theyflysohigh : Steve Marsh

Welcome to the West Ham United Memorabilia Collection featuring everything Claret and Blue

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Books and Publications : 4

Covers the period 2000 to 2004

book069 - Paolo di Canio

PAOLO DI CANIO - The Autobiography

Paolo Di Canio - Harper Collins (2000)

There is no more exciting footballer in the British game than Paolo Di Canio. In fact, it is hard to think of any player in the last decade who has given as much entertainment value, both with the ball at his feet and in front of the cameras, as West Ham’s talismanic striker.

‘A complete nutter’ says ex-boss Ron Atkinson, while Harry Redknapp refers to him as ‘a genius’ and ‘the best trainer at the club’; he’s an outrageously gifted player who has suffered from depression, undergone psychiatric help and enlisted the services of a faith healer. Is it so surprising then that one man can ignite such contrasting emotions from two of the shrewdest managers in the game?

One thing’s for sure, Di Canio has never been one to shirk the spotlight. As a young trainee at Lazio, he joined the infamous Irriducili, supporters who had a reputation for wrecking trains, smashing shop windows and clashing with opposing fans. At Juventus, playing alongside the likes of Baggio, Ravenelli and Vialli, his spell at the club was cut short after a violent altercation with the manager, Giovanni Trapattoni. After a brilliant season on loan at Napoli, he helped Milan to an Italian title but then came to blows with boss Fabio Capello during a pre-season tour and was forced to seek his fortunes outside Italy.

In his autobiography, Di Canio also talks candidly about his time at Celtic; how he fell in love with club and the fans but ended up leading a players’ revolt against chairman Fergus McCann before walking out on the club. Then at Sheffield Wednesday he was inspired by Ron Atkinson before the disastrous altercation with referee Paul Alcock and his subsequent vilification by his club and the British media. For the first time Di Canio describes in detail his self-enforced exile to Italy and contrasts the support of his friends with the many enemies seeking to destroy him.

Rejuvenated at West Ham and playing the best football of his career, Di Canio has found a sympathetic manager in Harry Redknapp and a Hammers faithful who have adopted him as one of their own. Yet the emotion still boils beneath the surface. His book unveils the true person behind the often misunderstood footballer.

 

Size 240x160mm - 280 pages

COVER PRICE: £16.99

WEST HAM 'TILL I DIE

Robert Banks - Boleyn Books (2000)

book068 - West Ham Till I die

THE ESSENTIAL HISTORY of WEST HAM UNITED

Kirk Blows & Tony Hogg - Headline (2000)

Life for West Ham United suppoerters has never been less than enthralling. Undulating between the heights of ecstasy and the depths of despair, the Hammers have carved a unique place in football history by remaining true to their philosophy of playing with style and flair. Whatever the results, their Upton Park home has never been a dull place, graced by some of the game's legendary characters. The Essential History of West Ham United not only documents the triumphs and tragedies of a world famous club, but also includes complete season-by-season statistics as well as exclusive interviews and rare material from the authors' archives.

 

Size 242x160mm - 320 pages

COVER PRICE: ££19.99

book070 - Essential History

PSYCHO

Stuart Pearce - Headline (2000)

‘Some say I would kick my own brother if it meant winning – they were right.’

 

Psycho reveals Stuart Pearce as few people know him. A cult figure among the fans, particularly the England supporters, he may be a very public person on the pitch but he has always remained a private one off it. In this, his long-awaited autobiography, Pearce finally lifts the veil on the key events in his life: from his days as a youngster when he was at odds with the police to his fierce pride in captaining his country.

His ability and aggression, which quickly earned him the nickname ‘Psycho’, originally attracted Coventry City to sign him, but frightened off the England selectors. Yet his total commitment won over the doubters: who else would have asked to play on after breaking his leg, as Pearce did in a match in 1999?

Here he tells the inside story of his fascinating life playing at Nottingham Forest for Brian Clough, a character like no other in the game. He relives his highs and lows – none worse than his penalty miss against Germany in the 1990 World Cup finals, which reduced England’s strong man to tears – and discusses his renaissance at West Ham, where at thirty-seven he reclaimed his England place, after being sidelined at Newcastle United.

