8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Taking le Tiss (Hardcover)
Before you read further I must declare an interest - I'm a Saints fan who attended almost every home game, and some away, during the whole period that Matt LeTissier was playing for Southampton. I saw all the spectacular goals at The Dell with the exception of the flipped-up free kick against Wimbledon. The hairs on the back of my neck are upstanding at the thought of the two against Newcastle one evening following his recall to the side by Ian Branfoot. A smile comes to my face automatically at the thought of his chip over Peter Schmeical in the 6-2 win (as Matt points out this was NOT the even-more-famous "grey-shirt" game). And as for his goal near the end of that last game at The Dell.... well, I'm lost for words.
Anyway, you will understand that I am fairly biased and Matt was a hero for me from the age of 12 until he retired. So, for someone who rarely buys autobiographies and who reads them even less often (yes, I've bought but not read several biographies), it was quite something for me even to pick this up. But I had to, mainly because in the absence of a video player in our house anymore, I've not watched the "Unbelievable" or "First 100 goals" videos in quite some time and I wanted to trawl back through the memory banks once more.
And what a great trip it was to read this book. It all came flooding back, from arriving at The Dell and taking my place at the back of the terrace, the smell of cigarettes and pies filling my nose and the anticipation building as the players came out onto the pitch. Watching Matt warm up by trying (trying!) to hit the bar from the edge of the penalty area, hitting volleys into the top corner and generally taking the mickey out of our own keeper. Happy days.
That side of things, the memories, the recall etc, were great. But what I didn't really get from this book, with the exception of discovering that Matt himself tried and failed to fix the time of the first thrown in during a game (as part of a spread-betting scam, since reported on the BBC website) and revelations about a club tour to Northern Ireland (hilarious), was much insider stories and gossip. Yes, there was a series of match summaries, and most of his goals were mentioned, most of the memorable games and hatricks etc, and he talked a lot about the comings and goings of managers, but there was very little we didn't already know.
The book was ghost-written by Graham Hiley, who was the chap writing about Saints for The Daily Echo at the time, and who I relied on (in the pre-internet days when Clubcall was simply too expensive to even dial the number) for club news, and the book could have been a heavily abridged version of all the writing Graham did for the newspaper over the years.
It was, however, a very nice, feelgood read for a Saints fan and, I suspect, for fans of sporting autobiographies in general. He doesn't talk about his personal life at all, really, and for me this is a relief. The personal life bits are generally why I don't like biographies.
So my advice to any Saints fan is BUY IT!!! It's not a particularly difficult read and, once all the memories start flooding back, you won't want to put it down. Plus it has some very, very funny moments.
Thanks Matt for all the good times, your goals are the markers by which I keep my memories or being a teenager in order. Happy, happy days.