A Fitbawbags Guide To Fitba Literature

Along with watching fitba, another hobby I am very fond of is reading. Its something I do every day. When offshore I get through up to fifteen books at twenty eight day trip on average. But Non-fiction only. So when I get to combine fitba and a book it creates a hybrid hobby. I have talked about my geekiness previously, collecting fitba books is another tendency I have. I have a book case at the top of my stairs dedicated to fitba literature, in my living room I have a shelf unit dedicated to the sixtyish complete collection of Aberdeen FC literature (to my knowledge it is complete anyway) and the rest of my Scottish fitba books. I refuse to lend my fitba books to anyone bar my Middlesbrough supporting mate offshore as I get them back as he makes an effort to read them before the end of my hitch. Any book on any other subject will get handed out and I wont give a shite if I see them again. Fitbooks though, no chance.

Below are the fifteen best books, which weren’t easy to choose. They are in no order. My top three are mentioned. The are just the fifteen best I have read to my knowledge while writing this. I will have no doubt missed out one of my favourites but with the amount I have read it wouldn’t surprise me. Some books narrowly didn’t make the cut that are cracking reads too. Danish Dynamite by Rob Smyth, Dynamo by Andy Dougan, A Season with Verona by Tim Parks, On The Trail Of The Scottish Holy Grail;From The Toons To The Joons by Shaun E Smith(Significant to my life though) and Pirates, Punks & Politics: FC St. Pauli by Nick C Davidson to name a few

I wont ruin them just name them and give you a brief of the story. One thing I can guarantee, they are all worth a read

1-FERGIE RISES – Michael Grant

Written by journalist and Dons fan Michael Grant, this is the story of how Alex Ferguson started on his journey to becoming Sir Alex by working miracles over his eight year reign at the Dons. Arguably the most impressive period of achievements than at any other stage of his career. My favourite Dons related book bar none

2-KAISER: The Greatest Football Player Never to Play Football – Rob Smyth

Without saying too much, this story is could easily be a film, Truly bonkers . Fascinating read. I would put it in my top three

3-THE MIRACLE OF CASTEL DI SANGRO – Joe McGinnis

The story, trials and tribulations of Castel di Sangro and their unexpected rise to Serie B from fitba obscurity. Highs and lows and a book that will keep you hooked.

4-GUNSHOTS AND GOALPOSTS: The History of Northern Irish Football – Benjamin Roberts

An in depth story of fitba, bigotry and hatred throughout the history of Northern Irish fitba. Aye and the Glasgow gruesome twosome think they hate each other. Lightweight false bollocks compared to across the water. An eye opener thats for sure

5-BACK FROM THE BRINK – Paul McGrath

One of the most open autobiographies from a guy who shouldn’t be alive. How he played professionally is a miracle in itself

6-THE GREATEST PLAYER YOU HAVE NEVER SEEN– Paolo Hewitt and Paul McGuigan

Robin Friday, footballing maverick, womanizer, alcoholic and all round footballing bad boy. Also the cover star of Super Furry Animals “The Man Don’t Give A Fuck” single. This man really didn’t give a fuck whether at Reading or Cardiff City. Written by Paul “Bonehead” McGuigan the ex guitarist of Oasis but don’t let that put you off. Another one in my top three

7-GOLAZO!: A History of Latin American Football – Andreas Camponar

Big book but well worth the time and effort. The history of fitba in Latin America. Fine knowledge shown by the author and also a clear love of the game in the area shown. Warning , it will make you want to head to a Nacional, River Plate, Corinthians or Millionairos, Bolivar or whoever game in future. I am planning my 200th ground to be Penarol partly due to this book

8-Football Against the Enemy – Simon Kuper

Twenty two countries visited and Kuper investigates what football is to the people in these countries. Politics, religion, social standings etc. Cracking author but this is my favourite of his works. I love the quote on the front form the times. Very apt

9-I AM ZLATAN : Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Love him or hate him he is a funny guy. His arrogance knows no bounds. But with just cause as he has backed his mouth up throughout his career and with Ajax, Inter Juventus, AC Milan Barcelona and Manure on his CV the proof is in the pudding that he was is a top player

10-THE GREATEST COMEBACK: From Genocide to Football Glory: The Story of Bela Guttman – David Bolchover

From surviving the Holocaust including escaping the Nazis as certain death awaited at Auschwitz to masterminding back to back European Cups with Benfica. Then there is the “Curse of Bela Guttman”

11-SPAIN: The Story of La Rojas Historic Treble – Graham Hunter

Another one written by a Dons fan. As it says on the tin. Spain winning the Euros-World Cup-Euros and the stories that accompany the excellent achievement of La Roja. Very well written by the Alford loon

12-Confessions of a Highland Hero – Steve “Pele” Patterson

Like McGraths, very open and he does not hold back on the details. I have a lot of time who don’t try to sugar coat and go warts n all. This is a great example of the latter. Fair play to the man from Mosstodloch as he’s very candid about the booze gambling, poor parenting etc. Well worth a read

13-Working Class Heroes:  The Story of Rayo Vallecano – Robbie Dunne

What started as a guy trying to write a book on the history of Madrid quickly changed into a book and a love of barrio team Rayo Vallecano. Read it in two sittings. I want to do a Madrid double header because of this book. But a Rayo/ Getafe. Fuck the big boys

14-The Unstoppable Keeper – Lutz Pfannenstiel

Twenty six clubs, six continents(only player ever), jail in Singapore, death in a game and a lot more. Somebody make a film out of this. The last book to make my top three

15-Black Boots and Football Pinks ;50 Lost wonders of the Beautiful Game and Saturday 3pm;50 Eternal Delights of the Modern Game by Daniel Gray

Ok its two books but its effectively a series. Real football books, written by a real football fan. If you don’t find yourself totally attached to 100 things mentioned between the two you really need to give yourself a shake. Read them both in one sitting. Daniel Gray, hats off to you min. Quality stuff

Published by pacman1903

Once a football fan. Now a football nerd

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