The story of Garry Birtles' extraordinary rise from a GBP60-a-week carpet fitter to two-time King of Europe with Nottingham Forest, under the guidance of irrepressible manager Brian Clough, is the closest you can get to a real life version of Roy of the Rovers. Birtles was snatched from non-league obscurity at Long Eaton United at the age of 20 and thrived in the professional game. Such was his impact that by the time he had celebrated his 24th birthday he had tasted the unforgettable triumph of two European Cup finals in Madrid and Munich and been sold to Manchester United for GBP1.25million. In his remarkable 16-year career, which spanned over 400 league appearances, Birtles fell from the unimaginable heights with Forest and life as Clough's squash partner to suffer the cruellest of times at Old Trafford and a dreadful goal drought that made him the butt of the nation's jokes. On his return to his beloved Forest he was cheated out of more European glory by a corrupt Spanish referee, survived a career-threatening back injury before spells with Notts County and Grimsby Town and then suffered the ignominy of signing on the dole and selling his medals because of desperate financial hardship. Today's modern professionals complain about the heavy workload of a Premier League footballer when 70-plus games in his first two seasons at the City Ground were the norm for Birtles. My Magic Carpet Ride is a frank, humorous and ultimately uplifting odyssey through a remarkable career.
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Ian Edwards was born in Willenhall in the West Midlands and after graduating from Leeds University, he joined the Nottingham Evening Post where he spent eight years as their Forest correspondent from 1988 to 1996, a period of immense change at the club that encompassed the final years of Brian Clough's reign. He left the Post to become the Daily Mirror's Yorkshire Football Correspondent for six years. Nowadays, he works as a freelance agency football writer in the Midlands.Review:
'The European Cup inevitably features heavily in Garry Birtles' entertaining My Magic Carpet Ride (Reid Publishing, GBP17.99). Starting with a car-crash while listening to AC/DC's Highway to Hell, Birtles' book stays at full throttle and rarely lets up. It vividly details the highs of European Cup glory with Nottingham Forest, pertinently making the point that he never complained about putting in a prodigious shift at the end of a 70-game season. Now a popular media pundit, Birtles also chronicles the lows, including life at Manchester United, where he earned GBP800 a week and opprobrium for missing goals, the bow-ties, divorce and financial woes that led to him selling his medals - and haddock - for a living.' Henry Winter, The Telegraph.
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Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR004323267
Book Description Aug 07, 2010. Book Condition: Used: Good. Ex-library book, usual markings. Hardback with dust cover. Clean text, sound binding. Quick dispatch from UK seller. Bookseller Inventory # M06_6118_NG_03/17