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Tales From The Boot Camps [Paperback]

Steve Claridge , Ian Ridley
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
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Book Description

9 Nov 2000
Away from the glamour and wall-to-wall coverage of the Premiership lies the reality, for the majority of fans and players, of British football. From Claridge¿s early days with non-league Weymouth, to the Premiership with Leicester, and back to First-Division Portsmouth, Tales from the Boot Camps spans the lows of irregular salary payments and training sessions on dog-fouled carparks at Aldershot, and the highs of the last-minute win in a First Division play-off at Wembley, and on to the Premiership. Controversial, itinerant, but popular wherever he has played, Claridge also talks frankly about his addiction to gambling. Part biography, part autobiography, it is full of insight and dry wit, a unique portrait of British football.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; 2Rev Ed edition (9 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575402687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575402683
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 13.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 210,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The biography of Steve Claridge ¿ as much a story of a Midlands cult-hero as a vivid portrait of life in the lower divisions of English football

About the Author


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We didn't know who this young lad playing up front was but we liked what we saw. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrilling book by this popular and talented striker 27 April 2002
It's such a nice and refreshing change to read a book on the subject of football that's not all to do with high-flying clubs, rich players and tycoons. This is about a 'real' footballer. Whereas most people are happy to read about the great lifestyle players like Beckham have, I'm much more interested in the nitty-gritty life of the footballer, the one that maybe reaches the Premiership one day, but on the whole he starts at the bottom, works hard and toils in the lower divisions. These are the real heroes, the players that fans adore, no matter if they are supremely talented or not, these are the players who try and give everything for their club, and one of these such men is Steve Claridge.
Written in conjunction with Observer writer, Ian Ridley, this book is a fascinating account of the unfashionable side of football life, the life that most viewers never get to hear about on TV or radio. Tales of long treks up the motorways to near deserted stadiums and of ungrateful managers, this maybe the unnoticed side of football, but it's the one that I prefer to notice! There are many funny accounts in this book, many containing the larger than life Barry Fry, it's well written and very honest.
You have to buy this book, forget the biographies of Beckham, Owen, they are nothing compared to this incredibly funny, clever, eye-opening and downright brilliant book.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I read the book 'Tales from the Boot Camps' when it was first released but I am pleased that it has now been revised to include further developments in Claridge's career. This book provides a real isight into being a professional in the lower leagues and what it was like for Claridge on his way to makeing it to the big time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good interesting insight 14 April 2008
I really enjoyed this book so much so that I read it within a week!!!
It gives a really interesting insight in to how a footballer used to live compared to the modern day millionaire lifestyle of a premiership superstar. A real down to earth player and person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great stuff 25 Mar 2008
Claridge makes no apologies for who/what he is, and pulls no punches in his opinions of others. The result is a great football autobiog/biog and you can literally hear him saying the words on the page. For me, the Ridley sections let it down slightly - they're supposed to articulately link the chapters together, but I found them a little showy and unecessary. You can't help but like Claridge, as he's just such an oddball (I mean that in a nice way). He comes across as honest yet self-deprecating. Surely time for another revised edition Steve? - there have been yet more twists and turns in this intruiging career..
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extraordinary, unforgettable journey. 14 Oct 1999
By A Customer
Tales from the Boot Camps is one of the strangest books you will ever read, and deserves an audience bigger than Claridge ever played before (steady, Leicester fans). Claridge is just SO peculiar, and his adventures in the lower leagues are reminiscent of both Dickens and Gabriel Garcia Marquez (The disabled captain, rotten turkeys for Christmas, his house with no furniture, General John Beck). At a time when football presents itself as high show business, this is a reminder of the poverty and inadequacy both at its lowest levels of the game and of so many of the young boys who fuel the machine. Claridge himself keeps many secrets, from the identity of his father to the character of the woman he marries at the end of the story, who is never introduced. Before I put too many people off, it's incredibly funny too, and has an uplifting ending, though one fears how things will turn out for Steve in the next ten years, based on what he reveals about himself. If you enjoy it nearly as much as I did, try and find Stan Bowles equally uproarious and alarming autobiography "Stan The Man", published by "Paper Plane" on what looked like an old dot-matrix printer. Publishers, bring it to the world!
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5.0 out of 5 stars superb 13 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Loved this book a brilliant insight into Stevs amazing Journey through football . Never a dull moment in this book
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