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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to buy this book
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...
Published on 29 Aug 2011 by P. Robinson

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book a real football fans
Enjoyed it because I like football. Interesting take on life in the lower divisions. OK, it will never win the Booker Prize, but full of little nuances on what it is like to be a football journeyman. Good luck to Chris in the future. He seems to be an ace person.
Published 14 months ago by Mr Derek L Porteous


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I had to buy this book, 29 Aug 2011
By 
P. Robinson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads (Paperback)
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
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This review is from: Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads (Paperback)
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
By 
Ultra_Fox (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads (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. Many fans and players will empathise with Hargreaves as he documents tensions with colleagues and managers alike.

He deserves particular credit for shedding light on areas of the game too often shielded from it, and for being willing to admit to his own failings in a way which others higher up the scale would never contemplate.

If you can't afford to buy the book, then beg or borrow a copy.
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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 (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads (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. From then on his playing career drifted from club to club, rarely putting down any roots at any of them, with only victories in the Wembley play-offs and a minor cup providing any kind of highlight.

I suspect that supprters of the lower league football clubs will probably love this book. We are, after all, a much neglected group of people, particularly when the total support of the Championship clubs FAR exceeds that of the Premiership teams. Hargreaves`s revelations about the amount of drinking and drug taking that went on at the start of his career will surprise a few people but consider this - if players on comparatively low wages can afford to drink and take drugs, just imagine what the wealthy Premiership players might be doing?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Splendid caravan, 11 Sep 2011
By 
Mrs. G. Wright (West Midlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads (Paperback)
There are many footballers' biographies and autobiographies fighting for space on my bookshelves. As someone who dabbles in publishing myself, they are frankly essential tools of the trade, offering fresh insight and quotes that simply can't be obtained elsewhere. That these volumes are essential doesn't mean they are interesting - the vast majority have the same appeal as garden spades - dull but necessary. Most are just bland, money-making exercises, an extension of a club programme. As a rule of thumb, often the more successful the player, the more dull that his authorised story will be yet they sell in big numbers. With the publishing industry under assault from all directions, biographies remain a safe return for publishers so there will be plenty more on the way.

Hardly any footballers write their own life stories for obvious reasons with the vast majority preferring to dictate their raw thoughts to ghost writers. It's not easy being a ghostie having to keep everyone happy at the same time - player, publisher, players' family and other featured footballers. The easy option is to go for "public truth" and avoid upsetting anybody. Potential career wreckers will be omitted altogether or encounters just glossed over. For me, that's just wrong. There's ultimately a duty of care to the customer to tell the story as it is, warts and all, compromising only when really necessary.

Unusually, Chris Hargreaves book is neither dull nor ghost written. To Christian's absolute credit, he appears to have written everything himself and doesn't even acknowledge a proof reader or his publishers for their input. That's actually rather brave. I used to think that going it alone was the dream option until I actually tried it this year for an e book project. It's far harder than I imagined to solo write without a pushy second opinion. Towards the end of the project, I had doubts about my direction and sure enough two thirds through his own book, Hargreaves also suffered self-doubt to the point where he suggested disgruntled readers might want to seek a refund.

Christian's doubts were unfounded. He has put together a book which I completely recognise as being football reality -the importance of team bonding, the fear of injury and becoming a non-player, the extreme mickey-taking, intimidating management and many other aspects of being a professional that few supporters recognise. I'd go as far as saying this is the most frank insider account of the beautiful game since Garry Nelson.

I'm slightly privileged because I've had the opportunity to talk to some of the characters featured in "Where's Your Caravan" over the decades and I'm with the author every time. For instance, Alan Buckley does have a vile temper and Stacy Coldicott is an obsessive fitness fanatic.

In addition, I do admire Hargreaves' honesty and his laugh out loud self-deprecating humour. I'm not usually a fan of the `then and now' switching style yet the ex-Hereford man mainly pulls it off in his own laidback style. The author readily admits that his thoughts often go off at a tangent. Me too Chris, so I can hardly be critical of some of your meanderings!

Put simply, this is a fine example of classic football writing so just buy it. You won't regret it - although at a price that low Chris Hargreaves certainly will!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Book a real football fans, 30 Sep 2013
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Enjoyed it because I like football. Interesting take on life in the lower divisions. OK, it will never win the Booker Prize, but full of little nuances on what it is like to be a football journeyman. Good luck to Chris in the future. He seems to be an ace person.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back of the net, 13 Oct 2013
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A pretty good read, enough in it to keep you entertained and an interesting take on the lifestyle of a journeyman footballer rather than having to read about some poor sod on 30 grand a week!

Best of luck back in the real world tarzan
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars B road but class A driver, 29 Sep 2013
Great tour of the lower league by a footballer who deserves more.Well worth reading by the people who think football is just the premiership
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 24 Aug 2013
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When I downloaded this book, I had know idea who Chris Hargeaves was. I was football fan who need a new read (and I liked the title).

Chris's story is brilliant, funny and at times very exciting and emotional. Best of all, Chris lets you in to whole of a player outside of the football bubble.

It's great to read about players who aren't on stupid money and doing because they love the game, no matter what league their in.

Chris, if you do read this reviews, please accept my thanks as you have reminded how I love the game too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Where's your caravan?, 11 July 2012
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Great insight into lower league footbal. Where fans actually watch the game and not from an armchair. Chris hits the mark for us real fans in his descritions of the sometimes tatty grounds and games that mean as much as winning the premiership.
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Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads
Where's Your Caravan?: My Life on Football's B-Roads by Chris Hargreaves (Paperback - 4 Aug 2011)
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