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The Ghost: In Search of My Father the Football Legend [Paperback]

Rob White , Julie Welch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 7.12 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

7 Jun 2012

When Spurs legend John White was killed by a bolt of lightning in 1964, the football world was rocked by the tragedy. He was just 27 years of age.

Nicknamed the 'Ghost' for the way that he could drift into space undetected, White played an inspirational role in the great double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side of the early 1960s. Every fan has a story about him.

When White died, his son, Rob, was only six months old and so never knew his father. The man who was revered by hundreds of thousands of football fans across the country was a stranger to him. Beyond the grainy Cup Final footage and yellowed newspaper articles, there was so much Rob didn't know, questions he had never had an opportunity to ask. To find answers he set out to speak to White's former teammates, his family and followers, and built up a touching portrait of a gifted young footballer and of a lost era.

'Had John lived, he could have been one of the greatest footballers of all time' - Jimmy Greaves

With a new afterword for the paperback.


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Frequently Bought Together

The Ghost: In Search of My Father the Football Legend + In Search of Alan Gilzean: The Lost Legacy of a Dundee and Spurs Legend + The Real Mackay: The Dave Mackay Story (Mainstream Sport)
Price For All Three: 18.75

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Yellow Jersey (7 Jun 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224083007
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224083003
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 104,218 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Deeply personal - a touching, heartfelt story" (Gary Imlach)

"A special book about a special man" (Independent on Sunday)

"One of the most affecting sports books of the year" (Matt Dickinson The Times)

"A gorgeous and moving story" (Tom English Scotland on Sunday)

"Colourful and, at times, moving" (Four Four Two)

Book Description

From the publishers of My Father and other Working Class Heroes comes the incredible biography of sixties Tottenham Hotspur legend, John White, who died aged 27.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best 23 Mar 2011
By joned
Format:Hardcover
The book was the best autobiography I have read since Stuart Imlachs. Both written by sons of the subject. I first saw John play at Hillsborough when he made his Spurs debut.I was also fortunate enough to get his autograph(as I recall he arrived on his own and not on the coach).
The book arrived on the Monday and I'd read it by Wednesday.
It's easy to sense the frustration of the author (Rob)gaining all the second hand information about his father but not being able to have anything of his father first hand.
Definitly one I would recommend It has been worth the wait.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A SUPERB READ 23 April 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is quite simply a superb read, a real page-turner. Rob White has done an excellent job and I found reading it was almost like watching a video of the Double Team and the seasons either side of it. In fact as well as being a splendid tribute to the late great John White, it represents as good a review of the Double Team as I have ever read(and there are lots out there).
You could forget just how good John White was and I was fortunate enough to see him play. The term "the Ghost of White Hart Lane" fitted him as well as his famous Number 8 shirt. The origins of the term "Ghost" are still unclear. Was it the press who first used it; one of his team mates; or Nobby Stiles who couldn't mark him as Spurs won effortlessly 2-0 at Old Trafford (Spurs fans, just soak that in for a moment!)?
For me, one of the brilliant aspects of this book is not just how it is an insight into John White, footballer, but John White the man, and how he was so central to the Double Team; his relationships with Cliff Jones and Dave Mackay, and how the whole team were one unit. Rob White brings back to life just what a different era 1960-61 was, in the days before squads and sunbstitutes. Spurs won the Double with the same 11 players in most games, no-one else played more than 6 games all season.
Another excellent aspect of the book is how the author concentrates individual chapters on other players; the ones on Tommy Harmer (Harmer the Charmer) and the wonderful Dave Mackay are superb. You realise that Mackay was not only a great player (for me, the Best Ever to wear the Lilywhite shirt), but also a great man who did all he could to support John's family after the disaster at Crews Hill Golf Course in the Summer of 1964.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost of White Hart Lane 12 Mar 2011
Format:Hardcover
This is a great biography of a supremely talented football player in an era when the passion and commitment of the players puts current, pampered, football players to shame. This biography has also filled a huge gap in the Tottenham Hotspur genre, and a lot of people will be very glad to see it on the shelf. The way Julie Welch and Rob White have written about his life and death, leaves no stone unturned, and deals with it all in a very sensitive way, filling out the picture with enrtrancing details.
Rob also tells his story, which will leave nobody unmoved, and is a moving insight into the relationship between father and son.
Enjoy reading it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a loss 1 Jun 2011
By A. Lowe
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A beautiful written book, the moan about Falkirk and Raith in another review is petty in the extreme. This is the story of a boy "searching" for his father, a father he never knew, but I did and so did millionds of other football fans. Read and enjoy.
Alan Lowe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost 25 April 2011
Format:Hardcover
Excellently written, this book really eloquently recalls the halcyon days when Tottenham Hotspur were head & shoulders above the rest, not just in trophy terms but in style.

A must for all Spurs fans, both those, like me of a certain age and also for those too young to have seen John White but who have inherited the passion for this great club.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YIDARMY! 19 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Love reading about this Spurs legend! I wish I could have seen this team live! Although the new crop of players is something special!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting and moving 15 Mar 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A fascinating view of Spurs at their best and a great player cut down in his prime. You cannot fail to be touched by this moving tribute from his son who never knew him.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Present for Spurs fan.. 16 Feb 2013
By M. J. S
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
.. who absolutely loves this. Bought for father in law for Christmas. He's read it before New Year. He made a special point of calling to say how much he'd liked it - his era.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ghost of White Hart Lane
I knew John White, spoke to him on the day he died and am in touch with his son now. Julie Welch sent me a supplement which included a small piece I wrote about John. Read more
Published 1 month ago by cosmichotspur
4.0 out of 5 stars John White
My father won money on the 'double-winning' side of 1960-1961 and I knew all of their names before I knew all of the United players back in the sixties (I'm a United fan). Read more
Published 4 months ago by Paddles O'Maddles
5.0 out of 5 stars A sad but true story
John White was an amazing and brilliant inside forward in the Spur's 60's line up. The book details his rise to football stardom from very humble beginnings, to his tragic death on... Read more
Published 11 months ago by David Butcher
4.0 out of 5 stars A sad loss
I enjoyed this book, mainly because it brought back so many memories of games that I saw either in person or on the box. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mr. P. Skeldon
5.0 out of 5 stars A FOOTBALL BOOK WITH A DIFFERENCE
This was a very good read. It was different because it was written on different levels. In the first instance it was a biography of a footballer who not only died young, but in... Read more
Published 17 months ago by bibliophile
5.0 out of 5 stars Best sport book ever
"Excellent book",my husbands words.A tottenham hotspur fan from childhood,who remembers a lot of the people mentioned in the book.In his opinion,best sports book ever
Published 18 months ago by sileb
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost of White Hart Lane
This was a Fantastic book full of surprises and not knowing what was around the corner really sad at times but a very good book indeed
Published 18 months ago by Denzil
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for a Spurs Fan
If you were a Spurs supporter in the 60s you will like this book. Lots of information and memories of the "good old days"s".
Published 18 months ago by vkt
5.0 out of 5 stars What a book!!!!!
This is a brilliant book about a "TRUELY GREAT FOOTBALLER WHO WAS TAKEN AHEAD OF HIS TIME". I would recommend it to all who lived through "his era" and saw him... Read more
Published 19 months ago by RAY FLOATE
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories
I have really enjoyed this book - as a Spurs fan since 1968, this brought back many memories of how good John White was. I liked the way it was written. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mike Chase
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