on 20 January 2012
This is a most remarkable book. As a journalist and broadcaster, Colin Slater has been closely involved with the history of Notts County for some 60 years and has seen most of it at close quarters.
The history is told in fourteen chapters, each covering a segment of that history as the club lurched from disater to triumph and back again before finishing with last year's winning season.
The detail is an extraordinary tribute to the author's knowlege and is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the financial and practical difficulties which face most professional football clubs.
But in common with the very best sports books, Tied Up With Notts takes us far deeper than matches won and lost and financial disasters encountered or avoided. All human life is here. The writing about Notts' iconic manager Jimmy Sirrel is wonderfully moving.
Colin Slater tells of how Jimmy Sirrell carried out his duties at a critical late season match, not mentioning to anybody the fact that his wife had died that day. The job had to be done. We are left to draw our own comparisons when we later read of Sol Campbell walking out three days after his first game for the club.
The story of a football club is always a story about people. A lower league club sees players and managers on the way up and those whose careers are about to vanish without trace. Ultimately it is the story of these people which makes this book far more than a chronicle of events at a football club. As the book progresses we come to know and understand people who had previously been just names in newspapers. Through the way in which these people are described we also come to know more about the remarkable Colin Slater.