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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An invaluable contribution to the history of British sport, 6 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Football Grounds of Britain (Paperback)
I have both the second and third editions of Simon Inglis' masterpiece on my bookshelves. I've read them both from cover to cover and still dip into them frequently. Anyone with an interest in Britain's 20th century social and sporting history must hope that Mr Inglis continues with his great project by producing future editions to chronicle the continuing renaissance of the country's stadiums.
The book devotes a chapter to each club, describing its current stadium and also its past. Inglis has produced an important work of history that also takes the architecture seriously. But it's not dry. He captures the distinct tradition and style of each club, whether it be the heroic battlers who kept Charlton Athletic going and saw their return to the Valley or the aristocrats at Ibrox Park and Goodison. Inglis' personality comes through strongly and many of the photo's are outstanding.
The first edition was published in 1983 and broadly coincided with the the start of the widespead upgrading that followed decades of inactivity during which grounds had become out of date, scruffy, in most cases uncomfortable, and sometimes treacherously unsafe.
Inglis is now a member of, or consults to, various organisations responsible for the country's football and its stadiums. My suspicion is that he has been instrumental in shaping these changes rather than simply passively documenting them. If so he deserves the thanks of all football fans and a knighthood.
I have minor complaints, particularly with the third edition published in 1996 which bears all the hallmarks of having been put together hurriedly. At the time the book went to print clubs were announcing relocations and upgrades on virtually a daily basis. It must have been hard to find a proper point to cut off and publish.
Anyway, suffice it to say the book is littered with spelling errors and unnecessary hyphens; the Eurostar that passes Stamford Bridge is sleek not sleak p125 and the Rovers from Ewood Park are Blackburn, not Black-burn, p79.
Inglis has a thing about floodlights; each to his own, they don't do much for me. For future editions, I'd be delighted if he devoted more attention to pitch dimensions; the size and shape of a the ground influences the atmosphere and style of play. In my view the Highbury pitch,for example, is too cramped. Also I think he should deal with the new issue of the towering stands that reduce the sunlight on the pitch. The contrast between the sunlit and shadowed areas can upset players, spectators and tv viewers during a game. Also the lack of sunlight can damage the pitch, witness the problems experienced at the 'theatre of dreams' where United are on about their seventh pitch in the past two years. (This is from memory and could be wrong, it's hard to check the facts from Indonesia.)
Derek Clark (who hails from nearby Selhurst Park)
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5.0 out of 5 stars The non-pareil., 9 May 2014
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This review is from: Football Grounds of Britain (Paperback)
Sometimes a book is described as the Bible in its field, meaning that it is the last word; there is nothing in its field that can equal, let alone better, it. Simon Inglis's "Football grounds of Britain" is without any doubt the Bible of literature on football grounds. It is surely unputdownable! Inglis provides interesting and moving word pictures (and plenty of real, graphic pictures) of grounds past and present. Whichever team you support you will find something new about your own club and its grounds and you will see other teams and clubs in a new light as you read about their grounds. Can I go any further? Yes, I can; this is not only the Bible of football grounds books; it is one of the very best football books I have ever read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for fans, 7 Sept. 2013
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Mrsm J. Drury "miggs" (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Football Grounds of Britain (Paperback)
I bought this book to give as a birthday gift which has no happened yet, but I know will be appreciated
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 21 Dec. 2014
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Football Grounds of Britain
Football Grounds of Britain by Simon Inglis (Paperback - 14 May 1996)
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