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This review is from: Beyond The Boot Camps (Hardcover)
This book is constructed in an odd way - each section starts with a rendering of the facts (at least as Ian Ridley saw them) before we get a lengthier discourse covering Steve Claridge's view of events. Given that the latter will in actuality also have been penned by Ridley, it's an unusual narrative form.
That said Ridley is - as ever - very readable (both in his own right and while translating the thoughts of Steve Claridge into English) and we get a jolly romp through the last 5 years of Claridge's career as age catches up with even this fitness fanatic and his playing career peters out on 1008 games in the lower reaches of the non-league pyramid . At the same time his media career takes off (while still maintaining he could cut it in the championship at the age of 40+ given the opportunity, despite all the indications on the playing field to the contrary). Actually there was one more game to be had after the book was finished, a noble one off return to try to help Weymouth out of a financial/football mess in late 2009, a 5-1 defeat as it turned out although this was a typical result for Weymouth at the time and Steve was in no way responsible.
On the subject of Weymouth, there are a few small differences in this rendering of events from Ridley's earlier Floodlit Dreams, which covered the Weymouth player-managerial part of this book in more detail.
All in all though, an excellent read, recommended for fans of lower league football, Steve Claridge or the game generally.