"I have no regrets about anything I have done in my career or my life. I would have liked my mother and father to be around now to hear all the wonderful and complimentary things people so often say about me because my father would be very proud and my mother would believe them."
It is both sad and fitting that Sir Stanley Matthew's touching biography ended on such a personal note with him thinking, as he so often did, about other people rather than himself. But for once, all attention is on him in his timely autobiography, The Way it Was. It's a classic from rags to riches tale that takes him from the streets of Hanley in Stoke on Trent to the dizzy heights of football stardom, but the road was never an easy one and never once does Sir Stanley let us, or himself forget that. What comes across so well in this engaging and beautifully written biography, completed with the help of his close friend Les Scott, is how down to earth he really was; he was very conscious that the rewards in life only come with hard work and determination. It is the close bond he shared with his parents, especially that of his father, that comes across so memorably: "Never expect. Never take anything for granted. That way you'll never be too disappointed or hurt," his father tells him. It is advice that Stanley followed the rest of his life. Sir Stanley's untimely death means the inclusion of a tribute section penned by Les and dozens of emotional tributes from friends, colleagues, fellow players and fans that speak volumes about how highly regarded he was held both in and beyond the world of football. This is a beautiful tale, absorbing and well told, that, like the great man himself, is full of good humour, charm and pure class. --Jonathan Weir
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'...both a fascinating personal story and an evocation of a sporting world that has gone forever.' W Magazine
There is a heartfelt, elegiac quality [to] THE WAY IT WAS ... It is only a pity he is not here to see it published (Chris Maume, Independent
`A first summary of the life, on and off the pitch of England's greatest player' Express
The book is an appropriate and nearly always engrossing chronicle of an illustrious career, and good to have (Ian Hamilton, Sunday Telegraph
'his engrossing autobiography' Times
'impossible to imagine any of today's football stars ever producing a memoir half so interesting' Mail on Sunday
Especially rewarding, though, are Stan's descriptions of his technical perfectionism (Brian Glanville, Sunday Times
A fascinating and amusing insight into the inner workings of football during its golden era (Saul David, Daily Telegraph
THE WAY IT WAS is a ticket to a different era, when the game wasn't saturated with money and men like Sir Stanley upheld sporting ideals (Mike Pattenden, Times
Brings vividly to life some of the greatest games of the time and features his perceptive analysis of the characters who illuminated the age (Independent
The story of one of the greatest footballers of all time ... is told in great detail and with an unexpected sense of humour. It is his vivid memory that makes THE WAY IT WAS such a good read (FourFourTwo
A gracefully crafted autobiography filled with entertaining anecdotes reflecting an age when the game was uncorrupted by greed and hooliganism (Birmingham Post