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‘The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw’ is This Month’s Book Club Selection, Join the Discussion!

the greatest footballer you never saw ‘The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw’ is This Month’s Book Club Selection, Join the Discussion!

EPL Talk’s selection for February’s book discussion is The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw written by Paul McGuigan (a founding member of the British rock band Oasis) and Paolo Hewitt (an accomplished author and former journalist for NME).

The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw tells the true story of Robin Friday, a superbly gifted footballer who was compared to George Best. How exactly Robin Friday — a cult-hero at the clubs he played for in England — didn’t become a household name is revealed in the book. Friday’s dabbling with smoking, drinking, womanizing and drug-taking certainly played a role.

Paul “Guigsy” McGuigan initially learned about Robin Friday while he was touring across the United States with Oasis. He came across an article about a wild man from England who had a ridiculous talent for football and led a “shockingly entertaining life.”

The book has been so well received that a movie is in the works, which includes involvement from a production company based in Los Angeles.

For the monthly book club, go ahead and read the book and feel free to share any observations, questions or things you find fascinating. Just post them in the comments section below.

The deadline to finish reading the book is the end of this month (February).

The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

This entry was posted in Book Discussion Club, Leagues: EPL, Reading. Bookmark the permalink.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013.
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9 Responses to ‘The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw’ is This Month’s Book Club Selection, Join the Discussion!

  1. IanCransonsKnees says:

    It’s been out for years and I’ve never read it, always meant to. Trip to eBay for a cheap copy I think.

    • The Gaffer says:

      There’s a used one on Amazon UK for £2.99 — http://www.amazon.co.uk/Greatest-Footballer-You-Never-Saw/dp/1840181087/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1359937514&sr=1-1

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

  2. jtm371 says:

    Super Furry Animals did a song about Robin “The man Don’t Give A F-ck”

  3. The Gaffer says:

    I’m making my way through the book so far, but a couple of things jump out at me immediately:

    1) It’s nice to read a book about someone who plays for Reading, possibly the least talked-about Premier League side.

    2) It’s remarkable the level of ferocious fouling that went on in games in the 70s and how little protection players got. If that had been today, there would have been red cards handed out again and again and again.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

    • IanCransonsKnees says:

      Proper football. When men were allowed to men.

      Footballers now are the ultimate metrosexual icons.

      One of the best stories you’ll ever hear from a footballer is the one Alan Hudson tells relating to the famous free-kick at Birmingham in 1974-75, when he and Geoff Salmons are seen talking over the ball before Salmons floats in the kick for Jimmy Greenhoff to score with a header. The match commentator commends them for their tactics but Huddy will tell you they were actually discussing the route of their pub crawl that evening and which nightclub they would be visiting.

      Friday would have approved I’m sure.

  4. The Gaffer says:

    Reading ‘The Greatest Footballer You Never Saw,’ referee Clive Thomas is quoted in the book as saying that Robin Friday’s goal he saw, when Thomas refereed a Reading match, was the best goal he had ever seen.

    And Thomas had refereed some major matches and seen the greats such as Pele.

    The goal in question was a pass that came to him around the halfway line, where he volleyed the ball over his shoulder (without looking) and the ball sailed into the back of the net.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  5. Dean Stell says:

    Honestly, I’ve struggled with this one. I read the first quarter of the book and it just never hooked me and pulled me in. Moved on to reading something else. I think I just didn’t like the format and how it was written like an interview transcript.

    • The Gaffer says:

      The format took a while to get used to, but I enjoyed it. It was an easy read. Not the most brilliant prose, but the story of Robin Friday was wonderful to read.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

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