My Father And Other Working Class Football Heroes Paperback – 3 Aug 2006
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"The most emotionally charged and moving sports book I think I've ever read - Harry Ritchie, Daily Mail" (Daily Mail Harry Ritchie)
"One of the most deserving William Hill winners in the award's history ... The book of the year" (Christopher Maume Independent)
"A remarkable book... Imlach is a gifted writer, pungently aware, admirably combative, knowledgeable and compassionate" (Brian Glanville Sunday Times)
"My Father and Other Working-Class Heroes immediately joins the Football Classic Club - whose members are bonded by using football as a backdrop for something entirely different... A beautiful personal history" (Rick Broadbent Times)
"If I could have my memories of Stewart Imlach surgically extracted, I would wrap them carefully, put them in a box, and send them to his son. Unlike me, Gary Imlach never saw his father play football... But that has not prevented the son from producing one of the best sports books of recent years. A book to treasure" (Richard Williams Guardian)
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award: the moving story of one man's search for his father, and for the game he playedSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
The contrast between professional footballers' lives half a century ago and today is fascinating - wages were a fraction of what they are now, and not only were players not the superstars they are now but they were often treated with little respect by their clubs, who would occasionally arrange transfers without informing them first.
There are many hilarious moments here, among them the author's foiling an attempt to foul him in a school match by getting in there first, his mum hiding in the pantry when her husband played in professional matches so that she could avoid the radio commentary, and the arch wilfulness of waiters trying to humiliate the wives of players at a posh dinner. This last scene shows off Imlach's flair and wit to the full, with the asparagus laid before the bewildered wives being described as 'straightened question marks to which they had no answer'.
The ease with which Imlach recounts absorbing tales, his ability to draw humour from everyday occurences, and his passion for football will draw obvious comparisons with Nick Hornby or David Baddiel. Hopefully, like them, he will turn his hand to fiction and become a fully fledged writer of best selling laugh-out-loud, blokeish novels.
Nick Hornby's "Fever Pitch" has prompted pale imitations by writers nowhere near as gifted. This book, however, is exceptional in the sense that a talented writer with a broad world view and the perspective that that provides has taken a sideways glance at the rot, corruption and exploitation at the heart of professional football.
Towards the end of the book, he describes his own loss of interest in a game which has become increasingly detached from its core values and traditional audience. Many will empathise with the sentiments he expresses.
At a time when publishers seem to take every opportunity to save on production costs, it should be stated that this is a beautifully produced paperback, worthy of a place on anyone's bookshelf.
It is a excellent, informative read of football in that era of 1950s & 60s but also a social commentary of that era and insight into housing, work and unfortunately class barriers.
As a member of the tartan army it also shows why we've done so poorly at world cups ie for 1958 no manager, Matt Busby lying injured in hospital, so what do we do? Let a committee of selectors, most who have never played the game, pick the team, cream the expenses whilst some players lost money representing their country!
It is also an interesting tale of a father and son relationship, probably told with some regrets after his death.
I highly commend this book to you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is well written and gives a real insight into the reality of footballers lives until the 1960's. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Amazon Customer. Vivienne
An interesting and eye-opening biography of a footballer from the late 50s and 60s. Extraordinary how much the clubs exploited and controlled players in that era, the complete... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Kirky
Great insight into how football was run.A good interesting read.How thing have changed.Published 11 months ago by webster
Bit of a slow starter but ended up really enjoying this. A different era where the clubs had all the power and the Scottish FA were tighter than a ........Published 19 months ago by mrbrewerman
I have been wanting to read this book for ages and now I am glad I did.
I have always liked Gary Imlach on TdF and similar and found this book an enjoyable read. Read more
This has to be one of the best books written about football. Its portrayal of the working class heroes of yesteryear is superb and humbling compared to the strutting arrogance of... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Dogberry
Quite simply one of the best football books ever written. Gary Imlach takes the reader on a personal journey back in time to an era when football stars were everyday neighbourhood... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Paul