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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Grand Footie Nostalgia!, 17 Dec 2006
By 
Foggy Tewsday - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
Do you yearn for the days when football was a man's game? When there were none of those overpaid, namby-pamby prima donnas rolling around on the floor, feigning injury? When you didn't have to take out a bank loan to go to a match? Then allow me to recommend this excellent selection from `Charles Buchan's Football Monthly'. Here you'll find, from the 1953-56 pages, a cartoon showing a man laying on the floor with his wife saying into the telephone, "It's difficult to tell if he's really hurt, doctor - he's a soccer star". From the readers' letters section (1965-71), a fan complains that the entrance fee for a Burnley home game was six shillings, a programme cost one shilling and a bus to the ground cost two shillings. Is it any wonder, he asks, that attendances are falling with prices this high? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

`Charles Buchan's Football Monthly' was a highly successful publication during its two-decade lifespan, often selling more than two hundred thousand copies per month at its height. Simon Inglis, in the book's introduction traces the magazine's history and gives some background information about its regular contributors. The book is arranged in chronological order with each `chapter' headed by a brief passage about the events that took place during the years under discussion followed by selections from three or four years worth of issues.

This is not so much a history of football during those twenty years as a history of football talking points from that time. Along with the nostalgic innocence that those times evoke, perennial topics recur throughout. Notably, the poor state of the England team, the poor state of refereeing and, from the early 1960s, hooliganism.

Plenty of players put their names to articles including Albert Quixall of Sheffield Wednesday and England: May 1954: "I seem to be the only player in England to wear abbreviated shorts. I get more freedom of movement in the legs the higher the shorts are." West Bromwich Albion captain, Bobby Robson writes in September 1961 that the England team's success the previous season had been because of the 4-2-4 formation that the manager, Walter Winterbottom, had employed.

The magazine's regular contributors write eloquently about the game. Charles Buchan's editorials are sensible and plain speaking, while John Macadam has a more brouhaha `now look here, chaps' approach. There are also many occasional and one-off contributions from managers and officials. Sunderland manager, Bill Murray asks, "Whither are we going?" in a 1952 article about a possible change to the back-pass law. Wouldn't you love to hear one of today's top managers use that phrase?

Also included are some advertisements from the time. A Tottenham and England player recommends a certain `smooth' brand of cigarette, "I couldn't afford to smoke a cigarette that irritated my throat," he explains. A bullied youngster ("He was `SHRIMP' to the boys at the baths!") discovers that in just two weeks he can have "muscles like granite - but flexible as whalebone" for only 2'6.

Examples of the different lifestyles enjoyed by players of today and yesteryear are to be found in Leslie Yates' `Soccer Sideshow' pages. Here we learn of players' family holidays in Bognor Regis and Cliftonville; Ron Atkinson's close-season window cleaning business, and a Stoke City player's other job as a designer of ladies' shoes.

This superb book will be enjoyed by football fans who were around during those twenty years. The immediacy of the topics discussed within its pages will also appeal to those who are interested in football's recent past, but who do not want to read a conventional history book. Each section ends with a list of honours for the years covered, but there are few references to these matters in the text. The book's very nature makes it easy to just dip into for a few moments, or to luxuriate in its enthusiastic prose. A grand book indeed!

WAGs? Well, there are plenty of wives pictured with their husbands. One Bolton star and his wife are photographed enjoying a game of Canasta. I suppose some things do change.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why we won the World Cup in 66, 29 Dec 2006
By 
D. Stevenson (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
Football before hype. Real men. Real drama (not your Sky manufactured version). No wonder we won the World Cup in 1966. We had 16 years of hurt after losing to the USA in 1950 World Cup. 13 years of hurt after being thrashed by Hungary at Wembley in 1953 (our first defeat at Wembley to a 'real' foreign side).

The foreigners played a different game but we still had football boots that you could have shod a horse with, shinpads as thick as a side of beef, and a football that would definitely be banned under current health and safety regulations.

They may have smoked at half-time, had second (and third) jobs, gone on holiday to Cliftonville but the heroes of 66 all did it the hard way and triumphed in the end.

Many thanks to the original contributors to the 'Football Monthly', and to Simon Inglis who has clearly taken time and effort to compile this excellent addition to anyone's sporting library.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. Great Gift., 16 Dec 2006
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This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
This is a collection of articles from the very popular monthly annual of the 50's and 60's. I bought this as a present for my Dad, who was in one of the original annuals in either 60 or 61 (I'm searching frantically for that annual!) and he was absolutely enthralled in it. The articles included provide a great insight into football from a bygone era and it's also interesting to see how far the game has developed in modern times.

I also found it to be one of the most interesting annuals/books I've read. Forget the likes of Beckham, Ronaldo and Gerrard, this book is about real men who loved the game for what it is, rather than the celebrity status and wealth it now provides.

Jumpers for goalposts? Definitely!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Beautiful Game, 13 Nov 2008
By 
Evenbreaks (London, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
Brilliant! A wonderful book - and with the individual club publications - a poignant reminder of just what a great game football was. Obviously put together with both the upmost professionalism - and great love and affection.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best of Charles Buchan's Football Monthly, 7 Aug 2007
By 
This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
I bought this book after reading Larry Dilworth and the Legends of Football. The author of Larry Dilworth acknowledges the inspiration of Charles Buchan's football monthly for the illustrations and artwork contained in his fabulous book. I also bought Tunnels after hearing that it had been described as the next Harry Potter. I was too young to have read Charles Buchan's magazines when they were in their heyday but am now hooked on collecting them. As for looking for the next Harry Potter you would be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Larry Dilworth (although I admit that you also have like football) Both Jimmy Hill and Cliff Jones formerly of Spurs and Wales have endorsed my view at the beginning of the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Christmas Present, 20 Jan 2010
By 
S. Fancutt (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" (Hardcover)
Buying a present for a special person sometimes is very difficult but this book was just the perfect present for a man of a certain age who loves football. Delivery was so fast and arrived on Christmas Eve !!
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The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly"
The Best of Charles Buchan's "Football Monthly" by Simon Inglis (Hardcover - 21 Oct 2006)
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