Top Ten Football Books: Spencer Vignes
Spencer Vignes is a journalist, author, and broadcaster and fan of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club. Book-wise he has been to date, the author of six titles including The Server, which was listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award in 2003. Of his three football books, FBR have been fortunate to review two of them, Bloody Southerners: Clough And Taylor’s Brighton & Hove Odyssey and Lost In France: The Remarkable Life and Death of Leigh Roose, Football’s First Superstar, both excellent reads. His other football title is, A Few Good Men: The Brighton & Hove Albion Dream Team.
Here Spencer provides FBR with his Top Ten Football books, with a nod to his beloved Seagulls for good measure.
The first serious football book I ever remember reading. A fascinating insight into the life of Ray Kennedy, flipping between his glittering playing career and the growing onset of – and subsequent treatment for – Parkinson’s disease.
The book that opened my eyes to the injustices surrounding the Hillsborough disaster. A story that had to be told, told well.
Searingly honest and brilliantly written. Relatively short, yet a reminder that sometimes less is more. If only all football autobiographies were like this.
The from-the-heart tale of Ian Ridley’s attempts to inject a little pizzazz into Weymouth FC, his hometown club. Entertaining, informative, poignant.
The story of Brighton’s fight for survival during the mid-nineties at the hands of an unscrupulous chairman, in the words of those who were there.
A gallows humour account of what it’s like to support a lower-league football club, in this case Exeter City. A genuine must read for all football fans, except perhaps those of Plymouth Argyle.
A year in the life of a journeyman footballer, so the sub-title goes. Yet it was, and remains, far more than that. One of the very best of the early wave of nineties football-related publishing.
Brian Clough, warts and all, by the man charged with covering Nottingham Forest for the local paper during the most eventful years in the club’s history. Absolutely everything I hoped it would be.
Sport, society, politics, culture. It’s all here. A thoroughly enjoyable, evocative read, whether you’re from Yorkshire or not.
It took me the better part of 30 years to read it, but it was worth the wait. Written with the kind of player co-operation that today’s football hacks can only dream of, yet Davies does their words justice.