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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steak...Diana Ross (Very well done)
The cover of this wonderfully entertaining book is what first caught my eye. A bedraggled footballer, seemingly alone on a frost-bound pitch, wearing a football strip that is free of sponsors' names, yet sports the vertical stripes that exaggerate what looks like an embryonic beer gut beneath. This turns out to be David McVay, a self-styled football nobody and at the time...
Published on 12 Mar 2003 by Nick Morse

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpse into football nostalgia
Diary of a journeyman footballer at one of yesteryears great clubs; liked the diary references which jogged a few memories of events taking place at the time; as an insight into the everday workings of a footballer's psyche, offers little in the way of in depth revelations (as you would expect) but if your were brought up on the foortball terraces of the sixties and...
Published 13 months ago by Colin Smith


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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steak...Diana Ross (Very well done), 12 Mar 2003
By 
The cover of this wonderfully entertaining book is what first caught my eye. A bedraggled footballer, seemingly alone on a frost-bound pitch, wearing a football strip that is free of sponsors' names, yet sports the vertical stripes that exaggerate what looks like an embryonic beer gut beneath. This turns out to be David McVay, a self-styled football nobody and at the time embarking on a career as a professional footballer and an erstwhile diarist. A young, rebellious, lefty, intellectual, innocent, McVay was not a typical footballer of his time and this is far from the usual mundane, ghost written, ego-trip that identifies the modern football biography.
For a period of twenty months in the 70s, McVay's recollections gleaned from the journal he kept at the time, provide a fascinating and very funny insight into the world of a young player aiming to be successful in what was, even then, a cut throat profession. The characters that had somehow attached themselves to Notts County are richly drawn. They are portrayed in such a way as to make the reader believe that they could have been dreamt up by Steinbeck. For Meadow Lane read Cannery Row.
McVay is the chronicler, who obviously has a keen eye for the eccentricity of his fellow man. There are superbly illustrated cameos of "the Gaffer", Jimmy Sirrel a Glaswegian with the sharp tongue of a Clydeside shipbuilder, the fantasies of a star struck schoolboy and the social graces of a Brooke Bond chimp. I have read out loud to anyone who will listen, the tales of the tomato ketchup ritual, the bottle top tactics and the bunion scalpel incident.
An overriding theme of the book is the warmth found among smoky pubs, back to back houses and the multi-functional boiler room at the ground. The affection and boozy camaraderie shown by the players is clear, but there is also an underlying brutality illustrated by the cruel and cutting jibes, the rich and ribald language, the precariousness of their chosen profession.
"Steak...Diana Ross" epitomises the 1970s. There is an innocence, a vulgarity and the gradual awareness that life is changing. The slums of the neighbouring Meadows area of Nottingham have gone, the girls who provided such willing diversions for the young athletes will now be grandmothers with a past, but nothing has changed as much as the game itself. It may be an infinitely richer game in commercial terms from those days, but somehow I cannot imagine that it provides as rich an experience of life as in this hilarious account.
He may not have been able to "Bend it like Beckham", but few could "Tell it like McVay".
Message to the author: There is a novel in this.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steak....Diana Ross, 5 Mar 2003
A great book. Whether you were around to follow football at the time or you are, as i am, too young to remember the days in which McVay played, if you like football you will love this book. It gives you a fascinating insight into every aspect of the beautiful game during the period, providing a stark example of how the game has changed in the last few decades. You will be engrossed, you will laugh and you will, i'm sure, feel a tinge of remorse at the loss of the common touch the game once had amongst the millions floating around today.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When football was football,eh?, 4 July 2013
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
Anyone of a certain age, who remembers Willie Carlin's free kick routine, and the ploggers' field that was the Baseball Ground in the seventies, will appreciate this little gem from David McVay. As evocative as the smell of Wintergeen and dubbin, and as good for the soul as hearing Barry Davies yelling "look at his face, just look at his face!" The author shows the benefit of being rooted in the real world. Can't imagine players in a similar position for a similar club having the same view on life - unless their agent tells them it's good for future chatshow appearances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Step back in time, 29 April 2005
By 
Mr. Ad Pearson "adam_pearson_cowes" (Isle of Wight) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is a must for any football fan who can remember seventies football. A fascinating insite into the old world of professional football. I loved this book. I only wish there were more out there like it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Glimpse into football nostalgia, 28 July 2013
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
Diary of a journeyman footballer at one of yesteryears great clubs; liked the diary references which jogged a few memories of events taking place at the time; as an insight into the everday workings of a footballer's psyche, offers little in the way of in depth revelations (as you would expect) but if your were brought up on the foortball terraces of the sixties and seventies then as a broad minded individual you will probably enjoy some of the humour.

If this was published today as an insight into the 21st century footballer I suspect little has changed below the surface, but as we are now all being retrospectively homogenised for the sins of the fathers, and applying back into the time the double standards of today, those of a more po faced persuasion should do best to avoid this book, and then there will be no need to trouble theirTwitter accounts with outraged sensivities!

'Diary of a Football Nobody' could also read 'Diary of a Typical 70's Footballer', just change the names as required.

Light whimsy unlikely to get onto most footy fans radar, but baby boomers fill your boots!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant McBay, 6 July 2013
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
Brilliant moving revealing and entertaining.

Slightly biased as I am a county fan who grew up on the same estate as Dave.

But a great insight into a real football.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The next big hit?, 22 Jan 2004
By A Customer
Football has always lacked a literature compared to some other sports: Cricket, Baseball and Boxing immediately come to mind.
In recent years there have been hopeful signs of change, with obvious hits like Hornby's Fever Pitch, and Tim Parks' A Season with Verona - Steak... Diana Ross deserves to join them. As an account by a junior player at a club in the lower divisions in a different decade it rounds out this genre.
This book is far removed from the standard ex-player ghosted account of their playing days. McVay's acute observation is matched by taut and witty writing.
On a personal note I confess an interest: I watched McVay's team throughout the early '70s as a young teenager, so although I cannot speak objectively as to 'characterization' I can assure the underlying veracity: to my amazement Nottingham (and probably most of the rest of England) was like this in the mid-70s.
I picked this up in a bookstore, expecting nothing more than to refresh memories of standing on the terraces watching Dave McVay and his team-mates, but found myself totally absorbed. For sure, it is tremendously evocative of the era for me: I attended a school a few hundred metres from Notts County's ground; kids at school went on to play for the club, or had brothers who played there; later, I'd drink in the same pubs as the players - but, it offers much more!
As an earlier reviewer notes, its worth a novel, but it may appear as a film before then: apparently, a British Film company has an option on the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life on the souless side of the Trent, 7 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
Enjoyed reading how life was on the black side or should that be backside of the Trent. The emotion of the climb up the divisions is missing and the humdrum existence of an alcoholic footballer prevails.Enjoyable with a pinch of salt
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4.0 out of 5 stars Was life ever this simple?, 7 Aug 2014
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
An book that shows a world only 20 years ago that seems to be of a different country in a long distant past - shows professional footballers who were grateful to be playing even when they were hacking lumps out of each others shins then had to catch a charabang home - it never occurred to them that they were super-stars - an insiders view of a world long gone - recommended as a light read but essential to all fans of the beautiful game
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5.0 out of 5 stars Pro footballers in the early 70's, 13 April 2014
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This review is from: Steak Diana Ross: Diary of a Football Nobody (Kindle Edition)
I am slightly biased as a saw most of the games Mcvay is referring to but as a snapshot of football and footballers in the early 70's its a must.
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