Top positive review
Humble, happy and honest Harry
on 19 January 2014
This book chronicled the ups and downs of HR's life from the East End of
London to the comfort and security of his family at his beach side house
in Bournemouth. I found the narrative endearing in its honesty, to 'tell
it like it is' and to highlight one man's extraordinary love of football.
Harry is depicted as a simple man with limited interests, yet in hindsight,
he is extremely successful. He has a close knit family, a passion for his
vocation that extends way beyond the money. I can see why Harry is so popular
amongst so many associated to football. He is gregarious, loves an argument
and banter about football and yet upholds the need to respect and assist his
His anecdotes are endless and it is clear that he would have many more to tell
and people to talk about if space allowed, after many years in football.
He may not be the Football Associations old boys club favourite, but his
willingness to be frank and fair is rare today. He never claims to be wise and
street smart outside of football and comes across as down to earth and humble.
He admits to be being gullible. He was conned for years by a 'jockey'. He is
irresponsible with his medication, dependent on his wife, sentimental towards
his family and unpleasantly moody after football matches. He is also human for
a private temper tantrum, destroying plates of sandwiches (once) when his team
let themselves down.
There are times in the book when the reader could be forgiven for thinking that Harry
is using the book to put his side of the story as an antidote for criticism, back
stabbing, prejudice, media myths or plain nastiness against him. That said, I never
felt he was trying to settle scores or disrespect anyone. He prefers to move on from
unpleasantness and prefers not to burn bridges. The book mostly takes a light hearted
and humorous perspective.
Clearly, Harry wasn't in football for the money, his wage negotiations and club moves
show this. He loves football, but foremost, he loves winning. Even to the detriment of
his health. I found Harry's depiction of the great Bobby Moore was moving. He seemed
to idolise the man and was hugely angry at the injustice of the way he was treated by
West Ham. So too, his unhappiness that Tony Adams did not get a chance to assist Arsenal
after his playing days were over.
I would say that anyone that got caught in a lift or on a plane, seated next to Harry
would be treated with honest opinions and endless anecdotes. A man, humble in nature,
who made good and never forgot his roots. A man of the people. I liked this book and
recommend it to more than just football fans.