Sean Fallon was my late father's favourite Celtic player, and one of his heroes. My dad didn't do heroes, "they don't pay your wages" he used to say, but Sean was different, the mention of his name was enough to turn him back into a wee boy with pictures on his wall, and a Celtic scarf hanging out of his school bag.
Now having read this marvellous and poignant first book by Stephen Sullivan I fully understand why.
Footballers' life stories now are full of salacious gossip and nonsense about how they had always wanted to play for Club A/Club B/Club C/whoever offered them the biggest signing on fee, and more often than not are written by ghost-writers who have to spoon feed the words into these spoilt heroes' mouths.
Not this book. The biggest compliment I can pay to Stephen is to say that I felt I was sat in that room next to Sean on the sofa as he took us throughs the highs and lows of his life with Celtic.
The 7-1 game and Lisbon are two of the finest moments in Celtic's illustrious history, and, in this regard, the book does not disappoint in revisiting stories that most Celtic fans may have heard before, but with a new slant. The best parts though are the stories we haven't heard, about Sean's amazing eye for talent, his bravery and his over riding modesty.
Sean Fallon. A man who was as important in the history of Celtic as any other.
This is an extraordinary book, beautifully written and not just a story about a great football man. The wonderful humanity of Fallon lights up the book.
Irish politics at a personal level. His father fighting for Britain in WW1, coming home wounded to a very mixed reaction but a man of great principle who went on to be the Mayor of his home town of Sligo. Sean himself transcending the petty politics of Irish football by offering to play Internationals for the North. The book details his fine playing career mainly with Celtic, where he cheekily deducted 6 years from his age to make sure they signed him. It is though his partnership as assistant with Jock Stein and the Lisbon Lions which marked him out as someone special and the insights and revelations he gives about that time are surprising, debunking lots of myths.
Probably his greatest gift was the ability to see at a very early stage which players would make it and the testimonials from Dalglish, McGrain, McStay, Hay, Macari, Packy Bonner and many many more, mark him out as possibly the greatest talent spotter ever in British football. The love and affection he is held in by these men is a joy in what can be a cynical business. Sean clearly loved Celtic unconditionally but his natural love of people meant his popularity spread well beyond the East End of Glasgow.
Sullivan has produced a brilliant read and Sean Fallon comes across as smart, tough and altruistic. I loved this book.
It's incredible that this story is one that Sean himself didn't want to tell for many years. I am very glad that he changed his mind. As a 26 year old Celtic fan his story is one that I certainly didn't know and many people would say exactly the same as Sean's humility meant that he was happy to let all the attention go to others such as Jock Stein. Yet the work he done for Celtic is hard for others to match. Testament to this is the fact that the majority of the team that the fans voted as the greatest ever were brought to the club by Sean. A great book about a great man. Well done to Stephen for telling Sean's story brilliantly. A must read.
I have read several football biographies,but like Sean Fallon himself this stands head and shoulders above the rest. It is a great story full of insights to a much loved man and the team he loved. Importantly, it is very well written, it flows along at an easy to read pace that very soon immerses you in the tale being told, It never feels like a joined together series of anecdotes or snippets but rather reads like a well written novel. But no novel this, it is a true story of one of the great characters and well loved human beings at a club from it's barren years to when it became arguably the best in the world, certainly the best in the UK and Europe. Two men were behind the clubs quite phenomenal success, Jock Stein who we all know, and Sean Fallon, his assistant, or as it transpires partner. As you read this book you cannot help but come to like the man, the quotes and stories from a variety of colleagues and competitors all tell of an hones,likeable,.caring man who was the best at what he did. I recommend this book highly to all who have an interest in the beautiful game, or even an interest in a damn fine read about a good human being.
An absolutely brilliant book by Stephen Sullivan. Being a young Celtic fan of only 33 I knew who Sean was but not a lot about the man. With a thirst for Celtic history and knowledge I jumped straight into this book hearing great things about it. I'm glad I did, what a fantastic read from start to finish. I couldn't put it down once I started. A truly great book that all Celtic fans should own young and old.
Having read a lot of football related books, i can honestly say this is the best i have read. The way the book is written regarding Sean Fallons life and career, interspersed with interviews with him regarding different events is superb. This book shows why Sean was, and still is, held in such high regard. It goes a long way to explain the type of man he was. Highly recommended read.
Despite being a Celtic novice and having limited knowledge about Sean and the club, I found this a compelling read due to the way Fallon's story is told. The style of writing is so inclusive that anybody that follows football, not just the club, will enjoy a story beautifully written about a true footballing gent. The author has done the memory of Sean Fallon proud.