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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic
Written some forty years ago, but still one of the best insights into football ever written. The book is worth reading for the introductory chapters alone in which the author captures the appeal of the game and its place in the culture of society - eg "It (football) is not a phenomenon; it is an everyday matter. There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it...
Published on 11 Jun 2009 by Billforshort

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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very dated classic
When this book came out is was accepted to be possibly the best book ever written about football up to that time. Unfortunately that was 40 years ago and I time as not been kind to it.

Read today Football Man seems outrageously dated; football in the UK as changed so much in the ensuing years that you could be forgiven for thinking that you were reading about a...
Published on 27 Jun 2007 by Bantam Dave


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic, 11 Jun 2009
Written some forty years ago, but still one of the best insights into football ever written. The book is worth reading for the introductory chapters alone in which the author captures the appeal of the game and its place in the culture of society - eg "It (football) is not a phenomenon; it is an everyday matter. There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it than in devoting a life to it. It has more significance to the national character than theatre has."
Further chapters follow on players, managers, supporters, referees and so forth. In these days of millionaire footballers the detail seems quaint and dated but the passion and love for the game does not. Highly recommended.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Only Football Bible, 13 Jan 2004
I have only read a few excerpts from this book when Graham Taylor mentioned it in his column in Daily Telegraph. I then searched the web for more info & many Man Utd fans described one of the chapters from that book "The Death of Duncan Edwards". It was the most moving account of Edwards, which had the essence of what we all & England missed following the tragic air-crash. Hopcraft's most famous lines"The way we play the game, organise it & reward it, reflects the kind of community we are."
I would love to have this book.
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3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A very dated classic, 27 Jun 2007
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Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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When this book came out is was accepted to be possibly the best book ever written about football up to that time. Unfortunately that was 40 years ago and I time as not been kind to it.

Read today Football Man seems outrageously dated; football in the UK as changed so much in the ensuing years that you could be forgiven for thinking that you were reading about a totally different game altogether, which, you could argue, you are.

Football Man is best read as a snapshot of football in the sixties. There are some interesting pieces - George Best as a young man, already showing signs of entering into a lifestyle of booze and blondes which would ultimately bring about his too early death; the first footsteps into football chairmanship of Ken Bates at Oldham, then in his late thirties; the referee Maurice Fussey, reminding you of the days of the character ref - Roger Kirkpatrick, Jack Taylor, Gordon Hill etc.

This is an interesting read then, but only if you were a fan back in the 60's.
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The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer
The Football Man: People and Passions in Soccer by Arthur Hopcraft (Paperback - 26 Jan 2006)
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