Mister: The Men Who Gave The World The Game (Hardback)Rory Smith (author)
- We can order this
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2016
I can imagine, then, the joy that some of the men described in the pages to come would feel at seeing nations where they had worked… playing such a key role in the game’s history. We must not seek to monopolise credit, to claim it when it belongs to others, but some must be due to the men we sent out from these shores. These were the men who taught the world to play.
In the early part of the twentieth century, a second round of English missionaries began to travel to Europe and beyond furthering the development of the religion of football in its new hotbeds.
The first footballing emissaries, engineers and industrialists, had brought the game to the world. Now, English managers would begin to teach the world how best to play the game and eventually how to beat the recognized home of association football. Men, who had for the most part been bit-players in English football, found no opportunities to coach in the ways they believed in at home and so began adventures in Europe and beyond which would create legacies in leagues and clubs which have lasted until the present day.
Rory Smith’s book is a wonderful, historical, footballing treasure-hunt taking the reader across Europe and the world in the search of the men who forged European and world football before and after the First World War.
Caught up in war, authoritarian regimes and many other difficult and often life-threatening circumstances they created relationships with clubs and countries which would last for their entire lives and see them honoured after their deaths. In most cases their passing went unrecorded in the English press yet abroad they were lauded as the fathers of clubs and the game of football. Men like Jimmy Hogan, Jack Greenwell, Alf Spouncer & Steve Bloomer took the game to a new level in many countries and earned the sobriquet “Mister” - the term still used for the manager in many countries.
An early favourite with readers, Waterstones’ own resident sport writing expert describes this as ‘a very accessible, readable, informative book and one to which I know I will refer back to time and again.’‘They were ordinary men before they did an extraordinary thing and took English football to the world. That’s why their story is so irresistible.’ – The Independent
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 522 g
Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm
'A gratifyingly timely book. It explains how English football managers...were pivotal in making foreigners better at football than we are... So there is a strong seam of irony running through Rory Smith's excellent book.' -- Brian Viner * Daily Mail *
'As well-travelled and erudite a journalist as you will find...the candour of Smith's writing is one of the book's most endearing traits.' -- Andy Brassell * When Saturday Comes *
`[A] fine book... [it] casts a fresh long-term perspective on footballing insularity, showing how British coaches helped bring the game to the world but found themselves and their insights forgotten or ignored at home.' -- Huw Richards * Guardian *
`Superbly researched story...An ideal read in front of a warm log fire' -- Rory Briggs * squawka.com *
You may also be interested in...
“"...a wonderful, historical. footballing treasure hunt."”
In the early part of the twentieth century a second round of English missionaries began to travel to Europe and beyond furthering the development of the religion of football in its new hotbeds. The first footballing... More
Please sign in to write a review