Beyond The Boot Camps Hardcover – 26 Mar 2009
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a lively and unvarnished account (FOURFOURTWO)
Sequel to bestselling cult football memoir, Tales from the Boot CampsSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
He gives us a look into the real world of football away from the pampered lifestyle of the premier league.
this is a must for all followers of football in the lower leagues and true football fans.
I strongly reccomend this book.
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.
Like many sports autobiographies, this is co-written, but not in the usual way. Claridge's co-writer is Ian Ridley, chairman at Weymouth when Claridge was manager. Each chapter has an introduction by Ridley, which provides a fascinating counterpoint to Claridge's version of events. Clearly they are two very different personalities, and Ridley doesn't conceal their professional disagreements, but they have a strong regard for each other. Ridley's chapters also include interview with many other football personalities, notably Dean Windass, who sees Claridge as a bit of a nutter, but (as Ridley says) Windass has "a nice line in pot and kettle comparisons."
On his time as a manager, Claridge pulls few punches about his fiery relationships with two of his other chairmen, Milan Mandaric and Theo Paphitis. He also has a healthy sarcasm for directors who don't understand the game (Len Shackleton would love the story about the director who asked Claridge why he wasn't playing 4-4-3!Read more ›
However i was a little disappointed. The book is interesting but that is about it. There are several insights into some interesting characters, and events from Steves Journey from the higher eschelons of his sport to the lowest reaches, but nonetheless it is only interesting at best.
If you want a really hard hitting, all laid bare life story, then Paul Mcgrath, Tony Cascarino or Stan Collymore are the best of the bunch.
Anybody who saw Claridge play, and as he played over a thousand games that is a lot of people, will most remember him for his slovenly appearance- his shirt was always hanging out and his socks were forever at half mast - and his lackadaisical manner. You should never judge a book by its cover though, because behind his slightly eccentric facade this book proves him to be a highly intelligent man and a deep thinker about the game of football.
It's a slightly sombre book, because as well as his playing career being over, it obviously still rankles him badly that each of his opportunities to be a manager, at Portsmouth, Millwall and Weymouth have all ended acrimoniously and without him being given the time to have a proper shot at the job. It is also a fairly candid book as he his quite prepared to vent his spleen against those who have done him wrong, his views about ex Millwall owner and TV `dragon' Theo Paphitis, being particularly strident.
Tne book is jointly written by Ian Ridley, who was also Chairman for some of Claridges time as Weymouth manager. Ridley writes an introduction to each section of the book, but whilst this helps to give an independent view of what we are about to read, all too often Claridge will repeat an anecdote that Ridley has already related.
Tales from the Boot Camps is now regarded as being a classic football book. I doubt whether this book will be as highly regarded because quite simply it is not as good, but it still is a good read and offers an insight into the pressures of football management.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent value, just as described. Would use this seller againPublished 15 months ago by Mrs Lynnette Graham
Great book. Arrived in excellent condition. Very happy indeed!Published 18 months ago by Marty Strutt
I bought this as a gift for a friend, a great Birmingham City fan. Not had any response from them about how what it was like so I'm assuming it was good but not brilliant.Published on 9 Feb. 2013 by Heather R
A good read following the career of one of football's genuine characters. Far more interesting than the usual Premier League 'star's' autobiography.Published on 16 Dec. 2011 by Dorsetchap