Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 9 November 1999
John Barnes has not only given an account of his upbringing and glory days (and the less glorious times) with Watford, Liverpool and England, but he has provided a perspective on professional football from a black man's point of view. It's more his remarks on racism in British football that are most interesting and his insights to the English psyche. Your average person will be embarrassed by the racist taunts and jeers Barnes received throughout his playing career. At least we hope you will be embarrased if not outraged by the racism he encountered from the many slurs and bananas thrown his way. He has dealt with racism nearly all of his life, so it's no surpise this ugly isde of the game and society is a constant theme throughout his book.
There are some very funny anecdotes that lighten the book and make for some pleasurable reading. However, at no time does the author let you forget that he is as serious and passionate about football as anyone else, even if he does not wave his fist in the air and scream and shout. Here lies another misconception ( he's laid back so he must not really care) about John Barnes the person that he does his best at every opportunity to correct.
There are times when I get the impression he is aplogizing for not living up to the publics expectations of him, yet he provides a clear and insightful account of why it's not always easy to perfrom the same way for your club as it is for your country. Overall, I would have to say John Barnes' autobiography is well worth reading for both the football fan and non-football fan alike.
Ajit Korgaokar, Nashville, TN USA