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Stokoe, Sunderland and 73: The Story Of the Greatest FA Cup Final Shock of All Time [Kindle Edition]

Lance Hardy
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The story of the team that caused the last, great FA Cup upset...

Today, it seems inconceivable that a team from the lower reaches of the Championship could beat the likes of Chelsea or Manchester United in the FA Cup Final. Yet, on 5 May 1973 that is exactly what happened¿

Six months earlier, Bob Stokoe took on an ailing Sunderland team, struggling at the bottom of the second division. But the long road to Wembley sees them beating Arsenal and Manchester City to reach the final, where they face Don Revie's mighty Leeds United in a game few expect them to win. Yet what lies ninety minutes ahead is the greatest FA Cup Final shock of all time. Sunderland's victory was, arguably, the last fairytale of recent footballing times. In STOKOE, SUNDERLAND AND '73, Lance Hardy talks to all the Sunderland players who turned out at Wembley that day and to the family of Bob Stokoe, to produce the definitive account of an unforgettable game.

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As essential piece of British football history for fans of any club. Brillaintly researched and written with an undisguised passion. (Guy Mowbray BBC's MATCH OF THE DAY)

The angel is in the detail of such a loving work; you really get to know the players who beat Leeds United at Wembley. (Patrick Barclay TIMES)

Times have changed but this book is an engrossing reminder for all fans, not just Mackems, of the way it was. (Simon Redfern INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)

Through sport, quite ordinary folk can attain heroic status. Lance Hardy's entertaining book shows how it happens. (THE JOURNAL)

Evoking the atmosphere of a vanished footballing age, this is a fascinating account of a true David and Goliath sporting encounter. (SOUTH WALES ARGUS)

'If you like a fairytale, a story of an underdog or just a great football book, then make sure you pick up this brilliant account.' (IN BED WITH MARADONA.COM)

It is, without exaggeration, probably the finest football book that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. (Dan Williams ROKERREPORT.COM)

Book Description

The story of the team that caused the last, great FA Cup upset...

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More About the Author

Lance Hardy is the author of Stokoe, Sunderland and '73, shortlisted for Best Football Book at the British Sports Book Awards and nominated for the British Society of Sports History Literary Prize. He has also co-authored autobiographies with Bobby George, Kelly Smith and Steve Davis. His television credits include editor of Football Focus, Final Score, Match of the Day and Late Kick Off for BBC Sport and The Cricket Show for Sky Sport in New Zealand. He has also produced and directed documentaries. He has worked at five World Cups and three Olympic Games.

Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, great memories, great story 8 Mar. 2010
I have been a Sunderland fan all my life. My dad used to take me to home matches, even though this required a 2 hour bus ride from where we lived. The cup run of 1973 will live long in my memory, as I was at several of those matches, including the amazing semi at Hillsborough. This book has reawakened all those memories, as well as providing some information which I had not known at the time, being only 15 when it all happened. It does seem fantastic to read about it now, but those are cherished memories for me, and always will be. My father, sadly now deceased, would have loved this book, too. If you are a Sunderland fan it is required reading. If you are a lover of football, I would also recommend it. If you just like to see the underdog win, to see David beat Goliath, to see the human spirit triumph against overwhelming odds, you will enjoy this book.

I still enjoy watching football today, but I wish I could see another team like this one, doing what they did. All the better if it happened to be Sunderland, but any team capable of doing what this team did in 1973 would be amazing to watch. It would make a riveting film, actually!

This is a gripping, very informative and highly entertaining book, and stirs the emotions, especially for anyone who lived through it. Please buy it, and read it, and tell your friends about it. The author deserves it to be a success, and i thank him for his efforts in writing it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favourite Uncle With A Dark Side 17 Dec. 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A wonderful, wonderful book - the very definition of a page-turner and one that defies you to put it down. I'm a pretty slow reader and usually read in bed, setting myself a target number of pages to read before I fall asleep. That went out of the window with this book, and I had several late nights reading it, desperate to know what was on the next page even though, in most cases, I already knew.

