Books JOHN LYONS re­views the latest to reach us at

Late Tackle Football Magazine - - BOOK REVIEWS -


RAT­ING OUT OF 10: 9 BE­FORE read­ing this book about Alder­shot, I feared it could be pretty bor­ing – and I was right.

Only jok­ing, for this book re­ally was a pleas­ant sur­prise. Over four decades, Graham Brook­land has seen it all at the Shots.

Start­ing off as a young fan, he went on to wit­ness the heart­break­ing demise of the cash-stricken Shots in 1992 and was then one of the founders of the new club, Alder­shot Town, that worked their way up from Isthmian League Di­vi­sion Three to the Football League in 16 years.

If that wasn’t enough, he then wit­nessed the new club fall on fi­nan­cial hard times, en­ter ad­min­is­tra­tion and al­most go bust.

Dis­mayed by that turn of events, Brook­land – who served as sup­port­ers’ club chair­man, club sec­re­tary, di­rec­tor and head of media over two decades – de­cided it was time to walk away and go back to sim­ply be­ing a fan a cou­ple of years ago.

If that’s a quick run through the facts, then what brings the book to life are his sto­ries, anec­dotes and pas­sion for the club.

It is a warts-and-all book, with the au­thor not afraid to ac­knowl­edge his own mis­takes over the years as well as those of oth­ers who ran the club.

But there is lots of hu­mour in­cluded, like when Brook­land was run­ning the club’s suc­cess­ful Shot­sline and pro­vid­ing up­dates and com­men­tary on the team. One night he was ‘cov­er­ing’ a match be­tween two of the Shots’ ri­vals – Col­lier Row and Thame United.

He re­calls:“The fact is that I wasn’t even at the game, I was in the One Oak pub in Frim­ley. I made ar­range­ments to speak to one of the bar staff ev­ery 15 min­utes for an up­date by pay­phone in the foyer of the pub.

“I then rang the Shot­sline to pro­vide an up­date and had friends in the back­ground shout­ing “Come on the Row” mak­ing out that they were at the match. It must have worked. The game it­self fin­ished 0-0 but we re­ceived over 500 calls on the night! Great days!”

Brook­land dealt with colour­ful man­agers like Ge­orge Borg, Terry Brown and Gary Wad­dock, who was the boss who led the Shots back into the Football League. There were also vis­its from the Dalai Lama, Mar­garet Thatcher and Sir Alex Fer­gu­son.

He had lots of ma­te­rial to choose from, but he’s se­lected well and pro­duced a fine book. HAVE BOOTS WILL TRAVEL, BY BRIAN JAMES MCINTYRE, WWW.HAVE­BOOTSWILL­TRAVEL .CO.UK, £12.99

RAT­ING OUT OF 10: 7 AF­TER read­ing this book, it’s clear to see that Brian McIntyre has had an amaz­ing life.

At 18, he got called up to do na­tional ser­vice and de­cided to join the Royal Air Force. He was posted over­seas to Sin­ga­pore and be­gan a life­time of travel – al­ways with his football boots with him.

Later, he got a job as a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer work­ing on a diamond mine in Sierra Leone. That was the start of one of the most har­row­ing chap­ters of McIntyre’s life as he was framed for the mur­der of two illegal diamond min­ers and spent three-and-a-half months in prison.

He was even­tu­ally cleared, but even in his dark­est days he tried to see the funny side. When his brother Tony flew out to at­tend his trial, he said:“Ac­tu­ally I killed three but they only found two bod­ies!”

Af­ter spells in Nige­ria and South Africa, McIntyre re­turned to Sin­ga­pore and be­came cap­tain of the Sin­ga­pore Cricket Club (SCC) football team in the 70s.

At the end of the 80s he again re­turned to Sin­ga­pore to take part in a vet­er­ans’ soc­cer sev­ens at the SCC.When this was ex­panded McIntyre was charged with invit­ing the likes of Sir Ge­off Hurst, Bobby Charl­ton, Pat Jen­nings and Trevor Brook­ing to play.

There aren’t many peo­ple who got the chance to play with as many football le­gends as McIntyre did over the years. One of the best anec­dotes in the book is one that Hurst told him about keep­ing your feet on the ground. Hurst was get­ting close to Heathrow Air­port in a black cab when the cab­bie said, ‘okay, give us a clue’.

Hurst re­sponded,‘Well, I played over 300 games for West Ham and scored 242 goals, I played 49 times for Eng­land and scored 24 goals and I am the only man to score a hat-trick in a World Cup fi­nal.’ The cab­bie replied, ‘You prat, which ter­mi­nal do you want?’

All in all, this self-pub­lished book has lots of funny sto­ries and tales, though it could have done with some ex­tra pol­ish­ing on the gram­mar front to make it even bet­ter.

How­ever, his fam­ily, in­clud­ing grand­chil­dren Max and Zoe, are his main rea­son for writ­ing it and the prof­its will go to help for­mer Non-League foot­baller Andy Cul­li­ford, who was di­ag­nosed with mo­tor neu­rone dis­ease while in his early-30s in 2011.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.