 A passionate punk rocker, he is a dedicated family man away from the spotlight who enjoys sampling life in far-flung corners of the world. Few players have had such a rapport with the fans, or been so admired by their opponents. In Psycho he explains just what it is that motivates him and so reveals why you’d always rather have him on your side.

 

Size 240x160mm - 312 pages

COVER PRICE: £17.99

book071 - Psycho

WEST HAM UNITED – THE ELITE ERA

A Complete Record

John Helliar - Desert Island Books (2000)

book073 - The Elite Era

2005 updated edition:

West Ham United from 1958 to 2005 which includes full line-ups and statistics for every game played during this period.

 

Size: 164mm x 241mm – 544 pages.

Cover Price £20.00

1966 AND ALL THAT

book074 - 1966 and all that

Geoff Hurst - Headline (2001)

book074a - 1966 and all that Certificate

WH Smith - Geoff Hurst autographed special Limited Edition Box set of 1100. Also includes a signed print.

This edition number 0700 / 1100

Limited Edition Signed print

1966 AND ALL THAT

Geoff Hurst - Headline (2001)

book074b - 1966 and all that

No debate about the single most memorable achievement in English sport will end in unanimity, but all such arguments must start with Geoff Hurst’s hat-trick in the 1966 World Cup final. There is no player in the history of the game so universally identified with a single match – the greatest day in English football. Hurst’s unique hat-trick turned him overnight into a global superstar and, as he recounts in his absorbing autobiography, changed his life profoundly. He became a sixties icon, but his fame was not without its own personal cost.

Hurst paints an enthralling picture of English football’s golden years, of life under Sir Alf Ramsey and of the men who won and lost the World Cup. He also reveals for the first time many stories from that period that will make us all reassess key figures. He played with and against some of the greatest names in the sport – Pele, Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Moore, Charlton, Keegan, Law – and along the way established a legendary reputation as a goalscorer who would be beyond price in the modern game.

His complete playing career, his friendship with Bobby Moore and Martin Peters, the rivalry with Jimmy Greaves and his stormy management of Chelsea have never before been properly chronicled. Nor has his stance on the modern game, today’s generation of superstars or England’s 2006 World Cup bid

They think it's all over...

...it is now

book074c - 1966 Audiobook

GEOFF HURST Reads 1966 AND ALL THAT

Hodder Headline Audiobooks (2001)

Catapulted to fam in only his eighth international, Geoff Hurst scored a ha-trick against West Germany in the 1966 World Cup final. His third goal, the famous "They think it's all over... It is now", has dominated his life ever since. This revealing and thoughtful autobiogaphy shows that there is far more to the man thathat one day. hurst played with and against some of the greatest names in the sport - Pele, Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Moore, Charlton, Keegan, Law - and along the way established a legendary reputation as a goalscorer who would be beyound price in the modern game. knighted for services to football in 1998, he once again became England's World Cup figurehead, travelling the globe to promote the Football Association's unsuccessful bid to host the 2006 finals.

Now Geoff Hurst relives the golden era in which he played, reveals some astonishing behind-the-scenes stories of events with England and his club sides that have never previously emerged, and offers his authoritative views on the game today.

book075 - Boys of 86

BOYS of '86

The Untold Story of West Ham United's Greatest - Ever Season

Tony McDonald & Danny Francis - Mainstream (2001)

The highlights have been few and far between for West Ham United’s long-suffering fans over the years – three FA Cup wins (in 1964, 1975 and 1980), a European Cup-Winners’ Cup victory in 1965, various other cup runs that failed on the verge of success, and of course the enjoyment of watching great players such as Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters, Johnny Byrne, Trevor Brooking and Billy Bonds. Throughout the 45 seasons the East London club has spent in the top flight of English football, the prospect of challenging for the League Championship title has been little more than a pipe dream. Except for one season: 1985-86

A 16th place finish in 1984-85 had hardly filled the fans with optimism for the coming campaign, and the loss of young star Paul Allen to arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur had some supporters questioning the ambition of the club. They were in for a shock. Little did he know it at the time, but manager John Lyall’s summer purchases of young Scottish striker Frank McAvennie from St Mirren for £340,000 and diminutive winger Mark Ward from Oldham Athletic for £250,000 were the final pieces in a jigsaw that fell into place spectacularly to provide West Ham fans with a campaign they would never forget.

