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The Final Season: The Footballers Who Fought and Died in the Great War [Kindle Edition]

Nigel McCrery
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £14.99
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Book Description

A moving narrative history of the professional footballers who fought and died in World War I, with a foreword by Gary Lineker.

In 1914, as today, successful footballers were heroes and role models. They were the sporting superstars of their time; symbols of youth, health and vigour. Naturally enough, when war broke out they felt it was their duty to join up and fight. Between 1914 and 1918, 213 professional players fell in action. Some teams lost half their players, either killed or else so badly injured in mind and body that they were never to play again.

The Final Season is the powerfully moving account of these young men who swapped the turf of the pitch and the cheers of the fans for the freezing mud of the battlefield and the terrible scream of shell fire. It follows them as they leave their fans and families behind, undergo training and then travel on to the bloody arenas of war: Ypres, Gallipoli, the Somme, Passchendaele.

Nigel McCrery paints these men in vivid detail. From their achievements on the football pitch to their heroic conduct on the battlefield, we will learn of the selfless courage and determination they displayed in the face of adversity. For far too many, we will also learn when, and how, they made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Product Description


"Fascinating... For those of us who love football, and still more for those who make fortunes playing it, all this sacrifice should offer considerable food for thought. Gary Lineker says as much in a thoughtful foreword... I wish with all my heart a copy could be given to every Premier League player." (Daily Mail)

Book Description

A moving narrative history of the professional footballers who fought and died in World War I, with a foreword by Gary Lineker.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1392 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (21 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JWV1606
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #80,638 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Footballers at War 14 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
After the start of the First World War, professional league football in England continued until the end of the 1914-1915 season, despite pressures from some parts of society to stop playing before this. Nevertheless, many footballers were able to escape from their contracts and sign up for service well before national conscription was introduced in 1916. This book covers the narratives of a number of these players – their footballing career, followed by their exploits and experiences in combat. A large number won military honours including the elite Victoria Cross and many, sadly, did not return home, while others were so badly injured that they were unable to resume their competitive playing career. These stories are set in the historical context of the strategy and battles of the War. It is an eminently readable, and a poignant study, though occasionally seems to be a little over-hurriedly written.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Football in a positive light 3 Nov. 2014
By atticusfinch1048 TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The Final Season

Today we find professional footballers are out of touch and wealthy beyond most people’s dreams rarely mix with their fans. As a football fan I always find how out of touch we are with the stars of today and sometimes those stars do repay us by doing some charitable acts or appearance. Football shirts during the week leading up to Remembrance Sunday we see the poppy on their shirt, The Final Season by Nigel McCrery reminds us that some footballers 100 years on still have no known grave amongst the poppy fields of western Europe.

McCrery has selected a few of the very many footballers who went to war in 1914, some of whom came home and some who died on the field of war. Some who were brave on the football pitch but even braver at war, some won the VC but as the First World War disappears in to the realms of history they stories have died. This book brings to life that the people’s heroes on a Saturday served alongside their fans in the trenches and at sea.

We are taken from August 1914 when the sun was blazing and war in England seemed a million miles away, through the events of August 1914 the start of the football season in England and in Scotland and the reasons why the peace was about to break. McCrery shows us the dilemma that the Football Association was in on whether to suspend the season or carry on. How by carrying on the ire of the national press and national figures rained down on the players and the football clubs.

We learn that Don Bell a player with Newcastle United was one of the first to sign up for war duty after asking Bradford Park Avenue FC to release him from his contract so that he could join up, which they did.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
I've come across Mr McCreary's work before and enjoyed it greatly. This book is a terrific addition to his output. It is an excellently researched, extremely valuable piece of social history. But more than that it's a damn good read; gripping and poignant in equal measure. It is also (and this was a point made in an excellent review in the Daily Mail) a book which puts the lives of most of today's pampered, over paid, socially blinkered footballers, into withering perspective. Every professional footballer should be given a copy.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY MOVING, UPSETTING AND INTERESTING 7 Sept. 2014
I love sport and all things sporting. This is a wonderful book and very moving. Once I started reading it couldn't put it down. Full of stories or pre-WW1 footballers and what befell them. Cant understand why it hasn't been done before. One of the most interesting and moving reads I have ever had. Well worth a read.
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