When you have had as colourful a career as Chris Kamara has had it is not surprising that his autobiography turns out to be an entertaining read. It is written in the same bubbly style as what has now made him a cult figure as Sky TV's roving football reporter but we learn from this book that he wasn't always quite so popular.
For example, when he first started playing back in the 80's it is common knowledge that dark-skinned players routinely suffered from racial abuse from supporters but what I didn't realise is that, as Kamara explains, his fellow players could be equally racist, even going as far as to refuse to share a bath with him. His overly robust style of play didn't always go down well neither, particularly the time when one clumsy challenge left the opposing player, Jim Melrose, so badly injured that he took legal action against him.
His days as a manager weren't exactly uneventful either. Being Bradford City supporter I was particularly interested in reading about his battles with our autocratic Chairman, Geoffrey Richmond. Once you have read about these and also about his problems at his next club, Stoke City, you can understand why he has no further ambitions to pursue a managerial career.
I thought that the book started a little weakly as the first few chapters are light-hearted ones in which Kamara writes about the adventures and misadventures of his broadcasting career. Whilst many of these stories are good fun the book improves greatly once his starts to write about his difficult childhood and his days serving in the Navy.
Not quite unbelievable, but still a very enjoyable read nevertheless.
I have always been a big fan of Chris Kamara. I was not old enough to appreciate his talents as a player or really as a manager. I got to love him as the man on Soccer Saturday. When I got the book I was excited to hear about his time at Leeds United, as I am a huge fan and also his playing career and how it planned out. When I started the book I was a little disappointed as it started with his career with Soccer Saturday and the funny moments. However as I reached the end of that section (half time) I had seen why that had gone first. Whilst I have seen his commentary on his famous games and heard the lines it was great to hear him say why he had done it and said it. You really got a sense of the passion in him and his love for the game, he is a very refreshing character and the book really lets you inside his mind to see a kind friendly man who doesn't describe his passion for the game in a typical way but in a Kamara way and than what makes it so refreshing, its his words and his mind.
In the second half we are led into his playing career which was all new to me. Racism and football are things I have never really seen but to hear the trouble he had and dealt with is worth it. I would go on forever. This book really was cracking, everything about it grew and grew and grew. If your a fan like me you will learn so much about him and I love him even more know, a true legend of the game.
A surprising must read of 2010 and I know I will be recommending it to everyone in the upcoming months.
i found this a great read,i dont remember having seen him play but theres a lot of talk of players i knew,if like me you became a fan of kammys watching sky you,ll love this look back of his life and if you remember seeing him play you may remember some of the games,kammy is a great teller of tales and some of the things he put up with are out of order but kammy comes across as a funny decent family man...and an unbelievably good commentator.
I feel that the two parts of this book are not in the right order. The book opens with an account of his later years as part of the Sky Sports team. Most of these anecdotes are well known and to spend half the book on them seemed like overkill. I was much more interested in the second half of the book detailing his playing career and (brief) managerial career. I felt that more time could have been spent on this part of the book but having said that it was interesting. It seems that Chris Kamara did have some managerial ability but unfortunately it didn't work out for him.