On the final Saturday of the season, the Hammers faced West Bromwich Albion still holding genuine hopes of finishing as League Champions. With Liverpool playing at Chelsea that day, Lyall’s men knew that if they beat the Baggies, and the Blues triumphed at Stamford Bridge, they only needed a victory against Everton two days later to secure their first-ever league title.

Despite victory at the Hawthorns, though, news filtered through that Liverpool player-manager Kenny Dalglish had hit the winner against Chelsea to ensure that the Reds couldn’t be caught.

Today, with the gulf between the Hammers and the monied Premiership elite of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Chelsea ever widening, it is doubtful that a club with West Ham’s relatively humble resources will ever again come as close to winning the ultimate prize in the English game. Fifteen years on, this book reflects in detail on the one and only season in which the claret-and-blue army were really able to chant: “We’re gonna win the league.”

Boy of ’86 includes exclusive interviews with the management and players, who recount previously untold stories and anecdotes from this record-breaking season.

CASS

Cass Pennant - John Blake Publishing Ltd (2002)

He’s been run through with a sword;

He’s been shot a point blank range;

He’s got a reputation and respect as one of the hardest men in Britain…

 

Cass’s life reads like a Hollywood gangsters movie. In this best-selling autobiography he tells the amazing stories of how he saved the life of World Boxing Champion Frank Bruno from a knife attack; how he was shot three times in the chest and still kept on fighting; and how he was alleged to be the leader of the notorious West Ham ‘InterCity Firm’.

He is one of the hardest men in Britain, he lives his life on the edge of the law, giving respect where

respect is due, and dishing out terrible retribution upon anyone who dares to cross him.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Size 177x110mm - 350 pages

COVER PRICE: Soft-back £5.99

book076 - Cass Cass calling card front book076 - Cass calling card back

Cass Pennant business card

RIO!

Wensley Clarkson - John Blake Publishing Ltd (2002)

He’s the hottest star in British football. He’s Britain’s most celebrated and highly paid defender. He’s signed for £33 million to Manchester United and fired up from a phenomenal performance in the World Cup, Rio is ready to take the world by storm!

 

Few in the history of football have achieved such greatness so young, and so fast, as Rio Ferdinand. Signed by West Ham at 17 it wasn’t long before Rio was selected to represent his country at international level. At 21, he was transferred to Leeds United for £18 million, then a record sum for a defender, where his skills and hard work soon earned him the skipper’s armband. After his incredible goal against Denmark in the World Cup Rio is ready to take his place amongst the legends of football…

 

* So how exactly did Rio get to be so good? In this, the first biography of the footballer, best-selling author and investigative journalist Wensley Clarkson reveals the secrets behind Rio’s amazing talent and his incredible ambition, by talking to those who knew him best. This groundbreaking book takes an inside look at:

 

* His childhood on the mean streets of Peckham

* How the death of schoolmates Stephen Lawrence affected him

* His driving shame that nearly cost him his career

* His outrageous behaviour on holiday in Cyprus

 

Now he’s come through it all to produce the kind of magic that can keep stadiums spellbound.

