‘Football matters, as poetry does to some people and alcohol does to others… Football is inherent in the people… There is more eccentricity in deliberately disregarding it than in devoting a life to it. The way we play the game, organize it and reward it reflects the kind of community we are’
Written just two years after England’s ’66 triumph when the national game was at its zenith, Arthur Hopcraft’s The Football Man is repeatedly quoted as the best book ever written about the sport. This definitive, magisterial study of football and society profiles includes interviews with all-time greats like Bobby Charlton, George Best, Alf Ramsay, Stanley Matthews, Matt Busby and Nat Lofthouse. It is a snapshot of a pivotal era in sporting history; changes and decisions were made in the sixties that would create the game we know today.
For many who are disenchanted with the modern game — the grip of businesses and corporations, the dominance of advertising, the extortionate ticket prices and inaccessible matches, the fickleness of teenage millionaires — The Football Man takes the reader back to the heart and soul of the national game when pitches were muddy and the players were footballers not brands. Voted in May 2005 as one of Observer’s top sports books of all time, this is a long-awaited reissue of the classic football ‘bible’.
‘Masterpiece among sports books’ Guardian
‘It remains one of my favourite football reads’ Graham Taylor