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Once in a Lifetime: The Incredible Story of the New York Cosmos [Paperback]

Gavin Newsham
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 May 2006
In 1971, Warner Brothers bought a local football team, the New York Cosmos. In 1975 the club signed a three-year deal with Pele, the greatest player the game had ever known. More big name signings would follow: the German superstar Franz Beckenbauer, the charismatic Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning captain, Carlos Alberto. Almost overnight, the Cosmos became the hottest ticket in town. Celebrities like Robert Redford, Mick Jagger, Barbara Streisand and Steven Spielberg attended games. Cosmos players were mainstays of the hedonistic club scene at Studio 54. Set against the backdrop of a city on the edge, Once In A Lifetime is much more than a football book. It is a vivid evocation of the mania that surrounded the Cosmos at the height of their powers in 1977 and the explosion in new forms of popular culture, the debauchery of Studio 54 and the razzmatazz and conspicuous expenditure that surrounded them. It is a story that embraces millionaires, superstars, gangsters, groupies, glamour, power struggles, alcoholic excess, drugs, and full-on fistfights. It also has some of the greatest football players ever to grace the game.

Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books; 1st edition (11 May 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1843543753
  • ISBN-13: 978-1843543756
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 538,355 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

GAVIN NEWSHAM is a journalist and writer based in Brighton. He is currently a Contributing Editor at Maxim, the world's biggest-selling men's life style magazine and is a regular contributor to the Observer's Sport Monthly magazine. Previously, he has been the Senior Writer at the groundbreaking football magazine 90 Minutes and the Chief Features writer on the multi-award winning FHM magazine. His first book, a biography of the golfer John Daly, Letting The Big Dog Eat, met with widespread critical acclaim on its release in June 2003.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Out Of This Cosmos 26 May 2006
Having spent alot of time in New York during the mid-Seventies I was really excited when a friend told me about this book. I went to see a couple of Cosmos games and this book really captures the feeling of the City at the time and the boom-bust attitude of the team's owner and many of the players he recruited. He wanted the best and got the best. Including Dennis Tueart. This book is really well researched and a thoroughly entertaining read. It also contains many pictures which made my memories of that time come flooding back. So thanks for that.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New York Was Never the Same Again 4 May 2006
If you like football, clubbing, New York, tales of Pele, Beckenbauer etc this is the book for you. Author Gavin Newsham has done a great job of recreating those few years in the 1970s when America finally realised what football was all about; and when the cream of European and South American football, imported by the Cosmos, realised what New York was all about.

It's a great read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story that goes way beyond football 18 May 2006
By Adrian
Ask any casual football fan about New York Cosmos and they won't get much further than Pele. This book is a fantastic soap opera of sporting shenanigans and political intrigue; anyone with the merest passing interest will find themselves enthralled. It said in one of the papers that Pele wanted too much money to get involved in the project (there's also a film of the same name which I haven't seen). More fool him for writing himself out of this fascinating piece of sporting history.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Football revolution ???? 30 Sep 2008
By b
The New York Cosmos, their rapid rise to greatness and equally abrupt disintegration, is a fascinating detour down football's history. Newsham's history charges the development of the club as its ambitious owners sought to make it a thriving part of the Warner entertainment Empire, challenging to sign the best players in the world even if their pitch needed to be painted green. It is an informative and entertaining read though I would have liked the writer to consider the international effects of the Cosmos as well as some of the American issues. How did the great clubs of Europe feel about their new rival and were they affected by losing some of their best players to the NASL?
Newsham's writing at its best conveys the excitiment and pressures of the matches of football and conjures up many of the great personalities who were associated with the club.
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