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Recommended Football Books

Updated on October 24, 2012
Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Bobby Charlton
Sir Bobby Charlton

Sometimes reading about football and footballers can be really interesting while other times it can be extremely dull. There have been some books I have read that have almost put me off reading for good. These, in the main, have been autobiographies or biographies of certain football heroes. They generally follow the same pattern. A schoolboy is good at football and gets signed by a small club before going on to a bigger club and international success and club honours. Depending on the fame of the player and his teams probably a lot of his story will already be known about their life and football career and the books can be a bit boring.

But these are some of the books I have read over the last few years concerning British football where I have finished them and came away actually learning something new either about a club, an individual or even the game as a whole.

This hub is just concerning books about football in Britain but I plan to do another one about books that cover World football later on.


Bobby Charlton released two volumes of his life story. One about his years with England and this one about his time with Manchester United. This covers his dramatic time,from breaking into the first team and the devastation of the Munich air disaster and the recovery after he lost a lot of friends there. Then on his years in the 60's as Manchester United soared again winning leagues and the European cup. Really good book. Whether you know much about him or not.


There have been many books about Alex Ferguson down through the years and i found this to be very enjoyable. With him being so successful he is always in the limelight but there are a few things that i never really knew that are in here. There are a few mentions of his memory and how he can remember individuals he knew for a short time decades before, and also when he talks of his playing career it becomes obvious that he seems to have been a lot better and more successful player than he has been given credit for in later years.


Like Alex Ferguson Bob Paisley was another fantastic manager. Probably one of the best ever, and it is also plain here that he also had a really good playing career that never really gets mentioned too much. It comes across how much he was liked and respected as well as all the details he noticed about his players whether as a manager or physio.


There are a lot of football yearbooks out there but for any statto who likes plenty of information this is the one to get. It is an annual yearbook which has now been going for more than 40 years and was formerly known as the Rothmans football yearbook. With over 1000 pages of stats there is plenty to have a look at. Whether it's squads,appearances made and goals scored from last season or the results of past cup finals it's all there.


There have been some really good novels about football and this is a really good one. It was made into a decent film and the book although from the imagination of David Peace comes across as very believable as Brian Clough took on the might of Leeds United in his short term as manager of them.


Like The Damned United Fever Pitch was also turned into a good film but the book itself is really good. Nick Hornby looks at his life following Arsenal and a lot of it is really funny. Many football fans would be laughing nodding their heads in agreement as he looks at many different aspects such as why do we keep doing this to ourselves- following a team when they're really bad, or wearing a lucky item of clothing because that will make the difference. A great book and not just in the category of football.


I had only ever heard of Peter Storey as some sort of evil presence on a football field and off it. I don't remember him as a player but just that he was a hardman in Arsenals defence or midfield when they won the double in 1970/71 and had a few problems with the law. This is quite a short book and doesn't go into a lot of detail about things but it was still a good read and he seems to have been regarded as quite a decent player and not just a thug as his 19 appearances for England possibly show.


Another star at Arsenal and Tony Adams book was a lot better than i thought it might have been. He comes across as very honest whether talking about his football or the troubles he had with his addictions.


Another player with his problems has been Gazza and in this book he tells all about his problems with addictions,injuries wife beating and many more strange incidents throughout his life.At times he seems to wonder why things happen to him and it seems obvious that it's because you do crazy things. But in the end he's not looking to blame anybody but himself in this honest book.


This is a classic football book and was originally out in the early 1970's. It follows the Spurs players of the time and we feel as if we are really there with them at times eavesdropping. Although a lot of things have changed in football since then the characters involved here could probably fit into any club nowadays.


This is a really powerful book about The Busby Babes. It looks at the people who died and were injured in the Munich air disaster and looks at them as individuals and sees what sort of characters they were. There's a lot of anger directed towards the club by some of the survivors who had for years never received any financial help and it makes the whole thing even more tragic if possible.


This is a great book about Scotlands World cup adventure in Argentina 1978. It has interviews with most of the squad and looks at the campaign in depth. Why were they so confident at going there? Why did they not do well? For anybody Scottish,or anybody of a certain age. In fact for anybody thats supported a country sure that they were going to do a lot better this will bring back memories.


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    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      I haven't read most of those Dinesh. I'll need to look them out i think.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I already shared a few titles with you but shall do so again for the benefit of the others, have added a few more now.

      How not to be a professional footballer - Paul Merson

      True Grit - Frank McLintock

      Postcards from the Edge of Football: A Social History of a British Game - Hunter Davies

      Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football - David Winner

      Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics: A History of Football Tactics - Jonathan Wilson

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks a lot suzettenaples.

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      6 years ago from Taos, NM

      Great group of books about British football. Nice synopsis of each one. You have piqued my interest in the subject. Voted up and shared!

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Cheers ccahill. Yes there's probably one or two of these i wouldn't mind reading again at some point.

    • CCahill profile image


      6 years ago from England

      Nice list, don't think i've read a single one of these, might have to have a gander at a few of em

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Thanks for the comment Richard. Yes there's some decent books in there. Cheers.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      good reads:)

    • James Vernon profile imageAUTHOR

      James Vernon 

      6 years ago from UK

      Cheers internpete. Yes, i've read probably too many football books over the years. Some haven't been too good. But these were all quite a good read i thought.

    • internpete profile image

      Peter V 

      6 years ago from At the Beach in Florida

      Nice list, I haven't heard of several of these so I might have to check them out. Voted up!


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