 

Size 240x155mm - 256 pages

COVER PRICE: £16.99

book077 - Rio book078 _ Irons in the Soul

IRONS IN THE SOUL

Pete May - Mainstream (2002)

It’s a typical season at West Ham, really. Harry Redknapp has been sacked in the summer and replaced with rookie boss Glenn Roeder, who admits to feeling like a 100-1 outsider winning the Grand National. Paolo Di Canio makes more tearful exits than the average opera diva before deciding to turn down Manchester United in favour of spending more time with the piranhas. West Ham lose 7-1 at Blackburn but a few weeks later win 1-0 at Man United, and the huge new Dr. Martens Stand (or is it the Rio Stand?) is opened by right-royal supporter the Queen. Aussie defender Hayden Foxe mistakes a West End bar for a urinal while over-celebrating at the players’ Christmas party, and David James sports a season’s worth of dodgy barnets, ranging from peroxide tea cosy to mustard-on-hot-dog squiggles. Journeyman Christian Dailly is transformed into an ever-present football genius, while Steve Lomas causes several fans to suffer panic attacks by removing his shirt after scoring. Sinclair, Cole and James go to the World Cup with England, and under the astute leadership of Roeder a side that had been tipped for relegation surges up to seventh place (and finishes above Spurs). With wit and style, lifelong fan Peter May charts a remarkable season while also reminiscing about some of the funniest moments in West Ham’s history, making this an essential read for those with Hammers in their hearts.

 

Size 232x153mm - 224 pages

COVER PRICE: £9.99

WANT SOME AGGRO

Cass Pennant & Micky Smith - John Blake (2002)

A mob of 1000 skinheads running along a road is a frightening sight. Into the tube gates we rushed. On the tube, there was the usual knees up mother brown, with the whole carriage full of skinheads jumping up and down, the train rocking from side to side. Mile End and all out… want some aggro?

 

It’s the 1970’s a time of skinheads, Doctor Martens, violence and trouble on the terraces. The Mile End Mob rule Upton Park. Long before the days of the ruthless InterCity Firm casuals, they were the first guv’nors of the terraces, striking fear into the other West Ham mobs and fans.

Nicky Smith die-hard Hammers fan was there in the thick of the action, he saw it all as it happened. Here he teams up with best-selling author, ex-I.C.F. face and West Ham authority Cass Pennant to recall these action-packed and turbulent times.

Indeed, it was the reputation and respect commanded by the East End Bovver Boys that drove a hardcore of hooligans to create the notorious InterCity Firm and establish their rule over the terraces up and down the country in the 1980s.

Here is the story of what came before the I.C.F. Thrilling, dramatic and brutally honest it will fascinate any football fan or social historian.

book079 - Want Some Aggro book080 - Claret and Blue Blood

CLARET AND BLUE BLOOD

Pumping Life into West Ham United

Kirk Blows & Ben Sharratt - Mainstream (2002)

SOFTBACK EDITION:

Followed swiftly on from the hardback original, but not only the committed collectors will still be keen to add this impressive volume to their shelf. Apart from adding three new chapters on the latest first team players to have emerged from the youth ranks – Stephen Bywater, Anton Ferdinand and Kevin Horlock – the authors have updated and fully revised other chunks of the original, including the chapters on Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard   and Joe Cole, three of the most celebrated products of the famous ‘Academy’ and Jermain Defoe whose move to Spurs is also covered.

With eight glossy pages of pics to accompany 256 pages of quotes and candid conversations, this represents great value and is certainly a very worthy addition to any Hammers fan’s book collection.

The interesting question is, how many other home-grown discoveries will be produced at West Ham in future seasons to make even the contemplation of a similar book a possibility.

book081 - Scoring An Experts Guide

SCORING AN EXPERT'S GUIDE

Frank McAvennie - Canongate (2003)

FRANK McAVENNIE knows all about scoring – Goals, Women or Drugs. The man is an expert

 

He is the archetypal football hero: Frank’s natural ability took him from playing on the Ash Parks of the Housing Schemes of Glasgow to performing at the top stadia in England and Scotland. The 1986 World Cup, and a host of top nightclubs throughout the world. And in every situation Frank was never found wanting, his reputation of rising to the occasion well and truly justified. No wonder the fans loved him. If he wasn’t sticking the ball in the back of the net, he was being photographed with the latest girl about town.

 

His life has been peppered with sporting highs, beautiful women, outrageous behaviour, the company of stars and one too many nights in Stringfellows. But with the highs inevitably come the lows: since his career ended the years have been littered with failed business ventures, court appearances and even imprisonment.

