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A story of a life that is worth telling
on 7 August 2006
Despite leading England to their only World Cup victory, Sir Alf Ramsey's part in this as been too long overlooked. In fact, rather than being looked upon as a national hero Sir Alf is remembered as being a cold individual whose tactics that helped England win on that day back in 1966 hampered the development of the English game for years afterwards. Its very telling that when the new Wembley is completed the white horse that controlled the crowd during the 1923 Cup Final will be commemorated but not Sir Alf. Hopefully this brilliant book should help redress the balance.
It's a big book, but nearly every one of its 500+ pages contains a fastinating anecode that gives you an insight into this most private of men. Don't read it expecting to learn of any scandals or hidden secrets because there wasn't any. We learn that the only things that mattered to Sir Alf were football and his wife, Victoria, who he was deeply devoted to. We are told that he had many faults; he had little interest for anything outside football and his attitude towards the media and the 'men in suits' at the FA was so bad that it cost him is job in the end, but perhaps the two people who come out worst are the FA's Sir Harold Thompson and 'golden boy' Bobby Moore, who comes across as being a rather arrogant character.
There can be no doubt that Leo McKinstry has produced a book that sets the standard that all sporting biographies should aspire to.