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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid trip back in time to when Saturday's heroes were called Roy, Bobby, George, Colin...
You get a sense of so near yet so far from reading the footballing life story of Roy McFarland. As an England defender, he arrived just too late and so will for ever remain in the shadow of Bobby Moore. When his time did come, injuries and Poland got in the way. He might have lifted the European Cup with Derby County, but disgraceful events in the semi-final against...
Published 12 months ago by j walsh

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1.0 out of 5 stars I was very good to Roy despite taking a lot of flack for ...
How dare he call me nervous!! I never went BALISTIC either. I was very good to Roy despite taking a lot of flack for allegedly `poaching` him from Bradford City, when he was kicking my door down to sign him. This cost Derby £60,000 in fines- money the Club could scarcely afford.
Published 1 month ago by mike watterson


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid trip back in time to when Saturday's heroes were called Roy, Bobby, George, Colin..., 23 April 2014
This review is from: Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography (Hardcover)
You get a sense of so near yet so far from reading the footballing life story of Roy McFarland. As an England defender, he arrived just too late and so will for ever remain in the shadow of Bobby Moore. When his time did come, injuries and Poland got in the way. He might have lifted the European Cup with Derby County, but disgraceful events in the semi-final against Juventus in 1973 conspired against the Rams. Events in Turin all those years ago, graphically recounted here, also exposed a fallibility not usually associated with Brian Clough. McFarland was given a second chance – but turned down Clough and Nottingham Forest on their way to becoming kings of Europe for a second time. Roy Mac spans a career during which planet football changed beyond recognition – not necessarily for the better.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A class act, 28 May 2014
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Bantam Dave (Bradford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Roy McFarland was an exceptional footballer. He played at centre-half but he wasn’t the stereotypical “hard-case” number five. He was not a particularly big man so he couldn’t use his height or brawn to gain an advantage; instead it was his speed, ability and sheer class that got him to the top. He was once named in the best all-time England XII and I wouldn’t argue with that - I started watching football in the sixties so although I can’t judge those that went before that I have no hesitation in stating that he was superior to any other England central defender from Jack Charlton onwards. I was therefore surprised to read that he only gained 28 England caps as he seemed to be an England regular for years, but no, a serious Achilles injury when he was only 26 effectively curtailed his international career at a relatively early age. To put this in perspective, Ashley Young has already won two caps more, but will he be remembered as fondly as McFarland is once his playing career is over?

Whilst he had a long successful career as a player and a manager after finishing this autobiography I was left feeling that McFarland didn’t really achieve what his talent deserved. As a player he won two League Championships and a Division Two Championship with Derby County and under Brian Clough’s leadership Derby were, for a while, one of Britain’s best teams but for much of his time there they struggled through bad management and a lack of finance. His international career also coincided with the time that England’s fortunes were at their lowest; this meant that he never competed in the World Cup and appeared only once in the European Championships, although he played often during various unsuccessful qualifying campaigns. His management career never reached the heights that it should have done neither. I write this as a Bradford City supporter who witnessed him turn a bunch of no-hopers into promotion winning team in 1982. I remain convinced that had he stayed longer he would have built a team that would have made City a force in football but was persuaded to return to Derby County as assistant manager. To be fair to McFarland he admits in this book that this was the biggest mistake that he ever made but at the time it left a bad taste in the mouth of all City supporters. His subsequent management career brought success but always at small clubs; could he have managed at a higher level had he finished the job he started at Bradford City? As I wrote earlier he also had many injury problems that caused him to miss many games but in this autobiography he doesn’t express many regrets or feelings of resentment, but instead seems grateful to have achieved what he did and to have enjoyed a good life in football.

This is a good autobiography, like its subject classy and pure quality. It is helped by the fact that Brian Clough plays such a large role in McFarland’s life; he was such a larger than life character that, like Bill Shankly, any book that features him can only be greatly enhanced by his presence. This is a book that will be enjoyed by all football watchers but particularly those who love to reminisce about the game in the seventies.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than 'Clough's Champion'., 24 April 2014
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A thoroughly enjoyable read though probably best suited to Rams fans or those at least familiar with Derby. Having spent virtually the whole of his playing career with Derby County it is understandable that the book revolves largely around Roy Mac's exploits with the club throughout the seventies and eighties. He offers an intelligent insight into the relationship between Brian Clough and Peter Taylor and interesting commentary on events at the Baseball Ground when the players were moved to the brink of strike action in an attempt to prevent Clough's sacking. Observations regarding the likes of Dave Mackay, both as player and manager, are also fascinating as are those regarding World Cup winning manager, Alf Ramsey who is portrayed in a more kindly light than usual. There are other bits and pieces involving the early days at Tranmere and managerial experience at Chesterfield, Cambridge and Burton Albion but, although this is a well written account about much more than the 'Clough' days, it is principally one for Rams aficionados.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT CHARACTER!, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography (Hardcover)
If your a Derby County fan, you'll love it! If your a football fan of a certain age (over 30!) you'll enjoy the memories provided by reading this book. Roy McFarland, as described by the foreward by Geoff Hurst, was one of England's best centre-halves! He really was on a par with Bobby Moore, and quite rightly voted onto an all-time England 11 by Sky pundits. He had everything, including the injuries, that probably robbed him of another 40 or 50 caps! The book provides another angle on the Clough-Taylor years and a further insight into the turmoil surrounding that time, confirming a lot of what the Derby fans knew through hearsay and gossip! An enjoyable read for a decent bloke, not just a great footballer!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 25 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography (Hardcover)
Very well written. One of the best footballer's autobiographies I've read. Love the fact that all the dates and scores mentioned are correct (I think). So many times in these type of books you get lots of factual errors that make you tut out loud. Well they make me tut out loud anyway. Top marks Roy!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A bygone age of football fondly remembered., 29 Jun. 2014
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Great memories regarding a fantastic side in a fantastic era for English Football.Both European and domestic nights never to be forgotten.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read, 24 Jun. 2014
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Great read about England's best centre half. Brought back many memories of the great years of the champions of England
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5.0 out of 5 stars Roy Mac:clough's Champion, 11 Jun. 2014
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I gave Roy Mac 5 stars because he is one of my derby county hero's, and the best derby and England central defender of my generation.As you would guess as a rams fan the book is just great, and i would recommend it to any rams fan.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 23 May 2014
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A clear entertaining book about a thoroughly nice successful footballer. An insight also into working for Brian Clough and his progression to international level
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting insights, 26 April 2014
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A great read for someone like myself whose football formative years were spent watching the Derby County side of the early seventies. As others have said it is unlikely we will see a centrehalf at Derby again with that much footballing ability; It is mainly a book for the Derby County fan particularly with the insights into the 'glory years', the other players, Clough and Taylor; and the time when Roy was sacked as manager.
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Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography
Roy Mac: Clough's Champion My Autobiography by Will Price (Hardcover - 4 April 2014)
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