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The story of Garry Birtles' extraordinary rise from a GBP60-a-week carpet fitter to two-time King of Europe with Nottingham Forest, under the guidance of irrepressible manager Brian Clough, is the closest you can get to a real life version of Roy of the Rovers. Birtles was snatched from non-league obscurity at Long Eaton United at the age of 20 and thrived in the professional game. Such was his impact that by the time he had celebrated his 24th birthday he had tasted the unforgettable triumph of two European Cup finals in Madrid and Munich and been sold to Manchester United for GBP1.25million. In his remarkable 16-year career, which spanned over 400 league appearances, Birtles fell from the unimaginable heights with Forest and life as Clough's squash partner to suffer the cruellest of times at Old Trafford and a dreadful goal drought that made him the butt of the nation's jokes. On his return to his beloved Forest he was cheated out of more European glory by a corrupt Spanish referee, survived a career-threatening back injury before spells with Notts County and Grimsby Town and then suffered the ignominy of signing on the dole and selling his medals because of desperate financial hardship. Today's modern professionals complain about the heavy workload of a Premier League footballer when 70-plus games in his first two seasons at the City Ground were the norm for Birtles. My Magic Carpet Ride is a frank, humorous and ultimately uplifting odyssey through a remarkable career.
Publisher: Reid Publishing
Number of pages: 208
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm
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