When first published in 1972 this book caused great controversy - Hunter Davies was allowed into the inner sanctums of a top football team and his pen and eyes spared nothing and no-one. Now the controversies have been forgotten, and his work has turned into a classic book on British football.
When the first edition of The Glory Game was published in 1972, it was instantly hailed as the most insightful book about the life of a football club ever published. Hunter Davies was, and still is, the only author ever to be allowed into the inner sanctum of a top-level football team (Tottenham Hotspur) and his pen spared nothing and no one. 'His accuracy is sufficiently uncanny to be embarrassing,' wrote Bob Wilson in the New Statesman. 'Brilliant, vicious, unmerciful,' wrote The Sun. Davies spent a whole season with the team, training with them, visiting the players' homes and witnessing the dressing-room confrontations. In the modern era of painstaking media management and tight security, no sportswriter will ever again be granted such unprecedented access. While some features of the game have changed beyond all recognition - notably the all-consuming role that money now plays - inside every club the dramas and tensions revealed by Davies remain, making the book a timeless classic and securing its position as one of the best books about football ever written.
In the 1971/72 season, Hunter Davies, hitherto best known as a biographer of the Beatles, was given unprecendented access to the training, dressing room and private lives of the players and staff of Tottenham Hotspur. The book was an instant hit and time has not withered its entertainment value, but it has revealed just how the game has changed. The Spurs players 1972 were comfortably off, not fabulously wealthy like today's stars, and were unsure of their place in the pecking order - can anyone imagine david Beckham earnestly joing the local Rotary Club in the hope of local acceptance as Mike England, the Spurs captain, did? The players are endearingly honest, almost naively so, Alan Mullery for example reveals the depth of his hurt at being forced out to Fulham, Steve Perryman, at the start of a record career at the club, is a boyscout figure and Martin Peters's wife reveals how under-appreciated her husband feels. At the time, such revelations were controversial, now they are footnotes to a book that is a football classic. (Kirkus UK)
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