 

It’s been a rollercoaster ride and now we are invited to journey with him as he recalls the good, the bad and the ugly times.

 

SCORING, is not just about football, sex, drugs, crime and kiss-and-tell – it is all that and more. Told candidly for the first time, this is Macca’s story in his own words… The colourful life of one of the game’s most lovable rascals.

CONGRATULATIONS YOU HAVE JUST MET THE ICF

Cass Pennant - John Blake Publishing Ltd (2003)

WEST HAM RULE LONDON, ALWAYS HAVE DONE, ALWAYS WILL DO… THAT’S WHY WE’RE THE GUV’NORS…

 

The InterCity Firm… hard, terrifyingly vicious, brilliantly organised, tremendously feared and highly fashionable. They were the most notorious firm of the Seventies and Eighties football hooligans this country has ever seen. For the first time ever, all the faces of the West Ham firm reveal their memories and thoughts about the violence, the battles, the campaigns, the run-ins with the authorities, and all that came with it.

Bestselling author Cass Pennant was one of the best-known figures of the I.C.F. He has used his unique position as a West Ham insider to bring together these first-hand accounts from the men who were at the eye of the storm, both on and off the terraces.

These tales from the terraces range from the inflamed East End rivalry with Millwall, to the shed-end battles with Chelsea, from aggravation at Anfield’s Kop to the disaster that unfolded at Heysel. The stories unfold against a backdrop of sharp fashion and music, such as The Cockney Rejects and Sham 69, that became the hallmark of the hooligans.

Such was the notoriety of the I.C.F., that they became the subject of a television documentary that attracted worldwide interest and changed the way that outsiders would view football violence.

 Brutally honest, stunningly dramatic and genuinely authoritative, this book is a must have read for die-hard football fans and social historians alike: the people that wrote it were part of a social phenomenon that changed the face of a national obsession.

 

COVER PRICE: £15.99

Congratulations, you are about to meet the I.C.F….

book082 - Congratulations ICF book083 Definitive WHU

THE DEFINITIVE WEST HAM UNITED F.C.

John Northcutt - Soccer Data (2003)

The Definitives are a series of club histories that focus on the statistical side of the game. Every player in each major competitive game played by the club is listed. Player details include a cross-reference to the seaons they appeared, and their previous and next clubs. attendance details are based on Football League records.

Computer database and spreadsheet programes have been used in the production of the book, in the hope that new standards of accuracy and completeness can be achieved. A full statistical record of West Ham United from 1898-2003.

 

Size: 208mm x 293mm – 138 pages.

COVER PRICE: £12.00

book084 - Legacy of Barry Green

THE LEGACY of BARRY GREEN

Robert Banks - Boleyn Books (2003)

They say the more things change, the more they stay the same. Where West Ham United are concerned, that much is certainly true. The last three years have seen the club sack long-serving manager Harry Redknapp, finish seventh in the most competitive league in the world, then drop out of it altogether. Redknapp's replacement, Glenn Roeder, was also given the axe as the club faced financial crisis.

The plot would not look out of place in Eastenders - it's been that bizarre. Hammers now face life in the first division under Alan Pardew - so will they bounce back or continue to flounder? How did they get in such a mess? What on earth possessed Roeder to sign Gary Breen? How could West Ham win consecutive cup ties at Manchester United and Sunderland, then lose at home to Spurs?

These questions and more are posed and then totally ignored in Robert Banks' brilliant new book.

 

Size 178x110mm - 274 pages

COVER PRICE: £6.99

book085 - WHU Collection

THE WEST HAM UNITED COLLECTION

Breedon Books (2003)

West Ham United is one of the great names in football, the Hammers’ history studded with great players, great matches, great events. Formed in 1895 as the works team of Thames Ironworks, they were renamed West Ham United in 1900, when they turned professional.

