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Nick Harris

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Phil Townsend jigsaw on the market, 28 Nov. 2010
What more is there to say? It simply is the best Phil Townsend jigsaw on the market.
A gem for United merchandise purists who already have the MUFC Chief Accountant's mouse mat and Licensing Director's T-shirt.
A collector's dream for those who already have multi-piece puzzles featuring the communications directors of the Premier League's 19 other clubs.
Easy to open. Not so easy to complete. A bargain at twice the price.
NB: This is also the perfect companion jigsaw for the Jigsaw of Assistant Secretary Ken Ramsden's Portrait
Jigsaw of Assistant Secretary Ken Ramsdens Portrait from Manchester United

Sod This, I'm Off to Marbella - George Best
Sod This, I'm Off to Marbella - George Best
by John Roberts
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real insight and great writing from someone who inhabited the heart of the story, 18 Sept. 2010
John Roberts worked for decades as a senior sports writer on a variety of Britain's major newspapers: the great old Express when it was still revered, the Guardian, the Mail and the Independent, latterly as the tennis correspondent. He continues to contribute columns to the sportingintelligence website (which I edit, an interest I gladly declare because Roberts' work speaks for itself).
His books include the many-times reprinted The Team That Wouldn't Die (about the Munich air disaster), ghosted autobiographies of Bill Shankly (also recently updated and reprinted) and Kevin Keegan, and the official history of Everton.
'Sod This' is written with an insight and authority that only comes with having lived at the heart of the story: Roberts was George Best's 'ghost' for his Express columns during a period of turmoil for the player and the club. As such he spent days, months, years in Best's company. He saw first-hand the pressures of life as 'El Beatle', and what happened when those pressures became too much.
One fascinating section in this book tells the story of the day that Best became so annoyed at some criticism (and death threats), that he hand-wrote his own column that week. The original pages of writing are printed. That column went in the paper verbatim.
Sections of 'Sod This' were used contemporaneously in an early 70s book about Best's initial fall from grace. That was, in effect, a book that Manchester United banned at the time, and as such escaped the attentions of the vast majority of fans. The re-telling of the story now, with all the fresh perspective of knowing how Best subsequently lived - and died - only adds to the sum of our knowledge.
A lot of books, and a lot of nonsense, have been written about Best. This one takes you inside his life in the early 1970s, inside his house, inside his relationships, inside an era. Written by someone who was there.

Why England Lose: And other curious phenomena explained
Why England Lose: And other curious phenomena explained
by Simon Kuper
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The beautiful old game seen in new ways, 18 Sept. 2010
This has been described in some places as a kind of Moneyball for soccer; it isn't.
Rather it takes set of (largely Anglo-centric) assumptions about football, and tests them using broad statistical analysis.
So the title, for example, 'Why England Lose', explains how actually England do about as well as the size of the population and other factors warrant.
And the history of European football alongside industrial growth is considered when highlighting how few major European capitals have produced a European Cup winner. London hasn't to date, for example.
Simon Kuper's input is obvious in the writing, Stefan Szymanski's economist's brain in many of the fields of inquiry.
Thought provoking rather than revelatory. Recommended.

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