Publishers are like bloodhounds when it comes to surprise success. And it’s not really a survival of the fittest scenario, either; instead, it’s the more the merrier. At least seven books have been published, or are being published, about Leicester City’s extraordinary, title-winning season. Do we need them all? Which one is the best? I offer no answers but here’s a quick look, in chronological order, at each one:
Title: King Power: Leicester City’s Remarkable Season
Author: Supposedly King Richard III but in truth, I have no idea
Published: 16th May 2016
Publisher: Fourth Estate (literary)
Price: £9.99 hardback
Format: in humorous Olde English, Richard III, recently buried in Leicester Cathedral, tells the story of Leicester’s triumph
Length: 176 pages
Verdict: An early wildcard but the response has been good. ‘A bit of fun’, one Amazon reviewer calls it.
Title: 5000-1 The Leicester City Story: How We Beat The Odds to Become Premier League Champions
Author: Rob Tanner, The Leicester Mercury’s chief football writer
Published: 18th May 2016
Publisher: Icon Books
Price: £8.99 paperback
Format: A month-by-month look at the season from a journalist who saw it all.
Length: 320 pages
Foreword: ‘Sky Sports’ Alan Smith’
Verdict: The early bestseller, timed to perfection like a Jamie Vardy run.
Title: Jamie Vardy: The Boy From Nowhere – The True Story of the Genius Behind Leicester City’s 5000-1 Winning Season
Author: Frank Worrall, unofficial football biographer extraordinaire
Published: 19th May 2016
Publisher: John Blake
Price: £7.99 paperback
Format: the Jamie Vardy story, told from birth to glory
Length: 288 pages
Verdict: Perfect for the impatient but if you’re looking for a little more insight, wait a little longer (see below)
Title: The Immortals: The Story of Leicester City’s Premier League Season 2015/16
Author: King Harry Harris, author of 76 football books
Published: 25th May 2016
Publisher: G2 Entertainment (obscure)
Price: £9.99 paperback
Format: Each month of the season gets a chapter of its own and there’s a section of results and stats at the ends
Length: 260 pages
Foreword: Gordon Taylor, Chief Executive of the PFA and Richard Bevan, Chief Executive of the LMA
Verdict: A classic Harry Harris book – not very pretty or insightful but certainly comprehensive. A bit like Robert Huth, I guess.
Title: The Unbelievables: The Amazing Story of Leicester’s 2015/16 Season
Author: David Bevan, Leicester City season ticket holder and football journalist
Published: 30th June 2016
Publisher: deCoubertin Books
Price: £9.99 paperback
Format: match-by-match diary entries interspersed with trips into the club’s past
Length: 216 pages
Foreword: Alan Birchenall, Leicester City Club Ambassador and pre-match and half-time host. ‘Mr Leicester’ according to the internet.
Endorsements: There are quotes from Ranieri and Lineker on the back cover but I don’t feel that they refer to this book specifically.
Verdict: Told by a fan, for the fans. And the Dave Williams cover artwork is sensational.
Title: Fearless: The Amazing Underdog Story of Leicester City, the Greatest Miracle in Sports History
Author: Jonathan Northcroft, the Sunday Times football correspondent
Published: 22nd September 2016
Price: £20 hardback
Format: ‘Fearless will document Leicester’s hunt of their impossible dream. It will tell the greatest football tale of the Premier League era, in loving detail, with the inside track. Now that Leicester have gone all the way and won the title, it is the best story in world sports – for years.
Premier League champions. The side who’d been adrift at the bottom 12 months previously, who’s started the season as relegation favourites, whose manager was favourite to be the first one sacked once the campaign got underway. A League One side only seven seasons previously. A squad of £500,000 and £1m men. Leicester. Ridiculous. Miraculous. Fearless.’
Length: 352 pages
Verdict: Now that the confetti has settled, this is the one that everyone is waiting for. This promises to be an engaging and insightful book by one of the best in the business.
Title: Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story
Author: Jamie Vardy, and rumour has it that there’s no ghostwriter in sight
Published: 6th October 2016
Publisher: Ebury Press
Price: £20 hardback
Format: ‘The incredible story of Jamie Vardy’s rise from non-league journeyman to Premier League Champion in his own words.’
Length: 336 pages
Verdict: The Christmas market beckons. Let’s just hope it’s something like his early Twitter account.