Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured theyÕve secured a place as one of the UKÕs leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew MurtaghÕs superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range:

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

Salt On My Skin By Sarah Kennedy Norquoy
Welford Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
One Long and Beautiful Summer, By Duncan Hamilton
Read Review Buy Now
Really Wild Cycling: By Chris Sidwells
Read Review Buy Now
Splash! : 10,000 years of swimming By Howard Means
Allen & Unwin
Read Review Buy Now
Never Leave A Man Behind By Mick Dawson
Read Review Buy Now
Bob Willis: A Cricketer and a Gentleman by Mike Dickson & others Edited by David Willis
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Because It’s Saturday By Gavin Bell
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Football’s Black Pioneers By Bill Hern & David Gleave
Conker Editions
Read Review Buy Now
Spirit of Cricket Reflections on Play and Life By Mike Brearley
Read Review Buy Now
Bundini: Don’t Believe the Hype By Todd Snyder
Hamilcar Publications
Read Review Buy Now

Amazon’s top 6 best-sellers

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