My Father And Other Working Class Football Heroes
EPUB EBook by Gary Imlach
EBook DescriptionGary Imlach has succeeded in writing an excellent and revealing story of his father's football career. My Father And Other Working Class Football Heroes EPUB EBook Stewart Imlach was a player I'd never heard of before reading this book. A flying winger, he was a Scottish international in the 1950s and represented them in the 1958 World Cup. He played for a variety of clubs south of the border, most notably at Nottingham Forest in the earlier stages of his career where he appeared and starred in their victorious '59 FA Cup winning side. Once retired from playing he goes on to be a part of Everton's coaching staff in the 1970 league title winning side - EPUB a team featuring Ball, Harvey, Kendall and Royle amongst others.
Where this book really impressed me (and contrary to other reviews, I think it is very well written) was in the way that it gives the reader a complete insight into the reality of being a professional in the game during the era of 'retain and transfer' and the maximum wage. It really hammers home that while there were undoubtedly many faults with those systems that were tantamount to servile tied labour, the pendulum has indeed swung far too far away from those days when fans really respected their club's players as both footballers AND members of society. Many sporting biographies serve to heap praise on the subject and fail to get across the real person behind the story. Imlach's book doesn't fall into this trap at all. The father whose sporting achievements were not so apparent to the writer at the time they happened - he either wasn't born yet or was just a lad - becomes more understood than ever as his story is uncovered via the many newspaper cuttings discovered and teammate interviews undertaken.
At times full of pathos and admiration for the humble aspirations the 'working-class heroes' in the title would have, in an era far removed from the fast cars, 'WAGS', and 'bling' of the modern cash-soaked game, Imlach has expressed with a journalist's guile and a wonderfully dry sense of humour what our beautiful game once was like - from the inside. Towards the end, as Imlach Snr's career had ended, and illness changed him from a bundle of blurring energy into an armchair-bound TV fan, we come to understand just how dramatically the game has changed so much, especially in the modern era of 24/7 media coverage, Premier League big money broadcasting rights, agents' manipulations, and widespread disloyalty to the clubs - ergo the fans. It was wonderful to momentarily forget all about that and revel in the era of football when the players still had off-season jobs and got the bus to the training ground...
A wonderful slice of modern social history to boot, this William Hill Sports Book of the Year is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in sports history in general and football in particular. Like this book? Read online this: If the Samurai Played Golf...Zen Strategies for a Winning Game, Social Democracy and the Working Class.
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