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Red Machine: Liverpool FC in the '80s: The Players' Stories Hardcover – 10 Oct 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing (10 Oct. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1780576595
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780576596
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 2.6 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,955 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"an excellent new book ... Eat your heart out, ProZone." (Ian Herbert The Independent)

"His abilities are delivered with excellent understatement in Simon Hughes' Red Machine." (Ian Herbert The Independent)

Book Description

Opens the door to both the dressing-room and the boot room at Anfield during the 1980s to reveal a wealth of untold stories from the era

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a Chelsea die-hard, and would never buy anything associated with Liverpool, but a good friend who is a scouser is a Liverpool die-hard, and after him boring me to death about the clubs exploits, coupled with this being given a great newspaper review, I decided to buy it for him.
I admit to reading parts before I gift-wrapped it, and must say, it is an excellent read, from back in the days of REAL football before it became a corporate business we now detest!
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Format: Hardcover
Simon Hughes is a well-known and well-respected journalist/author who is particular known in Liverpool Football Club circles for his extraordinary 2011 book about the club's chief scout Geoff Twentyman (Secret Diary of a Liverpool Scout) . Anyone who read and enjoyed that book will know that Mister Hughes always researches his subject matter diligently and thoroughly, something he again proves with this latest book about some of the players' stories from a decade in which the club added thirteen major trophies to the nine collected in the previous decade.

A cynic might ask what can anybody possibly tell us about Liverpool in the 1980s that has not already been told, in some cases many times ? The answer is plenty. Simon has selected ten players from an extraordinary decade of success, to which he has added a glimpse of the valuable knowledge of Ronnie Moran, whose chapter comes under the heading of Disciplinarian, a word many of the players interviewed firmly agree with. The author chose Moran deliberately because he is "the only person still alive with genuine inside knowledge that can contribute towards explaining why the club sustained the culture of success for so long and the mindset behind the staff that helped make the decade become Liverpool's most dominant in terms of trophies".

The choice of players is interesting because it is doubtful if anyone else (journalist, past/present player or supporter) would have picked the same ten men. At least four of the ten have either penned their own autobiographies or had biographies written about their careers. In that respect maybe there isn't too much new to learn from guys who have been interviewed at length many times before. It is the choice of some less familiar names that make this book so fascinating ...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As with Men In White Suits, this book takes the approach of interviewing players from a certain decade in Liverpool's history. The 80s were glory years for Liverpool, but there were still struggles to contend with for those coming into the club from elsewhere. As a non-Liverpool supporter, I found this book very enlightening. Bruce Grobbelar, for one, has a fantastic story to tell.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Simon Hughes is well known in Liverpool as a talented and gifted sports writer, and it is a testament to him that he has gone back in time to write about part of LFC's golden era that he heard about from his father's tales, back when footballers were real men, and players, staff and backroom staff gave their all to their clubs, and loyalty wasn't just attached to a price tag. I read this book as an Everton fan, but it still made a great read for me. As the book is based around the 1980's this was a hugely competitive time for Merseyside football, and there are some huge characters in the book, from Craig Johnson to John Barnes, who Liverpool fans will always hold in great esteem. Simon writes with knowledge, depth and humour and his love for his craft and his team shine through. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It would make a great gift for a devoted Liverpool fan. I am sure that Susan Hughes, to whom this book is dedicated, would have been very proud. We are certainly proud that our city has such a creative sports writer representing us!
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Format: Hardcover
I snap up most Liverpool FC related books & on the whole devour them quickly even when they often cover old ground so I hoped this book would prove a highly enjoyable read however for a variety of reasons it just didn't resonate with me.

I totally understand that the more recognised players from the 1980's have already told their own stories from countless autobiographies, the likes of Dalglish, Rush & Hansen even cashing in a number of times over the years by effectively releasing multiple books charting their career. With this in mind I do acknowledge why the Author chose to veer off the obvious track & interview a different group of players but for me the mix of players is simply too off-the-wall. Should the author have chosen to release a book of perhaps "Fringe" players from the Glory Days or something like the "Unsung" Heroes fair enough but this book is promoted as Liverpool in the 80's & billed as an inside look at what it was like to play for the club in one of their most glittering periods. With this firmly in mind there are so many more players who perhaps haven't featured in the media as much as the afore mentioned legends but certainly had a greater hand in Liverpool's dominance in the decade than the likes of Howard Gayle, Michael Robinson, David Hodgson & Kevin Sheedy. It is genuinely interesting to read the stories of these players but it's simply not reflective of the success that was achieved & the quirkier stories seem to heavily outweigh stories associated with what actyually happened on & off the pitch when Liverpool were scooping every trophy imaginable.

The amount of pages dedicated to Howard Gayle is nigh on ridiculous & much of the focus is very much off-the-field & political.
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