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Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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The Illustrated History of Football By David Squires

Release date: 06th January, 2017
Publisher: Century

List Price: £12.99
Our Price: £9.09
You Save: £3.9 (30%)
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A large number of readers are likely to be emerging from a dry January fully intent on enjoying themselves again, in which case obtaining a copy of David Squires’ Illustrated History of Football will complement their rediscovered bonhomie.

Many publishers believe that, as our attention spans are becoming considerably shorter, it’s imperative that their books capture readers’ attention within the first couple of paragraphs, otherwise would-be buyers move on elsewhere. The IHOF, however, is in little danger of seeing browsers disappear to other bookshelves, opening as it does with a strong introduction which compels you to read on.

“Before the arrival of organised football,” David Squires writes, “people would drift through life bereft of purpose. Sure, there was cheese-rolling and the amateur pillaging scene was competitive, but neither quite satisfied the innate human desire to whip a free kick in at the near post.”

Squires’ opening lines sets the tone for a lively, tongue-in-cheek history of the beautiful game, accompanied by some excellent illustrations. The cartoon-like illustrations wouldn’t be out of place in a children’s book (that’s not a criticism), but the content is aimed squarely at an adult market.

It’s a while since a fully illustrated sports book was reviewed by Sports Book of the Month. The last one was World Cup 1930-2010, by German Aczel, published in 2010, though many of the footballers featured in it bordered on caricatures; Squires’ content is, however, a considerably improvement on the earlier book, while his drawings are much less involved.

Readers who have been on the wagon for a month will find this the perfect, post- dry January tonic; those who want to remind themselves that football is, first and foremost, part of the entertainment industry, should buy it simply to enjoy.


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