The title of a book can sometimes be an intriguing little puzzle as to what is to come for the reader. One such that falls into the category is AK-86 Two shots in the heart of Scottish Football by Grant Hill. It is only after reading the book that you can fully deconstruct the title and come to find all sorts of meaning and games at play. Let’s start with AK-86. Well, most people will have heard of an AK-47, or Kalashnikov rifle, one of the most widely used weapons in the world, so by using ‘AK’, Hill has created the link to the weapon and therefore the use of the terms ‘shots’, as in firing a gun, in the sub-title of the book. However, in the context of the book, AK refers to the initials of the player at the centre of this tale, Dundee striker Albert Kidd, with 86 referring to the pivotal year of 1986 when the end of the Scottish League Premier Division season reached a dramatic conclusion.
Reinventing Bradford City is the second part of a four volume series under the banner of History Revisited from Bantamspast. The first book was the well received, A History of Bradford City AFC in Objects, by John Dewhirst published in 2014. This second offering written by Jason McKeown is described as, “the story of how Bradford City emerged from the dark shadows of May 11, 1985 (the date of the Bradford City Fire), and how they have evolved in these modern times. How they have continued to re-invent themselves, in both good ways and bad.”
For men of a certain age Roy of the Rovers is a reminder of their childhood and of days eagerly waiting to get their hands on the weekly edition of the comic, featuring the adventures of the fictional footballer, Roy Race. Roy first appeared in the Tiger in 1954, before a new distinct comic was launched in 1976 titled Roy of the Rovers, in which the Melchester Rovers striker was the feature story. It ran until March 1993, before being relaunched as a monthly publication in September 1993, finally closing in March 1995.
In The Bottom Corner Nige Tassell spends the 2015/16 season revealing stories from the Non-League pyramid to show the realities of life below the Premier League and the Football League. Format wise it covers the season from August to May, with each chapter looking at a different theme, various clubs, players, managers, volunteers and fans alike.
Football is a game often defined by its playing formations, such as 2-3-5, 4-4-2 or 4-3-3. But what about 5-7-5? Sounds implausible? Well, novelist, playwright and poet Howard Colyer has used this form as the basis of writing a series of match reports from 2003/04 to 2015/16, based around watching his football team, Millwall. Still not clear?