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Customer Review

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of a great player & great team from the sixties, 15 Sept. 2008
This review is from: Mike Summerbee: The Autobiography (Hardcover)
Following the recent change of ownership Manchester City are purported to be the richest football club in the World. It is said that they have the finances available to buy any player they want, at any price.

Even with this vast financial clout, will they ever make three better signings than City did in the sixties when they paid just £35000 for Mike Summerbee, £45000 for Colin Bell and £60000 for Francis Lee? Three players who almost forty years on are still talked about in revered tones by the City faithful.

People tend to overlook them now but, as Mike Summerbee reminds us in this excellent autobiography, Manchester City were a brilliant team in the late sixties/early seventies. Built by the chalk and cheese partnership of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison they won the League Championship, FA Cup, Football League Cup and the European Cup Winners Cup in the space of three years. This book gives us a nostalgic reminder as to how good they were.

Signing for Manchester City in 1965, Mike Summerbee was in the ideal position to write about the birth of a great team and also the break up of that team before he left to play for Burnley ten years later. It is fascinating stuff, particularly when you compare what went on then as to what football is like now. I think this is probably best illustrated by what Mike Summerbee calls the 'gymnasium treatment'. He tells us that if one of the opposition players had been 'sneaky or cowardly' they would be dragged into the Manchester City gynmasium to be given a slap or two to point out the error of their ways! It couldn't happen now, more's the pity.

It is also interesting to read about Summerbee's thoughts about his best friend in the sixties - George Best. This George Best is nothing like the sad figure he became prior to his death a few years ago. The George Best Mike Summerbee knows was a quiet man, a lovely man, happier just playing cards than drinking and womanising. Summerbee also tells us that he considers Best to have been a very lonely person, a great shame then that he never found what Summerbee had found - a strong, loving wife who held his life together and never allowed fame go to his head.

This is a good nostalgic book for all those who have loved football for what seems to be a long, long time. There is a quote in the book that made just how long hit home for me - "My grandson then asked for autographs from some of the other Chelsea players like John Terry and Ashley Cole, and they looked past me thinking I was just another autograph hunter".

Where did I put my pipe and slippers?
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Initial post: 19 Oct 2008 12:58:59 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Oct 2008 16:56:45 BDT
Good review mate. A thought provoking final paragraph too.
Ashley Cole ? 'The Bee' at his best would have ran him ragged.
Well, I like to think so anyway ! Cole to me sums up much of what is wrong about the modern game.
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Reviewer

Bantam Dave
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: Bradford, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 639