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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Rules!, 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
What a lovely, lush , nostalgic read!

Tim Quelch has watched and studied an awful lot of football over the past 50 years or so and he has taken a highly original stance in providing an overview of that period taking the perspective of the underdog - teams of whom nothing was expected yet totally over performed.

He ranges over clubs as diverse as Brighton, Chelsea, Northampton and Norwich as well as his beloved Burnley and writes with passion, knowledge and no small degree of wit about the Football League, FA Cup and Non-League alike.

Football is mixed with social comment and the period comes alive as do the subjects of his penetrating pen portraits such as the Brighton and former Spurs and England centre forward Bobby Smith. Now I think I understand how an established International striker fell from the heights of Spurs to the depths of the Fourth Division in so short a time span.

This is a serious social and football history of the period but is a delight to read.

I understand that Mr Quelch is soon to publish a book on cricket throughout the 1950s which I await with relish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !, 24 May 2013
By 
Russell Hurst (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
This really is a superb book, to a true football fan of advancing years it sums up what it is all about , many congratulations and thanks, highly recommended !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underdog, 21 May 2013
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Superb book of footy nostalgia from Tim Quelch. I remember quite a lot of these games, though not as many at Tim it seems as he gives a comprehensive guide to the great upsets. His beloved Burnley takes up quite a bit of the text, but his passion, knowledge and wit show through throughout the book. Recommended to all footy fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia Rules!, 23 Sep 2012
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What a lovely, lush , nostalgic read!

Tim Quelch has watched and studied an awful lot of football over the past 50 years or so and he has taken a highly original stance in providing an overview of that period taking the perspective of the underdog - teams of whom nothing was expected yet totally over performed.

He ranges over clubs as diverse as Brighton, Chelsea, Northampton and Norwich as well as his beloved Burnley and writes with passion, knowledge and no small degree of wit about the Football League, FA Cup and Non-League alike.

Football is mixed with social comment and the period comes alive as do the subjects of his penetrating pen portraits such as the Brighton and former Spurs and England centre forward Bobby Smith. Now I think I understand how an established International striker fell from the heights of Spurs to the depths of the Fourth Division in so short a time span.

This is a serious social and football history of the period but is a delight to read.

I understand that Mr Quelch is soon to publish a book on cricket throughout the 1950s which I await with relish.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underdog and why football used to be a great game !, 20 Nov 2011
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This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
This book will appeal to any sports/football fans of a certain age ( Pre Premier League ) who like a bit of nostalgia and tend to support David in his regular battles with Goliath. The author outlines a number of extraordinary stories of small, unfashionable and disadvantaged clubs as they pursue promotion with considerable success through the Football Leagues and the FA Cup. Before falling back to earth with crash landings in most cases ! There have been many over the last 50 years and in my case I found the chapters on Burnley,Ipswich, Wimbledon, Carlisle, Oxford and Aldershot to have a particular resonance.

The author has clearly undertaken a huge amount of research to produce these detailed studies. His knowledge of the hundreds of players mentioned in the book is quite staggering. In addittion he very cleverley juxtoposes these with wry and shrewd observations on the politics, the economy and social events and trends at the time. Together they produce a "darn good read". It is beatifully written with some attractive and evocative photos.

Finally, I understand that the author is giving all the royalties to the Alzheimers Society. So here's an opportunity to dip into a quality book for a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane on a cold grey winters day and give something to a very worthwhile charity at the same time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done, 10 April 2014
An honest, penetrating and nostalgic journey through a time when football was more genuinely grounded in society as opposed to over-priced glitz and glam. Strongly recommended.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent- highly recommended, 1 Nov 2011
This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-RansI got tired of most sports books, particularly ones about football, years ago - the same old cliches, cut-and-pastes and colourless prose that could be written by most people, particularly the regular ghost writers.Most seemed either too bland in an attempt to trap as many purchasers as possible or too limited in their content as to only appeal to a small market.
"Underdog" is totally different - a labour of love, incredibly well-researched but at all times totally readable.It isn't just for those interested in football, or in the numerous teams mentioned here, but will amuse and entertain anyone who is in the slightest bit interested in what's been going on in this country for the last 50 years.
Fashions change, musical tastes alter, ephemeral superstars shine for a year and then are forgotten but our love for the underdogs,for the senselessly optimistic,for the daring dreamers thankfully remains forever.
If you're a fan of today's millionaire playboys, or the cynical world-weary pundits you probably won't enjoy most of this book but if you're genuinely interested in people and tales of derring-do and surprising success then this is for you.
A refreshing heart-warming work that I would totally recommend to readers of all ages, even though Huddersfield Town surely deserves to occupy a much larger chunk of this tome than it does...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underdog, 25 Oct 2011
By 
Mr. David V. Thomas (Leeds England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
An outstanding book. A journey through 50 years of following underdog teams. Tim Quelch is a superbly lyrical writer and with little tit bits of his own life as the years go by, this is a totally absorbing book.

