Garry Nelson’s diary of the highs and lows of a struggling third division football league club is an authentic and refreshingly vivid expose of English professional football, with an insight into the problems and day-to-day anxieties of players, backroom staff and management alike.
From the temperamental mini-star through to the no-hoper reject, from early season cheer to end of season gloom, from a glorious triumph to a struggle to put eleven players on the field, this portrayal of the life and times of Torquay United FC captures the essence of what football is all about.
The book also takes in the wider issues, such as the funding of soccer, FIFA and the British transfer system. Through it all, the former Torquay United player-coach never fails to illuminate his words with sharp comparisons and ironic contrasts that are part and parcel of the game in this country.
Following on from his first book, the bestselling Left Foot Forward, Garry Nelson has established himself as an excellent writer and a shrewd and thoughtful analyser of football.
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‘Don’t be lured into believing anyone who has spent their career splashing about in the lower divisions can’t possibly write a book that stands up to critical acclaim. How wrong you would be’
A VIEW FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE FOOTBALL LEAGUE
In the spring of 1996 Garry Nelson found himself at a cross-roads in his career. His club, Charlton Athletic, was letting him go. After eighteen seasons as a professional player, he was out of a job.
What now for this thirty-something footballer? A move into marketing? Or journalism, perhaps? No, Nelson’s love of the game would not let him walk away so easily. Even though coming from the football league’s bottom club, an offer to join Torquay as player/assistant coach was one he could not refuse.
Overnight, Garry Nelson found himself both a player and back room boy. With one foot in either camp, he began charting the highs, if any, and the many lows of life down among football’s perennial strugglers. In his book, as he takes in these and wider issues such as FIFA, England’s qualifying campaign for the World Cup Finals, players’ wages and the ever increasing commercialism of soccer, Nelson’s sharp comparisons and ironic contrasts soon make it clear that he is writing not only about Torquay but about scores of English clubs, from the likes of Lincoln and Mansfield to Liverpool and Manchester United.
A best-seller in hardback, shortlisted for the 1997 William Hill Sports Book of the Year and now out in paperback, 'Left Foot in the Grave' communicates not how the beautiful game appears to the bystander but, simply, how it is – from the inside. English football has never been more authentically portrayed.
LEFT FOOT IN THE GRAVE
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Book Description HARPERCOLLINSWILLOW, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002187744