The Hammers took part in the first-ever Wembley F.A. Cup Final, in 1923, and won the Cup for the first time in 1964, following up with Wembley victories in 1975 and 1980. In 1966 England won the World Cup with the help of three Hammers players – Bobby Moore, hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst, and Martin Peters – but earlier the Hammers had made history in their own right by winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup with an all-English eleven.

The West Ham United Collection covers all these great eras, with nearly 200 fascinating photographs of the players and the matches combining to produce a collection that will stir memories and will be a wonderful record of some of the greatest days in the history of this great club.

 

Size 260195mm - 126 pages.

COVER PRICE Soft back: £12.99

book086 - Founded on Iron

FOUNDED ON IRON

Thames Ironworks and the Origins of West Ham United

Brian Belton - Tempus Publishing Ltd (2003)

The genesis of West Ham United Football Club is probably the most fascinating of any professional side. The team that would become the pride of East London and pioneers of the modern game first came into the world as Thames Ironworks. Its players were the tugh hammer-men who burnt and beat the rivets into some of the greatest ships ever built, including the mighty HMS Warrior, a seagoing war-machine, which was, like the company that built it and its football club, ahead of its time.

This is a tale of how philanthropy, religious beliefs, Corinthian ethics, entrepreneurial enterprise and the enthusiasm of working people for a game made a sporting institution that would come to embody the culture and history of the Docklands.

 

Size: 156mm x 234mm – 128 pages

Cover Price £9.99

 

book087 - Dream Team

THE OFFICIAL WEST HAM UNITED DREAM TEAM

Adam Ward & D Smith - Hamlyn (2003)

Every Hammers fan has played the game of creating his or her dream team, comparing legends of the past like Bobby Moore and Julian Dicks with more recent idols such as Paolo Di Canio and Joe Cole. West Ham United supporters have been given the opportunity to present a collective view on the greatest players from the modern era via an exclusive poll. The result is the ultimate West Ham United team as chosen by the fans.

Interviews with many of the winning players, their team-mates and former coaches, give you an insight into the lives of your heroes as they divulge the highlights and low points of their careers. As well as telling you more about your favourite players, this book will take you on a nostalgic journey back to unforgettable games and outstanding performances, making it essential reading for any Irons fan.

Illustrated biographies of the 11 chosen players, exclusive quotes from team-mates and opponents, complete career statistics for every player as well as profiles of the runners-up.

 

Size 233x151mm - 160 pages

Cover Price: £12.99

book088 - Johnny the One

JOHNNIE THE ONE

The John Charles Story

Brian Belton - Tempus Publishing Ltd (2004)

John Charles was born into a large, close-knit family during the last months of the Second World War. He was soon recognised as a gifted footballer, playing for one of the most successful Schoolboy sides ever - the West Ham Boys of the mid-1950s. John became the first black player to turn out for a senior West Ham United side in the 1962-63 season.

He had already become the first person of colour to play representative football for England, having won several youth caps. John played 150 matches alongside the greatest Irons of the 1960s - including Budgie Byrne, Martyin Peters, Geoff Hurst - and he defended alongside Bobby Moore on more than 130 occasions.

John led the way for other black professionals. Proud of his East End roots, in Johnnie the One he refutes accusations that West Ham United or the team's supporters were ever racist.

This is the story of John William Charles; a story of a Canning Town football hero. It is also a tale about a family, a place, a time and an extraordinary, ordinary man - Johnnie the One.

 

COVER PRICE: £14.99

book089 - For The Claret & Blue

FOR THE CLARET AND BLUE

Micky Smith - John Blake Publishing Ltd (2004)

Two or three of them came over and asked what team I was… they followed me at a distance and when I looked across the platform I saw the other lads from the train getting a good kicking. I felt uneasy and was obviously next on their list for a hiding. I could not bottle it. I had to front it and act as normal as possible…

