Time to look at the best football autobiographies this year. There has been a mad influx of footballers spilling their guts of late mainly because footballers are more like superstars these days and aren’t afraid to ‘tell it how it is’…by that I mean, with so much social media around covering every aspect of their lives, good and bad, they’re more than likely most eager to give their point of view in a good old fashioned book. When you know the book is written by the footballer in question, you know it’s all true and not just some rumour shared on Twitter.
It’s usually the footballers who’ve just hung up their boots that give the best football autobiographies, or those just about to end their careers and a book is a good earner for future engagements and publicity, not to mention a fatter bank account!
Then there’s the managers, or rather ex- managers who are likely to spill the beans on their successful/unsuccessful/dodgy careers. Finding out which footballers they liked, hated or just put up with is often a fascinating insight into the world we don’t often see. This is an all new look at the best football autobiographies from the list I made earlier in the year.
So without further ado, here are my Top 5 of the best football autobiographies this year which are sure to either enthrall you or bore you to tears!
Roy Keane – The Second Half
Roy Keane – The Second Half
Roy Keane…controversial, opinionated…mad-man?
I must admit, he drives me round the bend. I don’t know if it’s his arrogance towards the Man Yoo fans or his slightly deranged appearance and outspoken tone…either way, it makes good reading.
Here’s a typical passage from ‘Second Half.
“I rang Mark Hughes, Robbie [Savage] wasn’t in the Blackburn team and I asked Mark if we could try to arrange a deal,”
Sparky said: ‘Yeah, yeah, he’s lost his way here but he could still do a job for you.’ Robbie’s legs were going a bit but I thought he might come up to us [at Sunderland], with his long hair, and give us a lift – the way Yorkie [Dwight Yorke] had…a big personality in the dressing room.
Sparky gave me permission to give him a call. So I got Robbie’s mobile number and rang him. It went to his voicemail: ‘Hi, it’s Robbie – whazzup!’ like the Budweiser ad. I never called him back. I thought: ‘I can’t be f****** signing that.”
Roy Keane is undoubtedly honest. He tells it like it is but does it with an innocent mirth in which he plainly sees as just being himself!
This is one of the best football autobiographies to look out for. If you read his 2002 autobiography, you’ll see his attitude has not changed that much…he’s just a little bit harsher in this one.
Rio Ferdinand – #2sides
#2sides: Rio Ferdinand
Rio Ferdinand…love him or loathe him, you have to admit he’s seen an awful lot top quality football in his time. A rock, defensively, for his team and Country and now plying his trade with Q.P.R.
He’s seen the comings and goings of several England managers, worked a long time under Sir Alex Ferguson, a brief spell with David Moyes and played with some of the great footballers of our time, week in and week out, with the likes of Scholes, Beckham, Keane etc…but does he spill the beans?
Well, yes and no. He gives good details about his close relationship within the game, but treads lightly around his gambling and drinking problems. Not that that’s a bad thing, not all of us want to hear such graphic details of such debauchery (are you listening, Paul Merson?)
Rio comes across as a decent fella and an intelligent one at that. The book is less than 300 pages so it’s an easy read and throws some light on some of his past grievances with fellow players and managers. It could have been 100 pages longer, but I guess he’s saving that for his next installment.
Jimmy Case – Hard Case
Jimmy Case…one of the hardest men in football and without doubt, one with a shot like a cannonball!
I remember watching Jimmy play live in his heyday when I was just a kid and remember the fear he put in players all over the pitch. He played under some of the greatest names in football management and played alongside, and against, many legends of the game.
Think of the players he’s rubbed shoulders with…Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Tommy Smith, Ray Clemence and Ray Kennedy to name just a few. He also ruffled a few feathers of the top players he came up against in the best years of a long and successful Liverpool career.
He went on to to play until he was 41 and only retired through injury. Alan Shearer told of his influence when at Southampton and one of his best mates, Tommy Smith, tells of him being a proper footballer who came from non-league football to win the European Cup.
He even nearly helped Brighton win the FA Cup in a career that saw him win a shed load of trophies for Liverpool and play in over 200 games for Southampton.
His honest approach is evident throughout his autobiography and goes to show just how easy players have got it these days! If you’re a fan of real stories from real footballers, then this has to one of the best football autobiographies you can lay your hands on!
Roy McFarland – Roy Mac: Clough’s Champion
If only there was a Roy McFarland about today to shore up the England defence! Roy was a top quality player that only come around once in a while. But he must also be one of the unluckiest players to grace the football pitch!
First of all he had to contend with one Bobby Moore for the England position. He then had to sit out a World Cup because of the Herculean efforts of a Polish Squad back in a 1973 WC qualifier. He then suffered a particularly bad Achilles heel injury at the age of 25.
And although he won the First division title, twice, under Brian Clough’s Derby County, he turned down a move to Nottingham Forest when Cloughie moved on…depriving him of European success!
But that doesn’t take anything away from one of the most respected and talented central defenders England has seen. He only won 28 caps for England, but managed over 500 appearances for league clubs, going on to manage 7 clubs over his 40 year career in football.
This is a great read for someone who wants to know about the tough 70’s game…and especially if you’re a Derby County fan!
Luis Suarez: My Story
Luis Suarez…what can be said about this geezer? He’s packed a lot into his life so has a lot to say and even if you don’t respect him right now…you may well do after reading his autobiography!
From the streets of Monte Video to a £75 million move to Barcelona, his career, so far, has been one of mighty ups and incredible downs.
He was snapped up by Dutch team Groningen after being noted as a free scoring striker for Uruguayan club Nacional in 2005. Dutch giants Ajax then moved in and this is where his game really took off scoring 81 times in 110 appearances…no wonder Liverpool shelled out over £22m for him!
His career at Liverpool was just as explosive, hitting 69 goals in 110 appearances…and now he’s about to do the same for Barcelona in the 2014/15 season. He’s scored 42 goals in 79 caps for his national team, Uruguay. There’s no doubting he knows where the net is!
It’s not all plain sailing though. He’s bitten 3 players, been accused of racial abuse, been sounded out for diving and hand balled a certain goal from Ghana in the quarter finals (extra time) of the 2010 World Cup. He was sent off, but stayed on the touchline to see Asamoah Gyan hit the cross bar in the last minute from the resulting penalty kick effectively sending the Ghanaians home.
One for the team?
Can this man ever be respected? Read the book and form an opinion!
All those books are well worth a read, but if non of them tickle your fancy, below is a bigger range of the best football autobiographies available to buy from the number one shop in the World…Amazon. I recommended Amazon because 1- you WILL get your book, 2- it’s going to be the best price and 3 – The service is second to none!
Any one of these books get my thumbs up…I’ve read literally hundreds of biographies from all walks of life, but there’s something special about a book from a sport you love and have been involved in all your life. Some disappoint, some amaze, but you’ll always find something you didn’t know!
Best Football Autobiographies to Buy
If you have a suggestion for some of the best football autobiographies around, please get in touch in the comments below. There are hundreds available out there and perhaps you have one that is pretty rare. Go for it!
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