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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real page-turner, 3 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
I heard about this book from reading the five-star review in FourFourTwo, and so I got it straight away and I must say it doesn't disappoint. `Baz' gives a great insight into the world of football, having spent 35 years in the game as a player, physio and manager. What I also thought was really interesting and also quite surprising was the confidence issues he faced as a young player rising through the youth ranks to the first team of the club he supported as a boy, Birmingham City. The parts about his sensitivity to dressing-room banter from his teammates and his stage-fright at playing alongside his footballing hero Trevor Francis are particularly shocking. When reading the book you really feel like you get to know Baz, and his warmth and sense of humour really comes across. He's honest and intelligent and can certainly tell a good tale, and I'd definitely recommend this book to any fans of football, or sport in general.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for all fans of the game, 2 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
Funny, heartwarming and most importantly honest insight into the other sides of the beautiful game. A million miles away from the WAG and wages we associate with football today. The book follows 'Baz' on his journey from cowering apprentice to star player, manager at the bottom and then physio at the top. You find yourself willing him to speak up and at some points in the book shut up (his first meeting with his wife!) A brilliant read for all football fans!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smell of Football, 3 Aug 2011
By 
A. Jones - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
I heared Baz talking about his book on the NSNO podcast and immediately ordered it from Amazon . It arrived this morning and I was unable to put it down . From the foreward by Phil Neville to the postscripts by many of Baz's friends and colleagues at the end , every page was a joy tinged with a touch of sadness. A fantastic insight to all aspects of professional football from top to bottom experienced by a gentleman who overcame his demons to reach what for me personally would be the pinnacle of football ... Working for Everton FC in a position that he was loved , respected and admired by all . If you want to try to get inside the minds of our current professionals and what makes them tick or read how different it is from one end of the spectrum to the other then you have to read this .
The highest rating I am allowed to give is a 5* but for Baz this is a Sunday People 10
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smell of Football brings the sound of laughter!!!, 10 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
An honest, insightful and often hysterical look at the glamorous (and not so glamorous) world of professional football.
This will bring a smile to your face. It would make a cracking gift for anyone with an interest in football. Great read! LOVED IT!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smell of football, 18 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
Smell of Football, The

A must read for any football fan "Baz" takes you on his journey through his football career, and what a career it was.It had me gripped from the start with his brutal honesty and great sense of humour you can tell why he is is loved and admired by many ' A true professional '.

Daveyjones1878 ( Everton Fan ).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Smell of Football, 2 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
Great book from a man who has seen all sides of football. From a player, caretaker, manager and physio and all round good bloke, who is well respected by players, managers and supporters. You wont put this book down until you have read it from cover to cover. Well worth buying for yourself or a gift for a friend.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for any football fan of any age, 17 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
This is a must buy for any football fan, a real inside from a professional who played in the 1980's, who then progressed to a physio, manager, and ended up the top physio at Everton, having daily contact with the top players. You cannot put this down and it must be a good buy for any football lover as a gift. I would say just buy this and you will get the best insight into how football has changed. The characters in the game, the pranks, the anguish and pain, the transfers and the inside line on what makes professional football work. Players wanting to move, fall outs, new signings, the thrill of the win, the threat of the sack - it is all here. Then this is compared to the game pre SKY, when players and managers got by on what we would call good but normal wages. I can not tell you how much a good decision you would have made if you went and bought this book. I hope there is a second book to come from a top man and a real good honest hardworking guy. Cheers Mick - Up the Warriors!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real Story of Football, 4 Aug 2011
This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
Met Baz about one month ago and he told me he had a book out, at the start I thought why is a Physio/fitness coach bringing a book out. As I soon found out Baz was not just a normal Physio/fitness coach! I got to know him a bit more and soon realised how good and how long a career he had as both a player and also as the Physio at Preston and Everton( not forgetting his time at Halifax either). As a footballer myself I can relate in a lot of ways to what Baz writes about in his book, and for someone who is a big fan of football this book gives a much more truthful insight into the game than any other football related books I've previously read. The book has some fantastic stories ranging from being a young kid starting out and also about being a very important member of staff at a really top club in the premier league. it was a pleasure to work with Baz for the last month or so and a pleasure to read and learn more about the top man that Baz is. People involved in the game will love this book because it's truthful and fans will get the real insight into the game they love. A great read. Well done Baz!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent, insightful, honest and hilarious, 7 Oct 2011
By 
M. Crooke "COYB" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
I have recently read this autobiography and I must say I think it is the best "footy" book that I have read.
It is not ghost written, as most are nowadays and the book runs at a fast pace with many stories- all varied but equally hilarious and it really does highlight how the games has evolved since the sky money took over. He comes across as a humble man who has never forgotten where he came from and judging by the comments by his peers is both loved and well respected.
He has served in more or less every aspect of football and all the different levels and his comments are both intelligent and very insightful.I bought this book because I am an avid Evertonian but would suggest any fan would enjoy this wonderful adventure......I would rate this book higher than the Steve Claridge book and the Tony Cascarino book, both of which i also rated highly.
Well done Baz and thanks for the read!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rathbone makes it a vintage year, 9 April 2012
By 
J A C Corbett (Blackheath, London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Smell of Football (Hardcover)
Mick Rathbone's outstanding memoir of life as a journeyman footballer, manager and physio completes, in my view, possibly the best year for sporting memoirs that we've seen. With great autobiographies by renowned athletes David Millar and Paul Lake, the former Everton physio offers something very different.

A player with Birmingham, Blackburn and Preston, a manager with Halifax and then a physio at Preston and Goodison, the first inclination to a figure who has toiled in football's less glamorous avenues may be ambivalence. But while Rathbone's career lacks some lustre, this doesn't matter. For he is a searingly - often brutally - honest character, who writes with such expertise that one feels as if they are with him through every page of this brilliant book. The Smell of Football is an apposite title for one can almost sense the waft of liniment and Deep Heat, as if peering over Rathbone's shoulder throughout.

The opening pages that recount his days as a novice professional at Birmingham are almost heart-breaking. Rathbone was so struck with nerves playing for his boyhood club - and alongside his hero Trevor Francis - that he seems almost doomed to failure. There are are happier years at Blackburn and Preston, but life as a 1980s lower league footballer was also replete with financial uncertainties and Rathbone's awareness of his own shortcomings as a player and - at times - a person make this intriguing.

Then there is a spell as caretaker manager of Halifax that reveals the shocking haphazardness of life in the lower leagues. Rathbone admits he was appointed as an afterthought by his chairman and knew he never stood a chance. Once more, the honesty is almost heart-breaking.

Strangely, it is his time at Everton - which should be the most interesting - that is in many ways the least interesting part of the book. When I say that, it suffers by comparison to the other parts, and is still - on its own merits - as good an account as I have read on the daily existence of a Premier League club. Rathbone at first seems starstruck, but settles into his groove. Having witnessed as an Evertonian the careers of players like Paul Bracewell, Ian Snodin, Joe Parkinson and Michael Ball be ruined by injury, I can say that Rathbone's revival of the lacklustre Goodison medical department was first rate. Certainly it has extended the careers of some of my favourite players.

Overall this a superlative book, and bears comparison to Fred Ayre's famous memoir, Kicked Into Touch. Certainly, I think it will come to be considered a classic of it's genre. Rathbone is currently freelancing as a football physio. I for one can't wait to see him back in the game and start work on the next chapter of his story.
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The Smell of Football
The Smell of Football by Mick Rathbone (Paperback - 11 Oct 2012)
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