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4.6 out of 5 stars30
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 January 2002
this book perfectly encapsulates spurs, and more widely, seventies football. tottenham hotspur were (and still are) a glamorous, charismatic club who attract a lot of media attention , both positive and negative - and this book is a fascinating insight into the runnings of a first division team from the manager, the players and all the backroom staff - no physios then of course, but hard trainers who told you to 'run off' that cartilage tear! the depictions of such luminaries as jimmy greaves, alan gilzean and the mercurial bill nicholson are exact - leaving no stone unturned. if somebody is blunt and impolite, even downright rude, it is stated in it's liniment-tainted way. this book is basically how it was!
my favourite passage covers the away european cupwinners cup tie in foreign climes. drawn away to a french side, bill lambasts the team at halftime due to their lack of application - and they promptly go out in the second half and proceed to gain a 0-0 draw, with barely any more effort. good result in hindsight, but that is not enough for bill - and he hammers that home to the players in typical unforgiving style.
a warts n all depiction of the way football was before the huge injection of cash and the new found interest in the premier league. definitely worth a read!
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on 17 July 2001
Don't let the fact that this book follows the 1971/2 Tottenham Hotspur club put you off from reading it (even if you're a Gooner). The Glory Game was the first in-depth look at what goes on at a football club, both on the pitch and behind the scenes. The fact that it's Spurs is inconsequential - it could have been any First Division club. Davies' account is easy-to-read, the chapters seem to fly by, and I found myself excited to know what happen next in Spurs' season, even though it took place 30 years ago! This is the standard that other season diaries of clubs should be measured against - sadly, most fall well short.
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on 21 April 1999
As a fly-on-the-wall documentary of a top flight team in the early seventies this book won deserved praise at the time of its publication. If anything, given the advent of commercialism at all levels of top standard sport in the UK, the book makes even more fascinating reading these days as it offers a glimpse into a world now gone, where a player's worth was not a purely monetary value but was determined by his peers, where a manager's vision was allowed time to bear fruit, and where players were discouraged from portraying themselves as anything but what they were - salaried employees in a fickle business. Davies' style of journalism, in which the players are allowed to speak for themselves, makes this book an insight also into the opinions, fears and prejudices of professional footballers - a refreshingly honest alternative to the 'spin doctored' and ghost written accounts that normally pass as the opinion of today's breed. For those of you genuinely interested in the recent history of the professional game and those also who would like to peek beneath the veneer of today's football club/corporate business hype this book makes essential reading. Spurs fans amongst you who might stumble pronouncing Ginola but have no problem accepting the concept of a Welsh midfielder called England - regard this book if not as your bible, at least as one of the principal epistles of your faith! (Pay particular attention to the player profiles at the back of the book and the hopes for his future expressed therein by a certain young player called Joe Kinnear - now there was a guy going places!)
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on 20 August 2010
This is well worth reading, whichever team you support. It is a remarkably balanced, well written and vivid depiction of one club over the course of one season (Spurs in 1971-2). Hunter Davies was successful in winning the confidence of people at the club, to present not quite a warts-and-all view, but certainly a very revealing picture of what professional football was then all about. It was so different to today's game, that any genuine fan, or anyone interested in social history, would find it fascinating. At times one senses that Davies has held back a little, and one imagines the hand of the club censors here and there, but this does not diminish the intimacy that the narrative creates. The book has the limitations of any 'official' biography. One complaint: it would be helpful if future editions included some statistics on the season - a list of the matches played, and who played in them, for example. Overall, however, for me, this book is up there with Pete Davies's 'All Played Out' and Duncan Hamilton's 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me' as one of the best football books I have read, and one of the best sports books also.
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on 9 January 2006
I'm not a Tottenham supporter but felt like one after reading this.
Fabulously crafted book that follows a complete season. This isn't a reproduced diary but a look at the working that make the Tottenham clock tick. Players, Wives, Coaches, Directors, Secretaries and Supporters all bring the season together.
Read it.
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on 13 January 2013
I read this when it first came out. it was groundbreaking then. Now it seems quaint and from another world. Everything has been magnified many times. These young successful sportsman were paupers in comparison to todays "heroes". The rewards so much more appropriate. The frustration of an old school manager was apparent then. What he would think now?. And a manager living by the ground?
What was so interesting was the freedom given to Davies.In todays world there is no chance of an author getting so close, taking real views from all levels. The frustrations, the moans and the tensions. Today a press officer would ensure it would be a 'Hello" type piece. It was unique then and I cannot think of another work similar. And it is good fun to read especially if you remember fondly those times - good and bad.
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on 25 October 2011
I'm a Spurs fan so obviously there was a lot to keep me interested in the book BUT I would say this book would be a great read for any football fan. Not only did it deal with the players, the board and management but it also dealt with the perspective from a broad range of fans.

Very insightful book and though it's a different era, it did make me think about how we treat the current players, who though they are mainly swimming in money, are ultimately just people with the same fears and insecurities as most of us.

The additional appendices make interesting reading illustrating see how the game has changed for everyone over the decades. I doubt they'll ever be a book like this written about football; so as an honest and insightful look into what happens over a season.
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on 31 January 2004
A book that belongs in every football fans library, this master piece was published before any of the other journalist style accounts of the game filled your screen. Honest and critical appraisal of an average season in the early seventies before things started to go wrong for Nicholson. Younger readers might be forgiven for wondering why Spurs were the subject of the book. At the time of writing Spurs were regarded as the "Manchester Utd of the south" and the media eye was as firmly on them as it is on Chelsea and Arsenal today. The book follows the club thoughout the domestic and foreign season and covers every aspect of daily club life and every personality from staff through fan. I still feel the author is condesending at times and I understand the club was not thrilled at the time with the book, but credit to them for opening their doors and exerting no editorial control. Imagine getting similar access for an expose at any premiership club today. In short a must read for every Spurs fan and also every intellegent football devotee out there. Like the authors namesake wearing the club shirt today, Davies' book has a lot of style.
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on 12 February 2010
Released in 1972 and one of the best-selling sports books ever. Says it all. For people interested in this book then I can thoroughly recommend another one - Superfan! The Amazing Life of Morris Keston. (Because I wrote it!)

Morris Keston features in The Glory Game chapter titled 'The Hangers-On'. Hunter Davies was wrong about Morris, as it was the players who would hang around him! He became friends with many of the Spurs and England players of the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties, including Bobby Moore, Jimmy Greaves and Geoff Hurst to name a few. He also mixed in the company of Frank Sinatra ad Muhammad Ali. He's got some amazing untold stories to tell and you can read them all in SUPERFAN - THE AMAZING LIFE OF MORRIS KESTON.
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on 27 March 2013
I read this as a teenager when it was originally published and was fascinated by the insight into a
The team I followed. I liked it because it was very relevant as I grew up worshipping the players involved.
I think it is most suitable for Spurs fans who also experienced the era. Genuine football fans will also enjoy reading the most open record of a season in the life of a professional football team.
It also brought home the fact that, in essence, nothing has changed in 40 years. The English game is still about a few teams at the top and the rich clubs attract the best players. Europe was and is still the holy grail. Facts like the total wage bill for the players and staff in 1971 being £200000 was also interesting
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