Best football autobiographies

Football. Football. Football.  The world is dominated with football as the sport grabs the frontpages as well as the back pages of the newspapers. This leads to a lot of interest into many different aspects of footballing life whether that be the success of a manager of the downfall of a player; it is unrelenting.

This has led to many footballers and football managers releasing books about their time in the game which opens up a lot of information that you may not have known or wanted to know more about. For example, training ground bust ups, betting history of players ( or even talk in the dressing room. All of this provides insight into what we may not have known or people trying to set the record straight.

With an abundance of footballer’s autobiographies which ones stand out from the crowd and has people interested in what they have to say?

  1. My Autobiography by Sir Alex Ferguson

The best football manager in the modern era is arguably Sir Alex Ferguson and with his domination of the English game during his time at Manchester United he has plenty to say about his life in football.

After 27 years  at Old Trafford he had plenty of players come and go but also enemies in pursuit of titles. He opens up about all of them and answers many questions that some had about those people who have crossed paths with him along the way.

Stories about David Beckham, Roy Keane, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Jaap Stam are real standouts of his Manchester United players. However, talk of rival managers such as Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and in particular Rafa Benitez.

Ferguson also expresses his other footballing interests such as red wine and the JFK assasination.

Great for football fans but also great for fans of leadership, motivation and success.

  1. The Accidental Footballer by Pat Nevin

One of the most notorious non-footballers ever to grace the game. In no way does that mean that Pat Nevin wasted his time in the game it means that he did not fit the footballer image especially during the 1980s in the English game.

Nevin is a very forward thinking person, who was once called  “the first post-punk footballer” but he was more annoyed at being labelled a footballer. He talks about his passion for music in the book as well as his passion for activism and politics.

Nevin came from a tough background in Glasgow which he also opens up about. Nevin was cool but did not necessarily fit in at the time with some but he was a hero to many others and a big advocate of the change to the game.

  1. How Not to Be a Professional Footballer by Paul Merson

Paul Merson was a superb footballer and he played for Arsenal for the majority of his career. However, he was usually dragged down for his off the field antics. As a major member of the “Tuesday Club” he would often be drinking more than training.

Merson speaks out about the dos and do nots of the life of a professional footballer. It is a truly entertaining read for a man who has sorted out all his alcoholic, gambling and drug addictions. Some of the Do Not Highlights include:

  • DO NOT share a house with Gazza
  • DO NOT regularly place £30,000 bets at the bookie’s
  • DO NOT get so drunk that you can’t remember the 90 minutes of football you just played in

A great laugh and a view on what football was like for a few in the 1980s and 90s.

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