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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 14 August 2008
Stan Bowles was one of THE iconic faces of seventies English football, alongside the likes of Peter Osgood, Tony Currie and Charlie George. A maverick in the truest sense of the word. He was a skilful player, a dribbler and a goal-scorer. He broke the British record for European goals in a season back in 1976/77, during QPR`s UEFA Cup run. The only problem for Stan and those others is they were in the shadow of THE top dog at the time, one George Best. Best gets a mention in this book of course.
Stan`s partner-in-crime was Don Shanks and their merry escapades make for marvellous entertainment, there is hardly a dull page in the whole book with loads of laugh out loud moments. If you like your football books to contain loads of anecdotes and opinions this is the book for you. It has some of the funniest I have ever read, and it is also the only footballer`s biography I can think of that mentions the Shoot To Kill inquiry and Thin Lizzy. Also, unlike many such books, Stan doesn`t bore us with his `romantic` laisons, he makes it quite clear his main obsession was betting, followed closely by betting. Although earning good money by the standards of the day, he doesn`t worship filthy lucre but rather regards it as a means to an end. More visits to the dog track. A brilliant read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 20 November 2010
I enjoyed it. Stan Bowles typified what has become a kind of media cliche about 1970's bad boy footy players. His main vice though and this is a fact about which Bowles is somewhat emphatic, and the one that caused most of the problems in his life, was betting, not drinking, unlike Best. There are laughs in this book and some tragedy, and it was particularly odd for me at the time of reading the section which records Bowles' fights with him in the 1960's, that Malcolm Allison passed away. Bowles is not self pitying, and does not subscribe to any kind of hand-wringing guilt-ridden revisionism of his jack-the-laddism, and you can see his love for the game. There's a bitterwsweet quality to his story as everyone knew what a fantastic player he was, and he never really achieved the success his skills undeniably deserved.

It's hard to write a review with such a wide range of possible readers, so I would say this will be of interest to anyone either seeking a nostalgia buzz, or researching the 1970's football scene in England...and a lot of the familiar characters of that era turn up. There's a lot of humour, but I felt there were probably a lot of stories lost too, partly because of the crazy hazy days Bowles was too busy living to notice were happening, but also because some of the stories would potentially bring up legal issues, as Bowles associated with gangsters and had quite a few run-ins with the law, and he is not shy in illustrating their brutal tactics...so, reading between the lines......but it did leave me wanting a little more.

There are some choice quotes in here for budding football pundits, and I have heard prominent radio commentators and radio chat show hosts using them shamelessly. Anyway I enjoyed it, despite the hint of melancholy there is to his, and a lot of other people's stories of that time in the game, especially when you see players' wages now, while players from that time are selling their medals now to get a bit of cash. Having said that, the way Bowles paints it, even if he had had the kind of wages top players are on now, it would still have all disappeared in a puff of smoke at the dog track or on the gee gees, so he'd be in the same position anyway.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 8 June 2005
This is one of the finest sports autobiographies I've read. Forget the sanctimonious preaching of Tony Adams or the neuroptic tics of Tony Cascarino, this is a footie book as footie books should be - full to the brim of cracking and absolutely hilarious anecdotes. Bowles comes across as being likeable and honest, and obviously a real character - the kind that football seem to have lost these days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2010
I guess this would appeal to 'ONE OF THE LADS' I have grown out of that a long time ago, but it was good to read about some of the old names. I didn't fully appreciate Stans obvious football talent as I was not a Rangers follower, but have come to appreciate just what players like Stan, with their flawed genius bring to the game. A good book, but probably not the right reader...lol
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2011
Like many footballers autobiographies, this is an good and interesting read without being a great book. I am a little bit too young to remember Stan Bowles but have heard of the legend. The book takes you through his career and all of the scrapes he got in with his mates (both in and outside of football). I am glad I read it and know more about Stan and the world of football in the 70s. It is amazing to see what players got away with then.

If you like football, it is worth a read.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2009
Thoroughly entertaining and an eyeopener to me who watched Stan at his peak when I was interested enough in football to go to the matches - ah yes those were the days!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 April 2010
being a life long q.p.r. fan i loved this book, i never got to see stan play in real life due to my age but learned from this book he was something special a fantastic read ranger's fan or not.
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on 1 January 2014
Loved this guy when he was at Man City, a true character and wonderfully talented footballer. Stan wrote this book and bared his soul as his gambling took over his life. Lived his life to the extreme and sod the consequences was his downfall but QPR provided him with a platform to show off his considerable skills. In a strange way I compare him to Joe Barton, at Man City burst onto the scene but his indiscipline became too much and led to his moves to Marseille and QPR where presently his football does the talking. An unusually good footballer Autobiography
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 13 May 2010
witty, interesting and reasonably well written. laughed out loud on various occasions! a humorous insight into "bad boy"(pffft) of football stanley bowles
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A cracking auto-biography of one of the last great mavericks of the game.Stan drank and gambled his way through a fortune,was often at loggerheads with managers,directors and team mates but some how it never seemed to get in the way of him performing on a saturday afternoon.In this honest and frank account of his life Bowles tells it how it really was - the great days at QPR,the rows with Cloughie,the punch ups with Malcom Allison and how he has lost a fortune at the track.
So go on and buy a great book from one of the unsung heroes of the game.
I bet you enjoy it (no pun intended!)
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