Sir Alf: A Major Reappraisal of the Life and Times of England's Greatest Football Manager

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9780007193783: Sir Alf: A Major Reappraisal of the Life and Times of England's Greatest Football Manager

Since England’s famous 1966 World Cup victory, Alf Ramsey has been regarded as the greatest of all British football managers. By placing Ramsey in an historical context, award-winning author Leo McKinstry provides a thought-provoking insight into the world of professional football and the fabric of British society over the span of his life.

Ramsey’s life is a romantic story of heroism. Often derided by lesser men, he overcame the prejudice against his social background to reach the summit of world football.

The son of a council dustman from Essex, Ramsey had been through a tough upbringing. After army service during the war, he became a professional footballer, enjoying a successful career with Southampton and Tottenham and winning 32 England caps.

But is was as manager of Ipswich Town, and then the architect for England’s 1966 World Cup triumph, that Ramsey will be most remembered. The tragedy was that his battles with the FA would soon lead to his downfall, a broken man ostracised by the football establishment, left to die alone in 1999 in the same modest Ipswich semi he’d lived in for most of his life.

It is this mixture of triumph and disaster, of acclaim and rejection, that makes the narrative of Ramsey’s life so compelling. Drawing on extensive interviews with his closest friends and colleagues in the game, author Leo McKinstry will help unravel the true character of this fascinating and often complex football legend.

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Review:

'For those interested in just how much our national game has changed and just how shabbily Ramsey was treated by the establishment, it is truly enlightening.' Derby Evening Telegraph

'McKinstry never shies away from Ramsay's nastier side, and his mistakes. Without passing judgement, he manages to paint a very well-rounded picture of a man who evoked strong feelings from those who knew him.' Cambrian News

‘This summer, football enthusiasts should not dare pack a bucket and spade without taking Leo McKinstry’s commanding biography of England’s first, best and by far most interesting manager.’ The Oldie

Sunday Times:

Exhaustively researched...an outstanding biography

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McKinstry, Leo
Published by HarperCollins UK (2006)
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