Annis: My Story Paperback – 24 Sep 2011
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About the Author
I was born in the Roath area of Cardiff in 1965. For many years my late father, Annis Snr, was renowned as one of the leading names in the nightclub business. He opened up his first club, Mayfields, back in 1958 and went on to own no less than forty four different clubs in various towns and cities across the country, as well as four more overseas. They included Titos (Cardiff), Cleopatras (Newport), Caesars (Bradford), the Queen of Hearts (Nelson), Fantasia at the Ship Hotel (Barry), the Double Diamond Club (Caerphilly), Caesars (now the Prince of Wales, Cardiff) and the famous Captain s Bar in Palma de Mallorca. My late mother, Dawn, was also a well-known figure in South Wales thanks to her tireless work for a greyhounds welfare charity she set up in 1998. Football has played a massive part of my life ever since I first watched Cardiff City play Bolton in November 1973. I was a seven year-old schoolboy at the time and the team won that game 1-0 with a goal by Welsh international Gil Reece. I ve been a Ninian Park season ticket holder ever since and I ve supported the Bluebirds in away matches at almost every ground in the Football League, at numerous non-league venues and in a variety of other countries. During my thirty five years as a season ticket holder I ve sponsored Cardiff s players, their kits, their vehicles, their match balls and their programmes. I ve become friendly with hundreds of other Cardiff City fans and a number of ex-players, directors and chairmen. I ve also tried to buy a major shareholding in the club on two separate occasions. During the Eighties and Nineties I gained a degree of notoriety thanks to my (alleged) involvement with Cardiff s infamous hooligan gang the Soul Crew. I have recently written two books about Cardiff City and its supporters. The first was published in June 2008 by Head-Hunter Books. It s entitled From Shattered Dreams to Wembley Way and tells the story of the Sam Hammam era at Ninian Park from the perspective of some of the fans who were closest to the club s former owner. My second book, the Diary of the Real Soul Crew, was published in September 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
It is an honest account that pulls no punches of his fascination and involvement in football hooliganism in the 70's and 80's, it tells the story of where the name 'Soul Crew' came from and who was involved at the outset in forming it. Annis recounts the run-ins he had with many other football firm's including Birmingham, Wolves,Millwall, Leeds, Forest, Sheffield, Swansea and Newport plus others.
I loved the chapters on how he and his family made money, turning nightclubs which were losing money into profitable business' before selling them on and moving on to the next one. The author tells of moving to Bradford alone at the tender age of 16 to run a club and making a success of it.
I thought the High Court battle with the massive chain 'Body Shop' was a moral victory for the small business community when the family went into the cosmetics industry in Cardiff and other areas.
This man has a love of his football club,Cardiff City, that cannot be denied and he has courted and befriended many powerful people at the club over three decades, Sam Hammam and Peter Ridsdale the most recognisable, these chairmen would visit his house. He even offered to buy shares in the club.
He was instrumental in leading fans to oust Peter Ridsdale when the Cardiff fans felt cheated by the then chairman.
All in all a very good read, I got to learn how he made money, why he was intrigued by football violence from such an early age and I got a clear indication of how he has become a family man since becoming married and having children.
Would definitely recommend this book to football fans but also to readers of real lives.
1. Football Hooliganism
It would be absolute nonsense for Annis to write a book about his life without mentioning his self-confessed participation in football hooliganism.
Annis very much sees himself as a product of the times (late 70's & the Nineteen Eighties) where frankly a large percentage of young boys/men took part in football related violence and the casual dress code. Times were completely different back then and if you are old enough to remember, you will know it wasn't unusual for youngsters to get involved with football violence because there was simply nothing else.
The book gives graphic accounts of clashes with other football firms (Birmingham, Wolves, Chelsea, Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Leeds, West Ham, Millwall plus many more) and also describes how he first got involved as a naive 14 year old on an away trip to West Ham of all places!!!
However, there is much more than fighting and it is interesting to see how friendships developed and how the Soul Crew was influenced by the Music of the day (early to late 1980's)
There is no glorification and no apology either for his part in football violence, but he does in no uncertain terms warn every reader that getting involved in football violence today is absolutely stupid and quotes an example of a friend who has lost everything (including his liberty) despite only being a bystander at the game against Chelsea.
2.Read more ›
Its a very personal book as well which shows to me at least that the author writes a genuine and BS free book, tbh buy it and read for yourself......
Unlike other autobiographies written by the likes of Cass Pennant & Jason Marriner this is not just about football. The book is extremely will written, It gives an insight on how Annis worked with his father Annis Senior to build up a number of succesful business's and what working in the nightclub industry was all about.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another boring book by Annis this is his 4th or 5th book
There surely can't be enough hours in the day?
Interesting book read in quick time remember the old club's in cardiff fairplay to you and your parents they helped start cardiff on the road as it is now one of the best and... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Johnccfc
Knew Annis many years ago and this is a great read. Shows the insight to an avid Cardiff supporter and a businessman.Published on 11 May 2014 by regeroon
Cracking Book, I read the book in 2 days whilst having a few jars in a beer garden on Cathedral Road. Lot of time for Annis. Must read for BLUEBIRDS ! K.C.B : )Published on 28 Nov. 2013 by Marc
Liked this very much ,tells the stories truthfully about a very interesting football and other life. Unlike a lot of other hooligan books this has more depth and substance to it. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2013 by MJC1967
My Story is one of the best books I have ever read, learned a lot about Annis and Soul Crew. This book gives an excellent view who is Annis, what does mean Cardiff FC to him and... Read morePublished on 30 Aug. 2013 by by Phill
An egotistical book by Annis, where he glorifies football hooliganism and his actions in it. I would suggest staying away from this book as it doesn't reflect the majority... Read morePublished on 5 Jan. 2013 by aFootballFan