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Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads [Paperback]

Chris Hargreaves
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2011

Forget Torres, Rooney, Beckham and the like. This is what football is really about. One man’s story of a career in the lower leagues.

Chris Hargreaves has been a professional footballer for twenty years. Having started out as a youth team player at Everton he made his debut for Grimsby Town in 1989 and was earmarked as their first million pound sale.

It never happened.

Instead he went on to play for Scarborough, Hull City, West Brom, Hereford United, Plymouth Argyle, Northampton Town, Brentford, Oxford United and Torquay United.

Where's Your Caravan? is the sort of football memoir we don't see enough of these days - an account of life in the lower leagues. It takes us from his wild youth - lots of sex and drugs and drink - through to domesticated family man - school runs and flatpack furniture with plenty of football in between.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: The Friday Project (4 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007364148
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007364145
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 120,137 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'If you want to know exactly what happens in the real football world, Chris Hargreaves is the man to tell you. He's been there and done it at a wide range of largely unfashionable clubs including my team Oxford United. The fans love and relate to him because he's a grafter….a great team player who always gives everything for the cause. Chris has been down many times but was never counted out'. JIM ROSENTHAL


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to buy this book 29 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read Captain's Blog I couldn't wait for Chris Hargreaves new book Where's Your Caravan. Life in the lower levels of the football league makes a far more interesting read than the premier players who earn too much and have all their needs taken care of for them.

I read this book in a few days and at times found I didn't want to put it down. It was also nice to hear about family life and the children. I am a female football supporter and Chris has played for the club I support OUFC.

I think Chris should consider another book about life after football to include what life is like running a shop.

I would like to recommend that you give this book a try - it is well worth the read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable football read 3 Sep 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having seen Chris Hargreaves ply his trade on numerous occasions over the years (including two and a half fantastic seasons at my club) I was really looking forward to reading this but at the same time I've read so many footballer's autobiographies that were so poor that there was a bit of trepidation. It didn't let me down - it gave a real insight not only into Chris' career but also one into the others of many other journeymen footballers who ply their trade entirely in the bottom two division. It is funny, uncompromising and sometimes very sad.

It was definitely 'warts and all' and perhaps the slight disappointment of not making it at a higher level coupled with a bit of fear of the unknown shines-through in the book at times to give an honest assessment of his career to date. The style of writing is different to many other accounts that footballers give in that he sometimes jumps to the "here and now" when he is writing the book at random points - but just like everything in his career - 'he did it his way'!

Great reading not only for every Grimsby, Hull, West Brom, Hereford, Plymouth, Northampton, Brentford, Oxford and Torquay fan (think that's all of them?!) but for anyone interested in getting the low down on the life of a player of twenty years that didn't get to drive the Ferrari, buy a country mansion and accumulate enough wealth to keep him sitting pretty for the remaining sistey years of their life. Hopefully in another few decades time I'll be reading an account of his career as a coach and a manager.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Painting a vulgar picture 17 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
A new football season is upon us.

For those players fortunate enough to be part of the national game's elite, the rewards have never been so large. However, for those journeymen whose achievements rarely match their aspirations, the glamour lifestyle can often seem very remote.

Chris Hargreaves has been among the latter category for the best part of 20 years. Rejecting a contract with Everton as a teenager, he signed for home-town club Grimsby and regan to live the dream. But things didn't quite go according to plan as a disagreement with his manager, saw him offloaded to neighbours Hull, thus beginning his progress through England's lower leagues.

His tale has more lows than highs, as Hargreaves twice found himself part of teams demoted from the Football League, though later he also play his part in two successive promotions. Like his more renowned namesake, he was no stranger to the treatment table. The numerous injuries and illnesses which afflicted him during his long career are described here in graphic detail.

But when he was sufficiently patched up to play, he occasionally created moments which will live in the memories of those fans who wished them, when the dream once more sprang to life.

It's not the easiest of reads - the frequent present-day interludes detailing the production of the book are distracting and not entirely necessary. However the patience and tolerance of readers will be rewarded by the insights offered by the author into the laddish, cliquey and occasionally naive world of the professional footballer.

Those who suspect that progress in the game is often dependent on who (rather than what) is known will find plenty of ammunition within these pages.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life as a journeyman footballer 24 Sep 2011
By Bantam Dave TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
I remember seeing Chris Hargreaves play. He was a decent enough footballer but what I remember most about Hargreaves was his long and frankly horrible hair. I'm sure our terrace choir will have honoured him with the famous chant `where's your caravan` as will supporters all over the country. No self respecting supporter would miss the open goal that Hargreaves's terrible hairstyle offered them.

Hargreaves had a long career, playing for over twenty years, so no doubt when he packed the game in he will have walked into a job in management, with a healthy bank balance and a cupboard full of medals and trophies to reminisce over. Wrong, wrong and wrong. As he tells us in this eye-opening book life in footballs lower leagues is not the route to fame & fortune that it is in the Premier League. Can you imagine a player from footballs elite ever having to sell his possessions on the internet to make ends meet? Hargreaves does. Whilst he was never loaded during his playing days (except with booze, but that's another story) he was `comfortably off', but since he retired the expected managerial offers have failed to materialise and with a sizeable family to help support he has struggled financially. At the end of the book we read that he has opened up a sports shop in Sidmouth; as I couldn't help but like the man after reading his very readable autobiography, I hope it proves to be a success.

He probably deserves a little success because he didn't really have that much to celebrate as a player. When he was just starting out in the game he had the chance to play in the big leagues with WBA but due to a mixture of a bad injury and a bad attitude that didn't work out and he was soon hurtling back down the divisions.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Brought back some great memories.
I think it's fair to say that the vast majority of cobblers fans loved Chris Hargreaves, I certainly did. Read more
Published 1 month ago by ANDY BROWN
4.0 out of 5 stars The true story of non league
Having followed non league football for 22 years it gives an insight and honest view of what most people believe to be of glamour and prima donnas.
Published 1 month ago by John Ball
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Loved this book and thank you Chris for showing the real side to football. Thoroughly enjoyed it and would highly recommend :)
Published 1 month ago by claire walker
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classy Football Book
Chris enjoyed a long career with a number of clubs and I was lucky to see him have an excellent spell at the Cobblers. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Patch
3.0 out of 5 stars Book Review
Easy reading from a footballer who nearly made the big time, but didnt look after his finances as his career went south...
Published 3 months ago by Kerry Banks
5.0 out of 5 stars For the lower league football fan
It's nice to read a book that's not about playing at the top level but about football and life struggling around the lower levels of the football league. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gareth Swattridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Great bio Mr hargreaves
Fantastic book,very good read, as a footy fan ( Baggie's), I found it very interesting to read of the lower leagues struggle , for players and clubs, quite a eye opener, also found... Read more
Published 3 months ago by john marsh
5.0 out of 5 stars Just finished reading
I had a lot of books and have only just finished reading this one. Fantastic. Not very well written but didn't expect it to be really.
Published 4 months ago by Kim
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining real life tales from the lower football leagues
This is a light, entertaining account of the highs and lows of being a professional footballer in the lower leagues. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kirky
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Makes a difference to read an autobiography from a lower league footballer that didn't end up a millionaire in the premier league.
Published 5 months ago by Phil Swann
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