On the tenth day of TBIR Christmas – The best book

Apart from surfing the web, my favourite past time is to pick up a book and while away the hours, lost in though.  Yes, we can all download fancy-Dan e-books and those PDF thingies, but there is nothing better than feeling a book in your hands, turning each page and feeling the love and craft that has gone into it.  The books we read fall into three categories – those we look at (steady at the back there!), those about football and those about Business ethics.  So the third category is hardly going to get pulses racing here so instead we give you the winners from the former two.

Of course this year we haven’t published anything ourselves, so cannot include our titles here (watch out though for next year’s awards!) but we have read quite a few decent books in addition to the winners below.  David Bauckham’s Love Not Money is worth a gander, as too is I am the Secret Footballer.  But there can only be three winners, and so without further ado, here they are:-

3rd Place – The Smell of Football – Mick Rathbone
Stories of footballer almost making it are two-a-penny but reading one that tells the story of the game from the other side of the physio’s couch are as rare as a Wigan Athletic away win. The Smell of Football is a fantastic read, taking in Rathbone’s career as a teenage player at Birmingham City right up until his role as Head of Medicine for Everton FC. It is a great read, lifting the lid as much as possible onto what goes on with players and clubs alike, dismissing the magic sponge myth and basically telling the story of someone who loves the game.

2nd Place – IBWM – The first two years – Various
Wow.  Simply, WOW.  Take the best writers on the interweb (present company included) and give them a forum to write about the weird and wonderful – that is the mantra of In Bed With Maradona.  AND THEN pick the best ones and put them in a book.  Make it look as pretty as a little lamb, whack in some outstanding photography (present company’s included) and you basically have a coffee table book that even your Nan will salivate over.  Simply brilliant.

Best Book of 2012 – 50 Teams that Mattered – David Hartrick
front-coverWe take the game of football for granted these days. We just expected it to be there when we turn on the TV on a Sunday afternoon. We pick up the newspaper and we read all about the goal that was never given, the players that was sent off and the manager being a twat. But do we ever take a step back and wonder where it all began? Well that is exactly what Dave Hartrick did. In his maiden voyage into the world of writing he has picked what he believes to have been the 50 football teams that have shaped the beautiful game today. Ranging from the likes of Blackburn Olympic and Queens Park in the formative years of the game, right up to the modern day, Hartrick focuses on why these teams made a difference.  Simply a book you can read and re-read again at your leisure.  If any football fan doesn’t own a copy of this book then they simply don’t care about how the game developed from the park fields to the 3D HD Skyfest we have today.


  1. Wish I had read this yesterday – I fancied a football book, so bought Robert Enke A Life Too Short with my xmas cash. Think I’ll add to it – IBWM sounds my cup of tea…

  2. I would add another book of 2012 to get – ‘Ajax, the Dutch, the War’ by Simon Kuper. Not just about Holland but also football in the war in Germany, France and the UK

  3. Would also get the new Simon Kuper book as a ‘ must read’ – Ajax, The Dutch, The War – not just about Holland but also Germany, France, Norway and the UK and how football acted in the war but mainly about the Ajax/ Jews story

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.