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Stuck for a stocking filler? FSF book comp

This is a story from the FSF archive – the FSF and Supporters Direct merged to become the FSA in 2019 – so this page may contain hyperlinks that do not work and/or have missing files. Our archived pages are not maintained and will not be updated.

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Christmas is coming and, if you’re anything like us, you’ll be well-prepared having scouted around to find the best deals and finished all that shopping off aaaaggggesss ago. Obviously. Believe it or not though there are folk out there who leave everything until the last minute though.

Now wouldn’t it be nice to give someone less meticulously organised than ourselves a helping hand with a quick round-up of all the football books we’d been sent over the past year? In fact, we can go one better than that, we’ve even got a competition below and will stick a some books in the post to our winners – an ideal stocking filler!

See below for the books on offer but please note the competition will be open to members only (and we do check!) – join here for free today if you’re not already an FSF member.

The three books we have on offer are:

  • The Last Game – Jason Cowley’s superb account of THAT Liverpool v Arsenal title decider and its impact on the game’s development which, unbelievably, took place 20 seasons ago.
  • 50 People Who Fouled Up Football – Renowned sports writer Michael Henderson names and shames the guilty parties who have cocked up our game, from agents, to broadcasters, to players, hell, even fans get it in the neck. We’re not all perfect, you know.
  • Match Best of the ‘80s Annual – Things aren’t like they used to be…Match’s 80s annual is one for the kid in all of us with a nostalgic look back on a time of tight shorts and disturbing hairstyles.

To enter the draw for your copy just email [email protected] with the name of the book you’d like, along with your name and address and the answer to the following question: What team does Roque SANTA Cruz currently spend a lot of time on the bench for?

Deadline for answers is midday this Friday December 18th.

So many books are released at Christmas that we haven’t got the time (or energy) to list them all, so we thought we’d look at some of the lesser known ones rather than trawl through all the current twentysomething pros releasing dull biographies penned by agents and ghostwriters.

One book for the inner manager in all of us should be Jonathan Wilson’s Inverting The Pyramid: A History of Football Tactics. Wilson looks at the development of tactics in our game, delving into the cultural explanations behind many of them, and proves a thoroughly addictive read. And we’re not just saying that ‘cos he’s our pal and writes for tfs. Honest.

Not everyone dreams of being a manager though, we’ve even heard rumours that some people have never played Football Manager. Yep, if your loved one has a rebellious streak in them (ahem) you could do worse than picking up Philippe Auclair’s Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King. That’s presuming they’re not Liverpool, Leeds, or City. Might not be so keen then. 

Quite often we get pitched specific books about Club X and it’s a difficult one to write about, after all, it may not be our club and 99% of our members might not support that club. So it’s nice to be able to plug as they seem to have quite a big range. Hopefully your club’s covered anyway as they’re also offering 25% off to all FSF members as a special Christmas offer. Order via this link or this form and quote FSF01.

Another option, available from Waterstone’s, is When Football Was Football: A Nostalgic Look at a Century of Football. We’ve not seen the copy but apparently it’s an archive of the Daily Mirror’s best photos of the last 50 years or so. Worth it for this brilliant picture of Jack Charlton alone, puffing away on the training ground, it looks a lung burning antidote to today’s finely honed, robotic athletes.

Auf Wiedersehen Lads takes a fans’ eye view of Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Sunderland’s travails throughout the 2008/09 season as all three north east clubs battled relegation. While the end result is widely known the fans’ accounts are sure to have a raw appeal to emotions that no amount of professional journalists can touch. Get your copy from the Auf Wiedersehen Lads website.

One of the more unusual books pitched at us this year was Stuart Moore’s Red Card of Terror. The thriller follows the kidnapping of a Premier League striker and a terrorists plot to blow up a major stadium. Now that’s a serious one for the FA’s disciplinary committee.

Meanwhile MI5 work with the club to secure the most profitable outcome via a handy line in bulletproof merchandise available in all good club shops (possibly). Hair-raising stuff indeed. If that excites the inner John Grisham in you get your copy from Amazon today.

We’re off for some mince pies and a brandy now, cheers.


Funding partners

  • The Football Association
  • Premier Leage Fans Fund


  • Gamble Aware
  • Co-operatives UK
  • FSE
  • Kick It Out
  • Level Playing Field
  • Living Wage Foundation
  • Pledgeball