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The History of the Everton Football Club, 1878-1928 (Desert Island Football Histories) Hardcover – Facsimile, 1 Nov 1997
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As a sample of Keates' style, try the final paragraph: "And now we come to our `blaze of glory year,' 1927-8, when for the third time we were Champions of the League. As we are matter-of-fact recorders we are bound to tell you what we did do. We were drawn against Preston North End again, in the first round, away, we won 3-0. Good! Agreed. In the second we were drawn against Arsenal away, we scored three goals. Good! Agreed. The Arsenal team scored four. Bad! Agreed, but not very bad. We won't run away, we live to fight another day."
So the style of writing is slightly dated but is engaging in its enthusiasm and you can't doubt Keates was a true fan; the downside is that if you are looking for a scholarly and authoritative account this is probably not it - I suspected at several points he had got his dates wrong by a season or two.
But against this, it is packed full of fascinating details. I enjoyed the descriptions of the players and while these sometimes read as eulogies, he also lays into the team when they have had a poor season.
An unexpected surprise was a set of accounts for 1928-9, which doesn't sound very exciting but there are so many accusations the directors of clubs pocketed thousands of pounds in gate money that this is really interesting.
Another strength is the struggles of the early years as the club morph from St Domingos, the park football team into one of the founder members of the Football League.
I was disappointed not to read more about particular games, and was disappointed that the first championship won by the club was covered in half a page. The writing flags at a few points: the seasons shortly after the First World War are not much more than catalogues of who scored how many goals.
Overall, if you are an Everton fan you will be reading an account by someone who sees the world the same way that you do (albeit through the eyes of your rather posh great grand-dad!): Everton won the title to mark their golden jubilee and Dixie Dean broke the scoring record. Keates fairly bursts with pride, quite understandably, but sad to relate Keates died the following year before this book came out but he is so engaging an author that you are glad he enjoyed his final season so much.