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World  Cup Finals 1966 Brochure signed by all 22 members of England’s squad

World Cup Finals 1966 Brochure signed by all 22 members of England’s squad - £2,875

When I discovered there was a brochure from the 1966 World Cup, signed by the entire England squad from that famous tournament, for sale on AbeBooks for £2,875, I began to think how I could buy it. I could sell my car but that would be insufficient as it’s a bucket of bolts. I could sell one of my children but that would not go down well back at the ranch. I could find a group of sports fans and we could all buy shares in it like a race horse, but then we would have to take turns at hosting it and someone would drip coffee over it. (Let’s put that brochure price into perspective – there is a copy of According to the Rolling Stones signed by all the Stones on sale on AbeBooks for more than £17,000. The World Cup brochure includes the signature of England’s captain Bobby Moore, who died in 1993.)

Enough dreaming. Let’s talk football and books.

The World Cup, as Charles Dickens would have said if he was a Match of the Day pundit, is the best of times and the worst of times. Great football (if teams don’t play for penalties), high drama, some sense of national unity and then the big let-down of the sad ending (probably involving the Germans). I’m really not concerned about Algeria and Slovenia, but the United States is a worry. Not only did the Yanks import Beckham but, more importantly, they exported their best players into the Premiership and other European leagues for some football ‘learning’. You even see American authors, such as Franklin Foer, trying to explain the game to the 300 million citizens of United States. There simply is no such thing as an ‘assist’ in football my friend.

How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer

How Soccer Explains the World by Franklin Foer

Aside from that 1966 signed brochure, browse 10 gloriously collectible pieces of World Cup memorabilia for sale on AbeBooks. The 1958 brochure from the actual final between Brazil and Sweden is particularly enticing – remember 17-year-old Pele scored twice in that game. Talking of the greatest player who ever pulled a pair of boots, who knew Pele ‘wrote’ a World Cup mystery?

Aside from that 1966 signed brochure, browse 10 gloriously collectible pieces of World Cup memorabilia for sale on AbeBooks. The 1958 brochure from the actual final between Brazil and Sweden is particularly enticing – remember 17-year-old Pele scored twice in that game. Talking of the greatest player who ever pulled a pair of boots, who knew Pele ‘wrote’ a World Cup mystery?

And then you can browse my list of the best 25 books ever written about football. I am drawn to sports books that offer a wider insight into people rather than just how happy or sad the major stars were feeling after scoring the winner/losing the big game. Barca: A People's Passion by Jimmy Burns blew me away with its description of Barcelona’s cultural importance to the Catalans. Left Foot Forward by Garry Nelson is a terrific insight into life as an ordinary, not-all-famous professional footballer. Provided You Don't Kiss Me by Duncan Hamilton not only spills the bills on the madness of Brian Clough but also depicts the ups and downs of regional sports journalism. Imagine playing football under the rule of the Nazis in World War II? Read Dynamo by Andy Dougan. My Father and Other Working Class Heroes by Gary Imlach should be read by all football fans under the age of 20. I could go on. On the whole, stay away from ghosted biographies and look for something that gives the reader a broader perspective. Enjoy the list.

Collectable World Cup Memorabilia

The 25 Best Books about Football

The Glory Game by Hunter Davies
The Glory Game
by Hunter Davies
Provided You Don't Kiss Me by Duncan Hamilton
Provided You Don't Kiss Me
by Duncan Hamilton
Dynamo by Andy Dougan
Dynamo
by Andy Dougan
Among the Thugs by Bill Buford
Among the Thugs
by Bill Buford
The Damned United by David Peace
The Damned United
by David Peace
Addicted by Tony Adams
Addicted
by Tony Adams

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