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Rebels for the Cause: The Alternative History of Arsenal Football Club Hardcover – 1 Jan 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 1 Jan 2003
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 268 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; First Edition edition (1 Jan. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840187352
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840187359
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,091,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"...the best recent Arsenal book by a country mile." --, October 2003

"a riveting story" -- The Independent, December 11, 2003

"essential reading for all true Arsenal fans..." -- Highbury High, October 2003

"fascinating stuff...tells the story of the darker side of Arsenal's history" -- Shoot Monthly, January, 2004


Arsenal's on-field success has been well documented - from the golden era of Chapman's '30s teams to the modern-day triumphs of Wenger's cavaliers. But what has never been written before is the equally remarkable history of Arsenal's rebels, both on and off the pitch, which stretches from the club's formative days as Dial Square to the Premiership standard-setters of the present day. Spanning almost 120 years, and set against a backdrop of turbulent social and political change, "Rebels for the Cause" assesses the legacy and impact of Arsenal's most controversial players, officials and matches. From hard men like '30s player Wilf Copping to the reformed wild ones of recent years such as Tony Adams, Jon Spurling highlights the infamous figures whose refusal to conform has made them terrace legends. Mavericks such as '80s star Charlie Nicholas and the "King of Highbury" Charlie George are here, as are '70s lads Alan Hudson and Malcolm Macdonald.

The book also focuses on the club's revolutionary founding fathers, David Danksin and Jack Humble, the terrifying '20s "soccer Tsar" Sir Henry Norris, and David Dein's controversial introduction of free-market economics to Highbury in the regressive '80s. Then there's the story of reluctant '60s freedom-fighter George Eastham, and '90s bad boy Nicolas Anelka. Also investigated are the stories behind Arsenal's most infamous tabloid exposes, including the '77 pre-season tour of Australia, the '95 Graham affair and the "Battle of Old Trafford" in '91. Featuring extensive interviews with 15 former players, "Rebels for the Cause" is a comprehensive guide to the alternative history of Arsenal Football Club, shedding new light on Arsenal's clash with Moscow Dynamos in '45, on the origins of the rivalry with Tottenham, on many of Highbury's cult heroes and on the struggle of several players to adapt to life outside the game.

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