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Featured Publisher: John Blake
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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Glove Story By Rob Stokes, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke

Release date: 16th November, 2017
Publisher: Conker Editions

List Price: £10.00
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The authors of Got Not Got, (or two of them, Derek Hammond and Gary Silke), the part brilliantly written lament for football’s earlier age, part opportunity to reminisce about a time when you hankered after a Garden Goal, collected programmes printed in one colour and when players would sign autographs after the match without the ominous presence of a minder or ten, have branched out on their own to form Conker Editions.

Their first venture as publishers is Glove Story, best described as the goalkeeping version of GNG, which the pair have jointly written with Rob Stokes, who played in goal for Southern League Waterlooville for more than a decade during the Nineties.

Glove Story promises to be another winner, packed as it is with easily digestible mix of photographs, memories, memorabilia and large chunks of subjectivity. One prime example of the latter is the trio’s definition of goalkeeping legends. No-one could argue with Gordon Banks, Bert Trautmann or Bob Wilson, but one wonders how Jimmy Rimmer, John Burridge and David James made it onto the list.

Perhaps one other aspect the publishers may wish to take note of is the book’s regular references to great saves, especially if they’re keen to attract a younger audience. Again, Banks against Brazil and Montgomery for Sunderland against Leeds warrant entry into any list of outstanding ‘keeping, but only one of the top five is deemed to have taken place later than 1973.

But these are minor gripes – and what football book doesn’t contain some subjectivity?

I particularly enjoyed the different sections, dealing with topics such as goalkeeping endorsements of products such as Shredded Wheat and the Milk Marketing Board, but others are quite bizarre: Pat Jennings, for instance, keeping goal in an oversized, cylindrical car part manufactured by Unipart, or Ray Clemence promoting Knorr packet soup.

Elsewhere, there are equally enjoyable wanders down memory lane with references to ‘keepers on the silver screen (remember Kes, Local Hero and Escape To Victory?), “Crazy Keepers” including John Burridge and Bruce Grobelaar and the quite fascinating history of the goalkeeper’s jersey.

All great stuff and a perfect stocking filler.


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