Starting from the day in 1965 when his father took him to see Liverpool play at Bolton, Brian Reade has been a Liverpool supporter. In the 43 years since then although he as witnessed many highs - 47 trophies, which supporters of most other clubs can only dream about - but also extreme lows in the 80's with the tragedies at Heysel and Hillsborough.
The books strongest chapters are regarding these two events and their aftermath. Reade passionately describes the guilt and shame felt by Liverpool supporters after Heysel in 1985 and also the anger felt by these same people after the authorities attempted to make them the scapegoats for the disaster at Hillsborough four years later.
When it comes to football, Brian Reade writes as a Liverpool fan and his views are therefore very biased and unobjective. Whilst this makes some of his recollections entertaining, there were too many times when I, as a Bradford City fan, found it a bit annoying when he moans about 'a bad season' after Liverpool had only finished third or fourth in the league! We should be so lucky.
Making up for this though are the excellent chapters about Reades meeting the charismatic Bill Shankly and a very poignant one where he interviews Bob Paisley just as Alzheimers was starting to take a hold. Also worth reading are the bile filled chapters about ex-Chairman Noel White and Graeme Souness, who Reade concedes was a brilliant player for Liverpool but a lousy manager.
Although I suspect that to obtain maximum enjoyment from this book the reader would have to be a Liverpool supporter but anybody that has followed a football team through good times and bad will be able to empathise with much of it and therefore enjoy it. All except Everton and Manchester United fans, that is.
on 12 November 2008
this book,written by a die hard liverpool fan and now media writer for the daily mirror is a truly great read...despite being "in the media" the fact he talks about being just a down to earth liverpool fan is very refreshing..no airs and graces,and just like every liverpool fan (myself included!!) hes a ordinary bloke telling his story of following THEE greatest team on earth....from his 1st game at bolton,his mothers death,his son supporting everton!! (to begin with until he saw the light!!) the great games and the fact that he fell foul of graeme souness i couldnt leave this book down...truly great read!!!!
on 16 January 2009
Want to understand what being Kopite since the Shankly revolution is all about? Then this is the book for you. Brian Reade reawakened so many memories for me and reminded me just why I love this football club. Great description of that dreadful train journey to Rome in '84, and a very good account of what really happened at Heysel. The senses of bewilderment, disbelief, anger and shame all leap out of the pages. The chapter on Hillsborough left me in tears: anybody who believes that the campaign for justice should come to an end should read this account in order to understand why the fight must go on. Reade also provides a very good analysis of how the golden years, which we thought would never end, were followed by the wilderness years of the 1990s, mainly due to the incompetence and lack of foresight of the Liverpool board following John Smith and Peter Robinson's departure. All in all this is a very good account written in a flowing, narrative style.
Justice for the 96. YNWA.
on 4 January 2009
After having received this book as a Christmas present amongst the usual Christmas fayre that an exiled scouser usually gets (Liverpool FC , The Beatles stuff) I decided to read this excellent book. If "putdownability" is a quality measure I read it cover to cover in a day.
Reade charts the history of the great club from 1965 to present day, intertwining the clubs success or tragedies with his own. The books foundation is the authors' insight and metaphoric love affair with Shankley and the great red men through to the lows and highs of the clubs history.
The chapter on Heysel and Rome provide the most honest and poignant assessment what happened in 1985 I have ever read. A must for all football fans...particularly Liverpool fans.
on 18 October 2016
The best Liverpool FC related book. Shows the pains of being a fan and the emphatic highs of the glory days.
What I liked best was not the football being talked about as such, but how it plays such a big part in his life through parenthood, brotherhood and growing up. This is something a lot of readers can relate so you just cant put it down.
on 18 August 2010
Probably one of the best 'football' books yet written (admittedly I haven't read them all). It makes a change to see things from a fan's point of view rather than the usual back-slapping-can't-say-what-I-really-think player's/ex-manager's money-bags standpoint. Although about supporting Liverpool FC, this is a book which should entertain and move fans of football in general - except perhaps (as another reviewer commented) those of a bluenose or manc persuasion.
The author pulls no punches about his feelings for certain football 'celebrities', in particular Mr G Souness, and is all the more refreshing for it. It does give an excellent 'potted history' of the tradgedies of Heysel and Hillsborough - again, pulling no punches. All in all, this is a book which explained to me, and will no doubt do the same for many others, why we put ourself through the meat-grinder of watching our chosen team through thick and thin. Reade gets over how the tears, frustrations and anger are balanced by the throat-clutching emotion felt during 'You'll Never Walk Alone' and the pure tribal unity felt on the Kop. Once its in your blood there's no going back. OR anywhere else!