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on 20 June 2013
Having a love of both Sports Biographies and History thought I would give this a whirl especially as the man is also a Brighton Legend. What a fantastic book!!
FOOTBALL was covered with detail to keep the "stato." happy while the Social History and smell of the terraces also jumped off the page.
THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR is an area where I have read a number of dedicated books. This book managed to break down its key elements to inform and support this heartrending and miraculous (the death rate in this war was huge) story without slowing it down. Again the story was a fantastic social History.
I nearly gave it only four stars because John Shepherd is wearing a Millwall strip on the cover! However take heart Brighton supporters as an old pot of tippex is all that is needed to add the stripes needed to gain the full five stars.
3 people found this helpful
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on 20 February 2014
I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Rome, I took this book with me to read. I have to say that I couldn't put it down, during the day we were out seeing the sights of Rome, it was absolutely brilliant to come back to the Hotel knowing that I had such a good book to pick up again. I am a football fan & I was born 2 streets away from where John Shepherd was born, it was fascinating reading about the area which I grew up in, in such vivid detail, I remember a lot of what the area was like as I was born in 1948.
The other aspect of this book which I found very enlightening was Julie Ryans Grandfathers recollections of the Spanish Civil War, I was never taught anything about this at school, & this book reminded me of the struggles that the Spanish people & sympathisers went through, maybe this should be introduced into schools in this day & age.
I highly recommend this book to all people who like a good read, hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
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on 19 March 2013
This book is superb although I am slightly biased as i lived in London through the blitz (evacuated twice) and am an ardent Gillingham supporter.
It seems like I am reading my own life story but I could never write it as well as Julie Ryan has done for her father.
Humerous,very sad in places especially in the section of the book relating to the Spanish civil war (but Julie is very fair to both sides in that awful conflict despite the effect it had on her grandparents) and I can still remember my own father telling me about the time the Royal Navy took many refugees out of Barcelona to the relative safety of the Ballearic Islands.
Also I remember the sad story of Jeff Hall as well and if my memory serves me right we all stopped going to swimming pools as it was thought then that it was a likely source of polio.
Sorry to digress but returning to the book it is a fitting and well detailed tribute to John an excellent footballer and family man and although I have not quite finished the book yet I have enyoyed every page even if the print is a bit on the small side.
Do another book Julie ,you are a natural.
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on 24 March 2013
One of the best books I have ever read.Far removed from the run of the mill biographies of modern millionaire superstars of today.This is a story of true grit and courage if a boy determined to reach he,s dream even after contracting Polio.It is not just a football story though.It is of a family and their trials and troubles that takes the reader through the Spanish Civil war and the 2nd world war.Wonderfully written by the subject John Shepherd,s daughter Julie Ryan whos research for the story is second to none.Absolutely brilliant.
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on 18 February 2013
This is a thoroughly enjoyable read which takes you from the slums of 1930s London to a footballers life during the 1950s. It also includes insights into the Spanish Civil war and the treatment of Republicans in France. If you are interested in social history then this is a book for you. I would recommend this book to everyone, it is well written and the story really drives along. Also John Shepherd comes over as a thoroughly nice man who overcame Polio and deserved all the accolades that came his way.
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on 24 October 2014
A brilliant book, well written and researched. Football from a by-gone era. Fascinating insight not only into John Shepherd early life and career but also his parents and his wife Esther's family in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Although I've followed Millwall since I was about 11 years old any football fan, especially from the older generation, will find this book an enjoyable read. The book is also decorated by some marvellous photos.
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on 2 October 2013
I am not a football fan and hate to read of the horrors of war but Julie managed to enlighten me in such a way that I was hooked by her story. This book was one chosen by my Book Club Group and our meeting to discuss it was favourable, which is no mean accomplishment! Julie was kind enough to join us to hear our comments & bought with her many souvenirs from her fathers footballing career. Thank you Julie for sharing your amazing family history in a book full of interesting facts & amusing anecdotes.
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on 19 January 2018
Bought this for my husband, he hasn’t read it all but has enjoyed the book so far.
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on 29 September 2013
Bought this book for my husband who is an ex Millwall player, who knows John Shepherd and Julie Ryan and found the book fascinating and a thoroughly good read. Highly recommend this book.
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on 31 December 2013
This was a present for someone else, so I cant, review it. From what I have read at the back of the book, its makes very interesting reading, especially if your from that era.
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