs to repeat the feats that his late father, Jim, was so enamoured by.
He wrote In Search Of Alan Gilzean during the months after his first child was born; in the few short hours between nappy changes, bottle feeds and bath times. There were, of course, floods of tears along the way. Some of them were even his son's.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read! 24 Oct 2010
By Hambo78
Format:Paperback
Great read about a great player who I didn't know a lot about. I enjoyed the Dundee years, but it was the Spurs stuff that really interested me. In that context, I have to take issue with Phillips Alun David. To say the writer was given short shrift by "all the Spurs stars" he attempted to interview is plain wrong. One of my favourite parts was the joint interview with Cliff Jones, Alan Mullery and Phil Beal which, if memory serves me, actually takes place at White Hart Lane on a match day. Then there was the warm testimonies of Jimmy Greaves, Eddie Bailey and countless others. I'll agree with one thing, though. Perryman emerges as a true gent. I hope this book brings Gillie's name to a new generation of fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, memories 23 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
To review a book about one of my early football heroes is a pleasure. Alan Gilzean was a local Angus lad who gained fame in the excellent Dundee FC team in the early 60s. I missed their winning the league title for the only time (having as a school boy fan followed the earlier team of 1948/49 who narrowly lost the league title to Rangers by a last day defeat by Falkirk)but on leave from Nigeria I saw some of their games in the European Cup when they reached the semi final. After that economics took over and the team broke up with Gilzean being sold to Spurs, Ure to Arsenal and Gordon Smith retiring.
Good to read of those days and to hear about Gilzean - a modest and rare type of footballer, not showy but a team man to the core.
I enjoyed the search for him and it was a real trip down memory lane for me - thanks to the author James Morgan - and to Alan Gilzean, a modest, under-rated giant of the game.
Jeff McLachlan
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Football Legend 21 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
As a life long supporter of Dundee, I was very sad last week when the Club went into administration for a second time within seven years and therefore decided to buy James Morgan's book to remind me of happier days. The book is excellent and captures the true essence of this very modest man who was simply one of the best players ever to wear the Dark Blue jersey.It is not a normal football biography and is exceptionally well researched and written.

Morgan only had a couple of hours with the legend but was able to capture the true character and enigma of Alan Gilzean by talking to old school friends and past playing colleagues at both Dundee and Spurs. Gilzean's comment (said before this week's breaking news) that "Rooney is a good player but not a great player" just shows how sharp and intelligent the man still is. Players of Alan Gilzean's stature played with pride and passion for their clubs in stark contrast to today's modern mercenaries.This book is highly recommended not only to supporters of Dundee and Spurs but to all true football fans.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks for the memory, Gillie 19 Oct 2010
Format:Paperback
An excellent book on a complex character, but one who had a tremendous impact on Scottish and English football. Well worth a read, and more books like this should be written!
David Potter
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A never fading Star 11 Oct 2010
By Patch
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A wonderful book stirring warm and treasured memories of one of football's most skillful and entertaining performers. Always the King to Spurs fans and clearly to those at Dundee too.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of White Hart Lane 11 Oct 2010
By Crawf
Format:Paperback
A brilliant book, well researched and something for all fans not just those of Scotland, Dundee and Spurs. The player had a touch of class and so does this book. A cracking read. Thank you James Morgan for your effort you must be very proud of the finished product.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost And Found 30 Sep 2010
By Steve
Format:Paperback
When you see all the books on or by footballers on the shelves these days, players who have done quiet well for 50 games, you wonder where the books of the legends are. The players that did it year in, year out. The players that played for the jersey, and actually cared for the teams they represented. Alan Gilzean is one of those legends, and this is one of those books.

Crafted with care and consideration, James Morgan's mission to get Gillie his rightful place in the Scottish Football Association's Hall of Fame tells the tale of a bygone era, and of a man happy to leave the football hooha behind when he retired.

An exception read, for Dundee, Tottenham and Scotland fans especially, but also for anyone who wants to know what happened to 70's players who didn't want to manage or run a pub. Marvellous.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The King of White Hart Lane 28 Sep 2010
By Martin
Format:Paperback
This is a must have book for any Spurs fan young or old. Gillie is the forgotten man of days gone by but he was a true legend. Older fans who saw him play will be reminded of the great man's service to Spurs and for younger fans who have only heard of Gillie from fathers and grandfathers will now be aware of why he is held in such esteem by Spurs fans.
Easy to read, I couldn't put the book down it was so compelling. Painstakingly researched it is full of interesting facts of his time at Dundee and Spurs, interviews with former Spurs greats and fellow professionals. Great credit to James Morgan for bringing back the memories of Gillie.
Buy this book and you won't regret it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellently written
I really enjoyed this book. It's a very well written account and a change from the usual mundane football biography offerings.
Published 22 hours ago by max
5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
The book was great as I remembered Alan Gilzean as a player. It was a great insight to his life
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars book alan gilzean
just what I expected, no more, no less. Typical football book, just a pity it was not issued in hardback form.
Published 6 months ago by richard raginia
2.0 out of 5 stars a bit flat
There's a lot of great info here on Dundee and Spurs. Not to mention interviews with many key figures at both clubs from the 60s and 70s. Read more
Published 6 months ago by nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic gold
Brilliant reading about real football when it was played by proper footballers and before the foreign players came in with the agents and spoiled it all.
Published 6 months ago by alan stevenson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great
A poorly written and drab read. Turgid. Apparently I have to use more words than necessary to review this book so this sentence is superfluous.
Published 6 months ago by Martin Woodall
4.0 out of 5 stars Genius honoured
A compelling book which combines a sincere love of a football hero (in this case of a father's hero) with something approaching a detective story. Read more
Published 8 months ago by David Thomas Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book !!
A very interesting book about a Scottish legendary footballer !! This book is a must for all Spurs and Dundee FC fans plus all Scottish fans !!
Published 10 months ago by J. F. M. Low
4.0 out of 5 stars Football stories from a time past
Alan Gilzean was some football player, always a bit of a hero of mine. This book tells his story with just about no input from the man. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Nordic crime fan
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic,
one of the best football books i have read,brought a tear to my eye many time,wish he played for Bonnie Scotland now,
Published 10 months ago by DAVID WILLIAM WARDEN
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