Providing the social and historical background, this is nostalgia and memory lane at its best.

Don't think this is a lightweight book you can skim through on holiday in a few days. This is a book of 430+ pages and far more than the average number of words. It's a book you can read straight through, or dip in and out. It covers several teams and a large number of their key games.

It is one of those books that you think, now why didn't I think of writing that. But there are few authors who can match Tim's style, eloquence and graphic prose.

Hastings, Brighton, Aldershot and Burnley are just some of the teams covered. Check it out and see if your team is included.

Highly recommended. Thoroughly good value and hours and hours of great reading.
Dave Thomas
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You like football, you'll love this !, 24 Jan 2012
This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
This book is versatile. You can read it in one go, dip in and out, or read it in conjunction with another. I read it alongside 'Kite Runner'. I've read Tim's books before, and they are unique, with a brilliant blend of pure football, laced with nostalgia about what else was happening at the time, to put sporting events into a political and social context. Well, that's the intellectual part. It is also informative, a great memory check and written in an 'easy to read' style. Tim makes it clear that supporting 'underdogs' is not for the faint-hearted, nor for those in need of a 'quick fix'. Successes can be few and far between, but what ecstacy, when that day, or season, comes along. The book is also stuffed with facts - things you can drop into conversation later, and demonstrate the accuracy of your footy knowledge - 'do you remember that game in 19xx when we stuffed .... Wanderers 7-2 - that 30 yarder that went straight into the top corner?' Most important though, is that the book brings to life the excitement and misery of watching from a soggy touchline, or stand, where you can actually hear the ball being thumped, the squelching of soggy boots, and see the sweat and endeavour you can almost feel, whilst moving from foot to foot, trying to keep the circulation going in your feet. Tuck up in bed, and get reading !!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underdog - celebrating the triumph of hope over apparent reality, 30 Dec 2011
This review is from: Underdog: Fifty Years of Trials and Triumphs with Football's Also-Rans (Hardcover)
Tim Quelch's "Underdog" takes you back - anything between 5 and 55 years - to the time when the club he describes was gloriously overachieving. Sometimes this success was brief. And sometimes it came at great and lasting cost. But in every case you feel you are there, sharing the hopes of supporters whose expectations had been exceeded, and who just hoped it wasn't too good to be true - which sadly, is how things often turned out.

I must be about the same age as Tim Quelch, so discovering this book was for me an amazing wallow in nostalgia. So good in fact that I found it hard to put down on first reading. I discovered that I had actually been at more than one match he describes; and had watched, on a regular basis, more than one of the "underdogs" featured. The narrative, clearly the fruit of extensive and exhaustive research, transported me back completely to a former time, the personal insights into how everyday life was at the time adding to the realistic atmosphere.

Having said that, this is not simply viewing the past through rose-tinted spectacles. Where the foundations were built on sand, including those clubs where the sand was lavishly provided by Chairmen who proved to have feet of clay (or worse), we are aware of this. But the essence of this book is a highly readable and entertaining celebration of the emotions of supporters whose dreams came true, however briefly.

For those of a certain age, this is a must-read saga of the ups (chiefly) and downs of the lesser lights in football. But even for the younger generation who cannot remember life before the Premiership, it is a stirring tale of hope which became reality. To quote Tim Quelch's 21st century example, although you may not remember the Aldershot who fell out of the old Fourth Division, through his description of their eventual return you will be able to identify with the joy of achieving success - in any era - against the odds.
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