on 19 March 2013
This book is superb although I am slightly biased as i lived in London through the blitz (evacuated twice) and am an ardent Gillingham supporter.
It seems like I am reading my own life story but I could never write it as well as Julie Ryan has done for her father.
Humerous,very sad in places especially in the section of the book relating to the Spanish civil war (but Julie is very fair to both sides in that awful conflict despite the effect it had on her grandparents) and I can still remember my own father telling me about the time the Royal Navy took many refugees out of Barcelona to the relative safety of the Ballearic Islands.
Also I remember the sad story of Jeff Hall as well and if my memory serves me right we all stopped going to swimming pools as it was thought then that it was a likely source of polio.
Sorry to digress but returning to the book it is a fitting and well detailed tribute to John an excellent footballer and family man and although I have not quite finished the book yet I have enyoyed every page even if the print is a bit on the small side.
Do another book Julie ,you are a natural.
on 20 February 2014
I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Rome, I took this book with me to read. I have to say that I couldn't put it down, during the day we were out seeing the sights of Rome, it was absolutely brilliant to come back to the Hotel knowing that I had such a good book to pick up again. I am a football fan & I was born 2 streets away from where John Shepherd was born, it was fascinating reading about the area which I grew up in, in such vivid detail, I remember a lot of what the area was like as I was born in 1948.
The other aspect of this book which I found very enlightening was Julie Ryans Grandfathers recollections of the Spanish Civil War, I was never taught anything about this at school, & this book reminded me of the struggles that the Spanish people & sympathisers went through, maybe this should be introduced into schools in this day & age.
I highly recommend this book to all people who like a good read, hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
on 25 October 2014
What a cracking book, capturing the feel of a bygone and much missed age in football, together with a gripping narrative from the Spanish Civil War. Julie Ryan's description of London in the early to mid fifties reminded me of early childhood and her accounts of her father's early games at the Den brought back memories of my own first football match, at the Den in 1965-1966, taken by my Grandfather. Reading of John Shepherd chatting with fans on the tube on his way to the game must be strange to younger readers, brought up on the monetary excesses of the Premier League era. Exciting though the football memories are, it is the war in Spain, the years of the blitz in London and how these conflicts were so important to the Shepherd family that makes it such a fascinating and 'feel good' book.
on 1 February 2014
A really enlightening book. I am so pleased that I own a copy. It brought back so many fond memories about the area of your fathers youth, and also taught me a lot about the Spanish Civil War, of which I knew very little. Thank you for giving me a great read Julie, your father I am sure is very proud of your achievement. Tishy Kensal Town
on 24 October 2014
A brilliant book, well written and researched. Football from a by-gone era. Fascinating insight not only into John Shepherd early life and career but also his parents and his wife Esther's family in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Although I've followed Millwall since I was about 11 years old any football fan, especially from the older generation, will find this book an enjoyable read. The book is also decorated by some marvellous photos.
on 4 February 2013
A fabulous insight into the past of professional footballer John Shepherd. This is a well thought out and extemely well wrtten book highlighting when football was played for sport, not money. A journey back in time to how life in London used to be and the dramatic life of a footballer who beat the odds. If you are a proper football fan, this book is a must for your collection. Excellent!