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Books You've Enjoyed Or Would Recommend

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Ok, I'll kick this off with a few football books. And top of the list has to be:

Ossie: King of Stamford Bridge

Brilliant book. I'd recommend this to non-Chelsea fans and even non-football fans. Aside from anything else, it really does give you an insight into Peter Osgood, the man himself, and shows you what a truly great man he was, as well as a great player - and his heart was ALWAYS with the club.

Another couple of Chelsea books that I haven't got yet, but which I'll be ordering very shortly. both by Rick Granville:

Chelsea FC: The Official Biography - The Definitive Story of the First 100 Years

Chelsea Football Club: The Official History in Pictures

For those that need it, these two books provide more than enough evidence that Chelsea does indeed have a rich and varied history.

And finally (for now), a couple of non-Chelsea football books. Both have plenty of pictures so are even suitable for Scousers:

Football: The Golden Age

I bought this one the other day on a recommendation - it's a truly wonderful book filled with 300 or so photos evocative of all aspects of the game in days gone by. In a similar vein:

Football Days (Mitchell Beazley Sport)

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Soon as I get the Amazon affiliate codes from Peter, I'll edit the links that don't already have it, and add a post to show how you can add it to your links. Might be a chance for you to help get a few quid in the CFCnet coffers.

Incidentally, if everyone's happy I'd prefer we kept this to football books for now. I can then move the topic to somewhere it'll get a little more exposure. Let me know.

If you're going to add something here, please tell us a little about the book and why others should buy it. We don't need a full review, but a synopsis would be most helpful to others.

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One I did quite enjoy was 'El Macca', even if it is about a scouser. Its more about his time in Real Madrid and tells you alot about them as a club, and all about the incidents regarding Del Bosques exit and the signing of the 'Galacticos'. Its a good read, written by a journalist called Sarah Edworthy and it includes alot of interviews with players such as Hierro, Figo, Zidane and that loveable scouser (pffft) Mcmanamanmaman.

If you ignore the fact he is a scouser, it's actually a really good read:

Link here: El Macca

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Chelsea Football Club - The Official History In Pictures (Hardback)

Rick Glanvill

It says here, and I quote: “Chelsea Football Club - The Official History In Pictures tells the incredible story of the club through the images of the past 101 years. Official historian and author Rick Glanvill has searched through the archives to find the most eye-catching images from the club’s history, many of which have never been published before.â€Â

Absolutely spot on, which might normally preclude me writing any more, but I just have to. I love this book, and it’s the perfect companion to Chelsea FC - The Official Biography by the same author. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it is coffee-table pretty, but it’s a fantastic book to have lying around for any Chelsea fan. It’s perfect to pick up and peruse while the wife is watching Desperate Housewives and you haven’t managed to commandeer the remote to watch highlights of yet another Chelsea match.

Over two hundred pages, stuffed with photos both past and present, and the best part is there really is something in there for everyone. As an old duffer when it comes to all things Chelsea, I was particularly pleased to see the artist’s impression model for the fated all-new stadium from 1971. I honestly don’t remember seeing that picture before, and that’s the great thing about this book; there’s a very good chance that you’ll read or see something you never knew about the club. There’s even a photograph and graphic of the goal John Hollins scored against Arsenal in August 1970, complete with a graphic backing up the assertion that at the time, it was ‘the goal of the century’. Fantastic stuff.

The one and only Ken Bates standing by the now-infamous electric fence? Oh yes, that’s in there too, so you’ll be able to put that argument to bed once and for all. Or not. Dodgy badges, interesting programme cover designs (I use the term loosely), dodgy kits and even dodgier haircuts. They’re all there, and there’s even a picture at the end of the book of some bloke wearing a right dodgy coat. Not Matalan though, I’d wager.

The book starts with line drawings and photographs from the early 1900s and closes with some truly superb images from 2006. One of my favourite photographs in the book is one of John Terry, dozing on the treatment table clutching the Premiership trophy to his chest looking for all the world as if it just belongs there.

This book is the perfect companion to the official biography because rather than go into any great detail about some of the events described in the book, the author has chosen to fill the pages with some truly memorable quotes and anecdotes, one of my personal favourites being:

It was strange. It took a while to sink in. Just amazing. Shaking the champagne and shouting and screaming, and then after the game you have a moment when you sit on the coach and think, ‘Oh Jesus, we’ve won the league.’ And to give it back to the club
adore and love - that’s not only great for me but everyone here
.†Eidur Gudjohnsen (2005)

As the one and only Gianfranco Zola reminds us in the foreword for this book, “All of us - players, directors, managers - are passing through a football club. Supporters are there always. And they never forget.â€Â

Lest you forget, or like me you need the occasional timely reminder, you should buy this book, and if you’re new to the club and keen to learn more of our illustrious history, buy this book. I really can’t recommend it highly enough.

Grahame Fendle


Reviewed for CFCnet Magazine Issue 3

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Nigel Benn's autobiography

Roberto Duran's autobiography

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Bollocks, I don't know why I bother.

Who wrote that one? :) You've got laugh or you will cry.

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