SHORTLISTED FOR THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2013
The story of one man's life told through the prism of his father and grandfather's love of football.
'Without football, we were strangers under a shared roof. With it, we were father and son.’
Inspired by his father’s devotion to Newcastle United and the heroes of yesteryear, Duncan Hamilton brings to life a bygone age telling the story of British football from the hardscrabble 1940s and the ‘never-had-it-so-good’ ’50s right through to the dowdy First Division of the ’70s and ’80s, and today’s slick Premiership. Hamilton recalls some of football’s most sublime players, managers and characters, from Bill Shankly and Jackie Milburn to George Best and Lionel Messi.
But at the heart of The Footballer Who could Fly is Hamilton’s relationship with his own father. Here he tells how football became the only real connection between two people who, apart from their love of the beautiful game, were wholly different from one another.
“Spellbindingly evocative ... an unforgettable homage not only to his father but to his flat-capped generation of ye grand olde days of thud and mud and Saturday's teatime urban gloaming.”
“Pitch perfect … This marvellous and affecting book, which is about love and fatherhood and history and manners as much as it is about football … Hamilton is a first-rate pen-portraitist.”
“Hamilton wrote two of the best sports books of recent years, on Brian Clough and the cricketer Harold Larwood ... a fine collection of vignettes ... make this another winner.”
“Hamilton takes us on a hugely enjoyable nostalgia trip...a moving depiction of how football can bind together a family.”
“The book is sincere and deeply honouring of Hamilton’s father as well as dead greats such as Lawton, Shankly, Jackie Milburn, Duncan Edwards and Bobby Moore...”
“Hamilton brings football home...heart-crackingly nostalgic ... eye-wateringly evocative.”
“A beautiful, heart-cracking memoir by a sublime writer”