You don’t choose West Ham – it chooses you. Following West Ham United is not about how many pieces of silverware the team can win. For true fans, it’s a lifelong,   sometimes agonising passion. West Ham fans are amongst the most loyal the country has ever seen. In 1964, when footballing legend Bobby Moore held the FA Cup aloft for West Ham, Micky Smith was in the crowd, experiencing the unique thrill of seeing his club emerge victorious. In 1967, when Manchester United came to the East End, Micky was there and witnessed the birth of the football hooligan. In this unique memoir, the co-author of the bestselling Want Some Aggro? Recalls tales from his life as a Hammers fan and also draws on the experiences of other dedicated fans to produce a unique memoir recalling the agony and the ecstasy of being part of the east End’s most faithful following. The fans who have teamed up with Micky recall the violent days when the notorious InterCity Firm ruled the terraces and give their inside accounts of the run-ins with the police, the rivalry between firms and events such as Heysel that changed the face of football as we know it today.

 

Size 240x160mm - 270 pages

COVER PRICE: £16.99

book090 - Burn Budgie Byrne

BURN BUDGIE BYRNE

Brian Belton : Breedon Books (2004)

book091 - Nightmare

NIGHTMARE ON GREEN STREET

Peter Thorne - Football World (2004)

Books written by fans are nothing new but Nightmare represents breaking new ground in that it combines the written word with the immediacy of the internet messageboards.

For in this thoroughly entertaining observation of life as a West Ham fan over the past five years, author Thorne allies his own very honest and highly creditable views with those of the supporters who contribute to the popular unofficial fan site, westhamonline.net Thorne, in the guise of his cyberspace alter-ego Billy Blagg, takes us on a painful journey – from Mannygate (Manny Omoyinmi’s farcical appearance that led to Hammers losing a Worthington Cup quarter-final they had already won), via the sale of Rio Ferdinand, and the sackings of Redknapp and Roeder, to last May’s play-off debacle and an attempt at what the future hlds. He consistently hits the mark and you’ll find yourself nodding at regular intervals as you turn most of the 240 totally absorbing pages.

book092 - Our Days are Few

OUR DAYS ARE FEW

Martin Godleman - Boleyn Books (2004)

Relegation. Devastation. Annihilation?

In May 2003, after 10 consecutive seasons in the Premiership with England's football elite, West Ham United were relegated.

Follow the would-haves, the could-haves, the lay-offs and the play-offs in this frank and detailed account of regime change at Upton Park in the aftermath of relegation.

West Ham’s official commentator for video and DVD recordings, the author should be well placed to provide an insight into behind the scenes life at Upton Park. Godleman can certainly write as well as he commentates, although he clearly has little time for some of the more celebrated TV mike-men of his profession. Relegation affects more than just the obvious people and Godleman was another who found his services on the gantry curtailed by cutbacks. He cannot disguise his dismay at how money is now such a ruling influence in the game, on and off the field.

He continues to report from the press room and even during breaks to Australia and USA, he found he could not get by without the latest news of his beloved Hammers. This diary of the 2003-04 season shows that you don’t have to attend games at Upton Park to experience the agony (and occasional ecstasy) of following the fortunes of West Ham.

 

Size 178x109mm - 280 pages

COVER PRICE: £6.99

Books and Publications

Continue

2005-2006

Johnny 'Budgie' Byrne played for Crystal Palace, Fulham and England, as well as several clubs in South Africa, but he is most associated with West Ham, where he delighted the fans as he made goals, scored goals and put in fearless tackles. In the heady days of the 1960s he was on a par with the greats: Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst, Martin Peters and Johnny Sissons.

 

But Budgie was left out of the squad for the 1962 World Cup in Chile, so in some ways he never completely fulfilled his enormous potential. It was during Johnny Byrne's time at West Ham that the club really built its reputation for quality football. Loved by the fans, hated by the opposition, he is widely thought to be one of the finest players ever to have pulled on a claret and blue West Ham shirt.

 

In this fascinating new biography Brian Belton tells the story of Budgie's life and career, focussing on the football and resisting the temptation to cast Johnny as a 'loveable rogue' in the manner that others have written about such famous subjects as Alex Higgins and George Best. There was much more to Budgie than his life off the pitch, and this is a book about a football hero who played like a demon and was adored by the fans.

 

Size 240x165mm - 272 pages

COVER PRICE : £16.99