Having now worked in the sport for 13 years, I have to say that this book is definitely a must-read. It provides a lot of insight on varied aspects of the sport that you may not necessarily expect while also providing a fair amount of entertainment. It has not gotten a lot of hype because Ward doesn’t throw anyone under the bus in a way that would garner English tabloid attention. But it does have plenty of inside stories on partying and the culture of the game as it began transitioning into the big-money business it is today.
But the meat of the book really provides a lot between the lines for those seeking an intellectual look at the game. The main items of interest are:
- Expanded story of Clough & Taylor (The Damned United)
- The financial health of English football in the 70s & 80s
- The end of the NASL / height of the indoor game
- Culture of the player lifestyle during his career
- Being on the National Team bubble
- Recognizable names still currently in the North American game
Published in England, the book can be purchased at PeterWardSoccer.com
For a book that is only 230 pages or so (minus pictures and acknowledgements), it packs quite a lot as Ward’s career really intertwined with so many interesting aspects of the game. Although a bit dry at times as game results are chronicled, the author Horner does well to provide a full picture of not only Ward’s career, but where it fit in the larger picture of the English game at the time...