James Morgan is a sports journalist with The Herald, Scotland's leading quality newspaper. Born in Northern Ireland in 1974, he grew up on stories of the great Spurs double-winning team of the 1960s and has been a Tottenham Hotspur supporter since waking one Christmas morning to discover a hair shirt of an Admiral kit waiting for him on the living-room settee. Thirty-two years on, he is still waiting for Spurs to repeat the feats that his late father, Jim, was so enamoured by.He wrote In Search Of Alan Gilzean during the months after his first child was born; in the few short hours between nappy changes, bottle feeds and bath times. There were, of course, floods of tears along the way. Some of them were even his son's.
Over the past decade, football results programme Soccer Saturday has become a television phenomenon, delivering goals and drama via a raft of ex-professional players positioned in TV studios and on precarious gangplanks in rusting stadiums around the country.
At the heart of this success is free-wheeling pundit and roving reporter extraordinaire, Chris "Kammy" Kamara, the former footballer-turned-manager-turned-cult hero who has astounded and dumbfounded a legion of armchair fans with his crackpot catchphrases, hyperactive reporting style and Lionel Richie haircut.
Mr Unbelievable is his rags to riches tale. As a player, Kammy trawled football's outposts with the likes of Bradford City, Stoke City and Portsmouth where he suffered the slings, arrows and hurled bananas of racial abuse. Later, during the autumn of his career, he played in Howard Wilkinson's swashbuckling Leeds team where he rubbed shoulders with the likes of Eric Cantona and Lee Chapman.
On hanging up his boots, he moved into the dugouts at Bradford and Sunderland as manager before joining the Sky football revolution as roving reporter on Soccer Saturday and Goal On Sunday's eagle-eyed analyst, amassing a raft of catchphrases along the way.
Mr Unbelievable is a hugely entertaining, moving, shocking and laugh out loud funny story of a genuine cult hero.
Born with a natural genius for cricket, Botham began breaking records with bat and ball from a young age and soon became the man English cricket expected most from. After a troubled period as England's captain, Botham rose once again to become a national hero with his display in the Miracle Ashes of 1981. But, with his confrontational nature and wild streak, he began regularly making the wrong kind of headlines. With accusations of drink and drugs, affairs and ball-tampering, he became hounded by the tabloid pack, never sure whether they wanted him to triumph or implode. Now a Knight and just as famous for his tireless charity work, Beefy gives us the definitive story of his never-dull life and times in his own no-nonsense words.
In A Man Walks On To a Pitch, Harry shares a lifetime’s experience of obsessing over football, during which he has seen it all first hand – the good, the bad and the unbelievable. Harry started in an age where players were ordinary blokes who might live on the same street as you and earn a similar wage. Now he manages in an era of player power, multi-million pound wages and teams assembled from around the globe.
As he shares stories of some of the legends and journeymen he played, coached, argued and drank with, Harry picks a team for each decade from the 1950s to the present. He gets to the heart of what was right and wrong with each era and explores the changes in the game from lifestyle to tactics. He weaves his choices together with unforgettable tales from the training pitches, boot rooms and card schools.
There are tales of the untutored genius of Duncan Edwards and Tom Finney, legendary tough Scots like Bobby Collins, Dave Mackay and Billy Bremner, the world-beaters of 1966, unpredictable one-off wizards from Sir Stanley Matthews to Matt Le Tissier, natural-born goalscorers from Greaves to Dalglish and the greatest foreign players to grace our game from Trautmann to Bergkamp. It is one of the best informal histories of the British game you’ll ever read.