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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest football book ever!, 24 Nov 2007
By 
Joe Joe "Ego Joe" (Northampton, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
Leigh Roose was the Welsh goalkeeper before the first world war. This is the story of his wonderful yet ultimately tragic life. The book shows how football rules changed because he was so proficient at his craft. He features in the earliest surviving football movie ever (Ireland v Wales 1906). It always finally unveils the mystery of his death - tragically lost on the Somme and explaining the mystery of why his name has never appeared on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission register (that is until now). There is so much to learn here - about Britain before WW1, about early football and society, about the politics of the time and about war. This is a truly wonderful book, for anyone with even a passing interest in football, or Wales, or War. Can't recommend it highly enough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Gem for Football Fans NOW, 11 Sep 2008
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
As a football fan now, it's tempting to think that the game has always been played with the current rules, and that the key differences between the early years of the FA and today's game is that the on-screen footage is now in colour and the ball is a little lighter. In fact, when you read Spencer Vignes book that is about all that is different between then and now. Reading about the league games of the early 20th century is very much like reading about the trials and tribulations of a modern player or team playing "one game at a time". Showmanship, occasional crowd trouble, financial scandal and the pull of the game's money men all feature here - in a book written about the trials and tribulations of a footballer I hadn't previously been aware of. I read it over a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed this insight into the game of yesteryear and one of its currently unsung heroes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All the facts but who IS Mr Roose?, 6 Mar 2009
By 
Andrew Walker "Andrew Walker" (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
Lost in France

Although I'd regard myself as a football fan with an interest in the history of the game, I admit to never having heard of Leigh Richmond Roose before I bought this book. Yet he was one of the best goalkeeper of the Edwardian period (before 1914) and had something of a reputation as a playboy to boot. To add to his mystique he was killed on the Western Front in the First World War and his body was never found.
The book is a carefully researched biography, doing a good job of recreating the world of professional football at the time. It covers Roose's upbringing in Wales and early career followed by a succession of clubs, notably Everton, Stoke and Sunderland. Roose was not an easy man to deal with, it seems, "knowing his own value" and moving on frequently (somewhat reminiscent of a modern Welshman, Craig Bellamy!)
The book also covers as much of Roose's personal life as possible. He had a strong preference for living in London and made a requirement of signing for Stoke that he could commute. This seems to have been to continue to enjoy the London social scene, a taste he acquired while studying as a medical student. He is seen out with musical hall star Marie Lloyd in an obvious parallel with modern times.
And yet ... despite this careful and meticulous research, do you really feel at the end of the book that you `know' Leigh Richmond Roose? He was an intelligent and talented man, not one to be pushed around by football club bosses. But there is so little of the man himself - whether he had any banter, a Welsh accent, how he was regarded by his team-mates (or women), who he voted for, and so on.
The value of this book is in reminding us, a century on, who Leigh Richmond Roose was and what he achieved, as well as recreating the Edwardian world. But Roose the man is lost to us in more ways than one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 1 Feb 2009
By 
P. Wharton "will c cuff" (orrell great britain) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
I have emailed the author Spencer to say how much i enjoyed his book, i think he has really researched the life of Leigh and told a wonderful story about his life. Once you start the book you won't put it down till you have finished it. Fantastic.
Paul Wharton
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5.0 out of 5 stars interesting, 17 Jun 2014
By 
Mr. S. Roots - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
Intersesting to read how the game has changes since those early years. Sad story of a talented sportsman. Take the time if you can.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOST IN FRANCE, 17 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
Learnt everything about Leigh's life, especially as I am related to the Roose family.
Excellent coverage of his life by the Author.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Lost In France, 26 Sep 2011
This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
An excellent account of a long forgotten sporting hero who deserves wider recognition. A timely reminder that the celebrity culture is not a recent phenomenon.
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5.0 out of 5 stars First rate, 29 Mar 2011
By 
Mr. Richard Comrie (Durham England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Lost in France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Richmond Roose, Football's First Playboy (Paperback)
This book gives an interesting account of the life of a footballer who is not known to many of us now but in his day he was the second most recognised sportsman after Jack Hobbs.
There is so much to Roose's life and the author has done a good job in researching the subject. Although particularly of interest to Welsh sports fans it maybe of interest to footballing historians generally as Roose was of the last generation of amateur footballers who played in the football league.
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