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Real Footballers' Wives: The First Ladies of Everton Paperback – 21 Sep 2017
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The book consists of a series of recent interviews with 18 wives of former Everton Football Club players, mainly from the 1960-70 period. Not only was this a golden age for the club itself but the football industry in general was undergoing a series of changes against the backdrop of the 'Swinging 60's' culture.
This radical period, the football club process and many personal details are all interwoven and wonderfully captured in conversations with several incredible women who are often witty, frequently poignant and always as truly honest as they are interesting.
Although this is a book which ostensibly deals with Association Football, like Nick Horby's 'Fever Pitch', it actually goes further and reveals something deeper, something fundamental about people in general - in this case, the 'first ladies of football' who had their lives, marriages and even pregnancies directed by 'the club'. Overall the writer has limited the technical detail of the game in favour of revealing the more engaging detail of the day-to-day lives of the people who were one step removed from the frontline of fame that their partners had fleeting access to so that, even for the casual reader who may have no interest in the game itself, "Real Footballer's Wives" has a lot to offer as an engaging and thoroughly worthwhile read.
Even a hardened old nut like myself had to swallow hard when reading Dolly Sagars' poignant reminiscing of her life with Ted. Heroes like Mike Lyons and Brian Labone are brought to bloke next door life by the bittersweet words of their once doting sweethearts whilst the obvious undying affection by his wife for the "man who sold Duncan MacKenzie", Gordon Lee, convinced me to give the bloke another chance and realise he was OK afterall!
Not the obvious choice of book for a footy fan but having read it twice I would recommend it to anyone who wants a reminder of times before the Beckhams, Collymores and, grrr, Rooneys occupied the sunday tabloids.
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