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The Ghost of White Hart Lane: In Search of My Father the Football Legend [Kindle Edition]

Rob White , Julie Welch
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

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

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

Nicknamed the 'Ghost' for the way that he could drift into space undetected, White played inside-forward for the great double-winning Tottenham Hotspur side of the early sixties. British football was entering a golden period and Bill Nicholson's free-flowing Spurs side was right at the forefront. White himself was on the cusp of greatness. Even alongside giants of the game like Dave Mackay and Danny Blanchflower, he stood out as a playmaker with incredible vision and touch.

White lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup for Spurs (the first European trophy won by any British side) and gained 22 caps for Scotland, but he was also a family man. Six months before he died, his beloved wife Sandra, gave birth to their second child, a son called Rob.

Rob White never knew his father. The man who was known by hundreds of thousands of football fans across the country, was a complete stranger to him. The Ghost of White Hart Lane is the result of interviews with his father's teammates, followers, and family members. Within these pages Rob White and Julie Welch have built up a portrait, not only of a brilliant and gifted young man, but also of a lost era.

Product Description


`colourful and, at times, moving' ... `a worthy tribute to Spurs' Double side on their 50th anniversary' --Four Four Two

`lyrical and lucid writing'...'marvelously telling and touching book' --When Saturday Comes

`An engrossing, touching read' --Sport

`A special book about a special man, it will appeal not merely to Spurs fans but to anyone who appreciates what Danny Blanchflower, Tottenham's inspirational captain of the time called "the rapture of the game"' --The Independent on Sunday

`one of the most affecting sports book of the year' --The Times

`Of all the Spurs greats of that era, he (John White) is the one that older Spurs fans eulogise the most. Reading this heartfelt book captures that collective sense of loss. He was one of ours' --The Times

`White emerges like a wraith, his talent and good nature emerging into the light under his son's firm gaze and diligent research' --The Telegraph

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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 981 KB
  • Print Length: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Digital (10 Mar. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004SOYWV2
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #208,947 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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
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
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A FOOTBALL BOOK WITH A DIFFERENCE 20 Jan. 2013
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 macabre circumstances,he was struck by lightening whilst playing golf. On another level it is about a football team-Tottenham Hotspur, and their run of success in the late 50's and 60's, and the effect that John White had on that success. On another level it is about a son finding out about his father warts and all. It is strange to find out about your father you remember nothing of,the son Rob was only six months when he died, but thousand of people knew a great deal about-football fans of both Tottenham and Scotland.
The book is well written,and gives a good general idea of how Tottenham achieved the double. There were many interesting comparisons between then and now-the vast crowds that attended football matches-60,000 was common,so of the big scores that occured 7-2 seemed common,the fragility of footballers life once they finished they needed to find another occupation to pay the bills for the rest of their lifes,the state of the pitches and the ball especially in the middeof a cold wet winter,and the overalll fitness that was needed to combat those circumstances.
Overall you do not need to be a football fanatic to enjoy this book-though it helps-as there is a great deal more to enjoy and savour.Good read
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Red hot spur 4 May 2011
The Ghost of White Hart Lane is far more than a sporting memoir. Authors Rob White and Julie Welch have taken us on a journey back to the days when Tottenham Hotspur was a household name in world football, both to savour the atmosphere of those times 50 years ago, and also to seek out the essence of a father, John White, that one of the authors never knew. But it is handled with such a light touch, that what could be mawkish is truly moving, almost, dare I say it, religious in its subtlety. At the same time, the recreation of those years, 1959-1964, when John White was at Tottenham say so much about the human qualities of players on 20 quid a week that shame the many pampered, tantrum-throwing adolescents in football socks of today. Sure the temptation is there for the authors to descend into bathos and didacticism about where Spurs subsequently lost the plot, but, apart from a fleeting comment that "Spurs did not evolve", they rightly leave those questions to other forums. A fine read, that brought tears to these Australian, Spurs-loving eyes of mine. Even Arsenal fans might be grudgingly moved.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I couldn't put this book down. Excellent
Published 2 months ago by NICOLA KAMINSKI
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book about one of my boyhood heroes won't be disappointed
Well a book is a book about one of my boyhood heroes won't be disappointed
Published 5 months ago by thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was a gift and the person who was ...
This book was a gift and the person who was given it is enjoying it very much as he knew John White.
Published 6 months ago by the golfer
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a must for all Spurs fans about a very great player.
This book is a must for all Spurs fans about a very great player.
Published 6 months ago by Mr C. D. Penney
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
Amazing book, it's a must have for any scotland or Spurs fans
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars A mans search for the legend that just happened to be his dad.
An interesting read as the author was only a baby when his father was killed. He has grown up hearing and reading about the legend that was his father, and now he writes about the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Townie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book Thank You
Published 8 months ago by Julie R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 8 months ago by Patrick Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars ... book about a member of the Spurs family is great, just as this one...
Any well written book about a member of the Spurs family is great, just as this one has proved a great read.
Published 8 months ago by Anon
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very Good read. Excellent insight into a truly good footballer
Published 9 months ago by JayDee
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