Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Footballers' books - to read or not to read?

D finished reading David Beckham's autobiography My Side yesterday and wondered if I'd like to read it too. He's also read Paul McGrath's Back from the Brink and next on his list is Peter Schmeichel's The Autobiography.

He thinks I'd prefer McGrath's book. From the covers I think I'd rather read Scheimeichel's - he looks much happier.

My knowledge of football is a bit limited but having lived with Manchester United supporters all my life through my dad, husband and son I must have absorbed something. And, of course, there were the glorious footballing years when my son played football from age 11 to his going to university and D and I were there on the touchline every weekend during the season, cheering him on. My feet were frozen, the middle of my back was aching from the cold striking up from the ground - they played whatever the weather, but I wouldn't have missed any of it. I only remember one match that was called off because the ground was too frozen. I did enjoy it, even when parents occasionally had to be warned by the referee that they would be sent off if they didn't stop arguing - great fun. The best thing about it of course was seeing my son play. somehow I can't quite summon up as much enthusiasm for football on TV.

I 'm going to give these books a go at least, if only to see what they're like.

7 comments:

Johnny Centreback said...

I like your piece. I like the stuff about watching your son play. It is such a good question: whether or not to read footballers books. For the most part I think not: since really they are mere attempts to monetize a footballlers celebrity. Rarely do you find much art or even insight in such books. The best football books are generally written by real writers who pursue universal themes. Thanks.

Nan - said...

First of all, I don't live over there. Second of all, I know little about soccer (football). But, one of the best books I've ever, ever read was Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch. He is one of my favorite writers, and this book is superb. I loved his passion for, and obsession with Arsenal.

BooksPlease said...

Thanks Johnny. I still haven't started any of the footballers' books, but you never know they may have insights unknown to me. I'll write about it if so.

Nan, I've wondered about Fever Pitch, but have not read it. It sounds worth reading. Thanks.

Paul Freeman said...

For me, as a football fan - and son :) the interesting football books are the ones where the player/manager has more of a story than just football. So I wouldn't buy Beckham/Rooney/Cole type autobiogs, but pick the Best/McGrath/Whiteside type players who have a story to tell outside (as well as inside) football. The McGrath book is particularly interesting to read, but the Whiteside one less so as the "extra" story is all about football injuries so is part of football still anyway

Paul Freeman said...

Oh, and Fever Pitch is an excellent book (even if it is about Arsenal) - you can borrow my copy (if I can find it)

BooksPlease said...

Thanks, Paul. I was hesitant about the Arsenal connection! I think you once said Cantana's book was good? Have you still got that?

Paul Freeman said...

Yes I've still got it, but I'm not sure the Cantona book is good from an outside of football view. Can't remember now, but I'll find it on the shelf.