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Book Review: Studs

By Tokyo Toffeeman

Studs! (Ebury Press) is an entertaining retro footie annual using stories, interviews and pictures taken directly from Shoot! Magazine from the 60s, 70s & 80s. Britain’s top footballers of the moment, often accompanied by the loving missus, are shown in all their garish glory (kind of living testament to mad and bad football haircuts) whether it be while mowing the lawn, practising their golf swings, decorating the kitchen or celebrating big wins in the communal team bath. We sometimes even get to see them on the pitch looking podgy in simple pre-sponsor traditional kits. Plenty of familiar faces as you’ve never seen them before (or at least not since you were a nipper).

Featuring prominently in the book is the ‘focus on’ section where we learn about players’ favourite food, team they supported as a boy, biggest drag in the game, person in the world they’d most like to meet etc.

Sam Allardyce’s miscellaneous dislikes include the taxman (surprising, eh?), Alan Hansen’s professional ambition was to have a long Scottish international career, Joe Royle’s best country visited is Israel & Stan Bowles’ chosen occupation other than pro footballer would have been bookmaker. George Best’s favourite singer was Lulu and Jack Charlton lists guns amongst his miscellaneous likes. Brian Little wants to meet the Queen. Imaginative stuff!

Other highlights include Bobby Moore’s take on that ghastly nightmare in Bogota (‘I managed to keep cheerful thanks to FA officials on-the-spot, who stayed with me even while I was under house arrest’), a You Are The Ref column compiled by Stan Lover, some Straight Shooting from Jimmy Greaves in which he reveals he always put his left boot on first, not out of superstition but because it took him a little longer to get comfortable. Plus, there is a showbiz stars segment – did you realise Lovelace Watkins was a Man City fan? Heard of the Goal Girl ’70 Contest? Read how the judges got the rare chance to see dolly birds in soccer kit.

As it says on the cover, brace yourself for the most exciting football event since 1966!

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