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Samba In The Smethwick End: Regis, Cunningham, Batson and the Football Revolution Paperback – 4 May 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (4 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840181885
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840181883
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 850,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By histevegray@breathemail.net on 13 Jun. 2000
Format: Paperback
This is far more than a book about three players and a black country football club. It profiles three young reluctant black trailblazers both individually and as part of a team, what they went through individually and the effect they had on football, the local people and the team. The character portraits are revealing and riveting and whilst the books' hypotheses about football, music and politics may not be everyone's cup of tea but they enthusiastically argued and provide food for thought. There is a good range of quotes,but they are mainly from people who are still in the club or close to the 3 degrees and you feel that some input from a diferent background would have added some perspective. There is much more in this book than you would expect. It sweeps a broad canvas with intelligence, humour, style and enthusiasm and it is beautifully written with a pace,flow and grace more suited to Laurie Cunningham than a non fiction book. If you've read this far buy it, and buy it now.
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Format: Paperback
This book is mainly focused on the plight of the so-called Three Degrees and their long term impact on English football, which information is fascinating. However, it also looks at the socio-economic aspects which resulted in the 1980s decline in the fortunes of some West Midland clubs, namely Albion, Wolves and Birmingham City. It provides some of the answers that many fans had been asking on this subject.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Worpledon on 21 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback
In fact, if you're a Wimbledon fan, there isn't much about your team but you WILL find the answer to my question.
This is really two books. The first, about the first time that three black footballers played at the same time in the same BIG team, West Bromwich Albion, at the end of the 1970s. This part is fascinating. The degree of racism in society and in football at that time is disturbing but the lives of Batson, Cunningham and Regis are also well described. All three men were remarkable in their way. Cunningham's life was one of unfulfilled but great potential, with a tragic ending.
The second part of the book is about why the West Midlands has not known really great success in football in recent times. There are theories, some of them quite convincing, but there is a repetitive tendency, which put me off reading the last two chapters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
A thorough portrait of a less enlightened time in England 6 Mar. 2007
By D.S. Chen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book does very well to capture a bleak picture of racism in football (soccer to us Americans) in England in the 1970's. Bowler and Bains sucessfully put us in the West Brom dressing room and into the minds of players who dealt with torrents of abuse from the terraces during every match.

Perhaps the one flaw of the book is that it strays slightly off-topic in the final chapters and discusses the decline of football in the West Midlands in the 1980's and 1990's. While it is certainly a topic of interest to me as an Albion fan, it distracts from the main topic of the book, which is the Three Degrees and their legacy of encouraging acceptance of black footballers. Hardly anyone cares about skin tone now when men like Rio Ferdinand or Ashley Cole put on the Three Lions shirt - it's their performances that matter.
Eye opener 27 Aug. 2001
By Brian Maitland - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Inspirational tale of the pioneering entry into '70s and '80s English soccer by three brilliant young black players (Cyrille Regis, Brendon Batson and the since deceased Laurie Cunningham) on West Bromwich Albion. A truly heartfelt look at the impact these three had on the game of soccer in England at a crucial stage in its development. Think Jackie Robinson in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers and you get the idea (yes, England and Europe are that far behind in sporting terms as far as color barriers).
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