It features the linear history of Sunderland FC from the Fifties, under the hardcore Alan Brown. The era is brilliantly evoked as the tough taskmaster drills his players, monitors their drinking and socialising, but at the same time regards them emotionally as his family. It's hard not to feel sympathy for Brown who did not go out of his way to curry favour, but wanted what was best for his players and their club. That Hardy evokes these feelings is a clue to what a well written piece of work this is.

When Stokoe arrives, it's like the advent of colour TV - an apt simile. The black shorts are reinstated (Brown had made Sunderland wear white shorts) and the good times start to roll. Beautifully evocative descriptions of matches and intra-club dramas follow (if you followed Sunderland in that era, some great memories are guaranteed, of results both good and bad) until the climax of the piece, the 1973 Cup Final. We relive Ritchie Pitt's outrageous early foul on Allan Clarke, Porterfield's historic goal and, of course, THAT save.

Where it got really interesting for me was in the aftermath - unhappy players handing in transfer requests, failure to secure promotion and the break up of that incredible team. They are revealed, in some cases, to have feet of clay in thinking that they were bigger than the club.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificiently written and researched 20 Jan. 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is an insightful , glorious book which takes a while to get to the actual campaign but what a fascinating build up - hundreds of things I didnt know - especially about Stokoe , Clough and Revie
Its also the best book about the end of real football by TEAMS ( are you listening Darren Bent ? )Bovril hospitality and pulling miracles from grime.
I have never been a football fan as such but I was as caught up in this as anyone else and this book captures an era like no other - this MUST be required reading for all modern players and supporters -it is simply the most moving and uplifting book I have ever read. Lance - you deserve a Nobel Prize!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live it all again 20 Sept. 2010
This is simply a wonderful book. The pace, the interweaving of personal recollections and anecdotes from those close up and those, like me, who simply stood in the terraces, and the build up to the penultimate chapter on the game itself are quite breathtaking. How Andy Goldsworthy managed to restrict himself to one chapter a day is beyond me - I found it un-puttable-down. It is a thrilling piece of journalistic writing on a grand scale; you simply must read it. On the back of the cover there is a quote from Bobby Kerr, presumably made when approached by Mr Hardy in his research. "It was something you cannot put into words. I don't know how you are going to do it" Well sorry Bobby he has done it and it is brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely superb book. 6 Mar. 2010
Fascinating book, gives an excellent insight to the background of the characters at the time but also parallels the careers of their rivals-to-be so you get a build up of the history between them. A real eye-opener for me about the characters of certain people and the story builds through the years giving the details of each of their careers and their progress together with the club. A must for all Sunderland fans of all ages, I was too young to remember much about the 1973 FA Cup run so this brilliantly captures all the run and the off the field scenes, absolutely terrific read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Patrick Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars and says he would recommend it to any football
Came quick
Packaged well
Bought for my dad who's a Sunderland fan, and he was over the moon with this book, and says he would recommend it to any football fan
Published 1 month ago by rebecca ellett
5.0 out of 5 stars and it didn't disappoint, I was born 6 days before the cup ...
I couldn't wait for this book to arrive, and it didn't disappoint, I was born 6 days before the cup final so i was always destined to be a Sunderland supporter! Read more
Published 3 months ago by norman haggerston
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant stuff
Published 6 months ago by Mr. Kable
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't believe it's so long ago
This isn't just a brilliant chronicle of one of the greatest events in football, but a wonderful slice of 70's nostalgia. Read more
Published 10 months ago by David Mansfield
5.0 out of 5 stars The equivalent of the First Book of Samuel in the Bible of British...
To those of us who remember that Cup Final in 1973, one cannot fully appreciate the magnitude of the shock alluded to in the title simply by watching the video of the game. Read more
Published 10 months ago by John B. Price
4.0 out of 5 stars Always in the memory
A great trip down memory lane and why I became a Sunderland fan,!!!!
But a good read for any football fan
Published 10 months ago by TATSTER
5.0 out of 5 stars CIRCLE OF HATE .....BITTER MOIR!
Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Biased
Biased review as I'm a mackem! This is a very enjoyable read, bringing back memories of my 20 year old self!
Published 23 months ago by John McLaughlin
4.0 out of 5 stars Does what it says on the tin
I bought this on the recommendations of other reviewers and I am happy to endorse this product if you follow the Black Cats
Published 23 months ago by PGTIPS65
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