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Joe Mercer, OBE: Football with a Smile - The Authorised Biography of an Everton, Arsenal and England Legend and a Highly Successful Manager with ... Manchester City, Coventry C and England Hardcover – 10 Apr 2010

4.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: James Ward (10 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0955812747
  • ISBN-13: 978-0955812743
  • Product Dimensions: 18.2 x 2.5 x 25.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 705,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

Gary James' book is different and it shines out of every page of this accomplished account. Essential reading. -- Mike Barnett (City Life Magazine)

James' book is a fine tribute, lovingly told and lavishly illustrated. -- Stephen Kelly (Four Four Two)

James'biography of the player remembered effectionately at Everton, Arsenal and City, is a welcome indulgence and entertainingly informative. -- David Miller (The Times)

This book demonstrated what an extraordinary character and asset to English football Mercer was. -- Arsenal Match Magazine

This is a well told story of a very special football man. It is not a football story of any man. Read it! -- Ex England Manager Graham Taylor (The Daily Telegraph) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not a football fan and I don't have a particular interest in sprting biographies. But from time to time, a title intrigues and this one, about Joe Mercer, is both informed and entertaining. I'd heard of Mercer, but knew little about him. Gary James brings the man, his life and legacy and football vibrantly to life. It's surprisingly interesting; well written and filled with insight into both the manas a person, player and family man. Different times and in many ways, different values, but this is a fascinating insight into the era and the game. I enjoyed it.
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Format: Paperback
Joe Mercer's life is covered in fine detail by Gary James, who does not appear to have left a single stone unturned in his quest for the truth. Reading this book makes you wonder why Mercer was never knighted, unlike some other footballers who achieve a fraction during their lifetime. Many clubs will look upon Mercer's time with them as some of the best years in their history, and he still has hero status at Maine Road.
Its worthwhile looking for other books by the same author. If all his books are as well researched then you can't go far wrong.
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Format: Hardcover
First of all and for the record, let me begin by saying that I've known the author, Gary James, for nigh on 20 years. He first came to my attention when we were all much younger: in 1990 when he was promoting the book he co-wrote with Steve Cawley, The Pride of Manchester: History of the Manchester Derby Matches.

Later James wrote a book about Joe Mercer: Football with a Smile: The Authorised Biography of Joe Mercer OBE. I readily recall that it was the most comprehensively researched and detailed football biography I'd read at the time. Come to think of it, it still is. Reviewing it in January 1994 for Bert Trautmann's Helmet, I wrote that he: "had left no stone unturned in the quest for accurate information and the result is a comprehensive and entertaining record of the life of a truly great football man."

Unlike many of his contemporaries (if, indeed, he has any) James leaves no stone unturned in order to chronicle the ups and downs in the career of the legendary player and manager; days spent researching in Manchester's Central Library and hours whiled away at the homes of Mercer's former clubs, Arsenal and Everton amongst others, poring through the archives have guaranteed that. His research is forensic and, yet, never dull. In fact, it is the opposite and unsurprisingly the book is illustrated with photographs throughout - some of them, I suspect, previously unseen and many of them quite superb.

In recent years the flow of football and, indeed, Manchester City books has changed from a modest trickle to a veritable flow; from fans, players and journalists alike. We've seen everything from hasty hagiographies to cut and paste jobs and even the odd cut and run. Yes, some have been passable, but most have been awful.
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Format: Hardcover
Gary James is a highly accomplished and respected author whose versatility is demonstrated in his various past football related works which range from fact to fiction. His meticulous approach has enabled him produce some fabulous books, most of which are dedicated to his true love: Manchester City Football Club. City fans are lucky to have such a conscientious and clever writer whose relentless pursuit of perfection has led to an ever expanding collection of quality books which grace many a Mancunian bookshelf.

Gary's latest offering is an updated version of his previously acclaimed biography of the late, great, Joe Mercer; a true football legend whose popularity transcends the affections of City supporters alone. To this day, an artist's impression of Joe in his playing days can be seen etched onto the exterior walls of Arsenal's Emirates Stadium and his great skill and prowess on the field is still remembered with great affection amongst many an aging Evertonian. Indeed, anyone old enough to remember the 1970s will recall Joe's stint in temporary charge as manager of an England team in complete disarray at that time. Under Joe's tutelage it wasn't long before the smile was restored to the face of English football.
However, the name `Joe Mercer' will be forever synonymous with the great Manchester City Team of the late 60s/early 70s and dedicated followers of the Blues will find a great insight into the life of the man who created, with Malcolm Allison, the last and probably ever fully English team to win the championship.
The book is supplemented with fantastic and imaginative colour imagery which serves to enhance the text, not that this is needed. Had Joe been able to read Gary's tribute, I'm sure he would have been proud and delighted with the work that Gary has created.
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Format: Paperback
The story of Joe Mercer is one of a gentleman. Probably one of the last to grace the game. Any man who can take Man City to the Championship deserves a memorial as fine as this.
Excellent stuff, well researched and very thorough.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
FANTASTIC BOOK. 1000%. PERFECTION. A FANTASTIC READIND BOOK FOR EVERY COLLECTER pf EVERTON MERCHANDISE. LOVELY COLOURFUL PICTURES & WORDS VERY NICELY PRINTED. :) XXXX
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