Search for your sports books:

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

Read Review
<back to archive

Scoring: An Expert's Guide by Frank McAvennie

Release date: 26th August, 2003
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd

List Price: £14.99
Our Price: £10.49
You Save: £4.5 (30%)
Buy Now

If ever you read those 'Where are the now?' features which focus on the whereabouts of footballers from earlier generations, you will know that they invariably depict black and white match action featuring still recognisable fresh faced players. The accompanying narrative summarises each player's life since he hung up his boots which usually comprises one of the following: coaching, management, an overseas jaunt or else a return to a career prematurely curtailed by the siren call of the beautiful game.

It would not be unusual to see the name Frank McAvennie appear in such a feature - the young Scot who only started playing football seriously at the age of 20 and who effected a move (twice) to West Ham as a result of his extraordinary scoring prowess.

Scoring, the title of McAvennie's autobiography, is the ultimate double entendre and Frank, as the book suggests, is something of an expert on the topic and we're not always talking about the ball hitting the back of the net. This is a pity because the most compelling parts of the book are when McAvennie concentrates on football rather than girls. His description of the 1986 league title run in, when West Ham had a real chance of winning the championship, conjures up a feeling of reader involvement rarely experienced in books published in the immediate aftermath of a campaign.

But McAvennie has had 17 years to consider how best to describe the Hammer's penultimate league game that season against West Brom. The writing here is sharp and atmospheric, ensuring the reader can almost hear a chorus of "I'm forever blowing bubbles". However, Frank's memory lets him down in other areas, such as his goalscoring partnership with Tony Cottee for instance: "We had become the most feared striking partnership in England and some would say that meant the world." There is no mention of how Rush and Dalglish, rampant at Liverpool at the same time, felt about this assertion.

But that is to nitpick because at heart this is an enjoyable read. In between the references to nightclubs, an impressive drinking capacity and the astonishing tales of women who were prepared to do most things for Frank without him even asking, is the story of a footballer who made good at the highest level and who subsequently lost it all. McAvennie's downward spiral is a salutary reminder for today's football millionaires; that he has bounced back and written this readable romp is much to his credit. As he proves in this book, there is far too much to Frank's life than a nostalgic paragraph in a "Where are they now?" feature.

<back to archive


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Hardmen: Legends of the Cycling Gods By Frank Strack
Pursuit Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory By David Bolchover
Read Review Buy Now
Tom Simpson: Bird On A Wire By Andy McGrath
Bloomsbury Sport
Read Review Buy Now
But Seriously An Autobiography By John McEnroe
W & N
Read Review Buy Now
The Descent By Thomas Dekker
Ebury Press
Read Review Buy Now
We Are Sunday League By Ewan Flynn
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Fall of the House of FIFA By David Conn
Yellow Jersey Press
Read Review Buy Now
Gentleman and Player The Story of Colin Cowdrey, Cricket’s Most Elegant and Charming Batsman By Andrew Murtagh
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
The Premier League: 25 Years By Lloyd Pettiford
Urbane Publications
Read Review Buy Now
Johnny Haynes Portrait of a Football Genius By James Gardner
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 – 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.