New Football Titles – May 2016

With a few notable exceptions (George Rinaldi’s Calcio’s Greatest Forwards, Michael Gibbons’ When Football Came Home), the yearly football book schedule doesn’t really kick off until the darling buds of May. Here are the big titles to look out for:

1. Soccermatics by David Sumpter (Bloomsbury)

Football statistics have never been so popular and neither, perhaps, have mathematics. So Professor Sumpter’s idea is perfectly-timed; think Soccernomics but looking at the geometry of formations and the role of probability theory at the bookies. Forget Popular Science, this is Popular Maths.

Buy it here


2. Forever Young: The Story of Adrian Doherty, Football’s Lost Genius by Oliver Kay (Quercus)

We know about Ben Thornley but do we know about the Class of 92’s other unfulfilled talent? Well, we soon will. Adrian Doherty was a brilliant winger and a highly intriguing character in a world of Nicky Butts. Told by one of the UK’s best sports journalists, this promises to be a fascinating but tragic tale.

Buy it here

Forever Young

3. The Romford Pelé: It’s only Ray Parlour’s autobiography (Century)

Bend it Like a Bullard must have sold pretty well last year because here’s another cockney geezer holding court. An underrated player and a renowned joker, Parlour is nothing if not entertaining. The brilliant cover image is worth the price alone.

Buy it here


4. Rocky: The Tears and Triumphs of David Rocastle by James Leighton (Simon & Schuster)

From one Arsenal legend to another. David ‘Rocky’ Rocastle died 15 years ago at the age of just 33 after suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma. A skilful midfielder, Rocky was part of the Gunners team that won the 1989 league title in such dramatic fashion (see Fever Pitch). Leighton’s book features moving testaments from friends, family and team-mates.

Buy it here


5. Four Lions by Colin Shindler (Head of Zeus)

The 50 year anniversary of ’66 will be celebrated to death (Henry Winter, Bobby Charlton…) so it’s nice to see a book taking an interesting angle. Colin Shindler is a social and cultural historian and uses the careers of 4 England captains – Billy Wright, Bobby Moore, Gary Lineker and David Beckham – to explore post-war Britain and a half-century of change.

Buy it here

Four Lions.jpg

6. Retired by Alan Gernon (Pitch Publishing)

There are few things I enjoy more than a great ‘Where are they now?’ story. Iain Dowie is now the regional sales manager for ‘Go To Surveys’ in case you didn’t know. This book explores the many trials and tribulations of hanging up the boots.

Buy it here


7. Football by Jean-Philippe Toussaint (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

A book about football by a prize-winning writer – if Eduardo Galeano is anything to go by, what’s not to love? There’s even an essay on Zidane’s headbutt.

Buy it here


8. The Periodic Table of Football by Nick Holt (Ebury Press)

‘108 elements from the football pantheon arranged by their properties and behaviour on and off the pitch’ – a brilliant concept and a lovely gift book.

Buy it here

Periodic Table.jpg

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