Sunday 1 March 2020

Guest Review: The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur By Julie Welch

New edition of this bestselling title, a colourful history of Tottenham Hotspur that gets to the heart and soul of the famous London football club. Packed with wonderful stories from the formation of the club to the present day, and the memories of legendary players, managers, supporters and other key figures, The Biography of Tottenham Hotspur brings the rich history of Spurs to life. First published in 2012, with a second edition in 2015, this third edition brings the story right up to date with full coverage of Pochetinno's time in charge and of the club's amazing new stadium.

Review: This is a book, first published in 2012 but revised and updated in 2019, that covers the history of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club. It is written by the sports journalist and screenwriter Julie Welch, with numerous quotes from fans and former players. It begins with the founding of the club in 1882 by a group of schoolboys who played at Tottenham Marshes. They drew inspiration for the name of the club from Sir Henry "Hotspur" Percy, the 14th century son of the Earl of Northumberland. The book finishes at the end of the 2018-2019 season, so does not cover the recent managerial change at the football club.

Further periods throughout the club's history are covered, although with more detailed records and quotes available, the book is weighted towards more recent times. There is considerable emphasis on the Double winning season of 1960-1961 when Spurs won the League and the FA Cup, captained by the inspirational Danny Blanchflower who was such an influence on the author.

This is an authoritative history of a famous football club with interesting quotes and anecdotes throughout. There are also several photographs, although again these tend to be weighted towards more recent times. 

One thing that did slightly mar my enjoyment of the book was the numerous typographical errors scattered throughout the text. At times, this appeared to lead to some factual errors. For example, the Manchester City player Tommy Hutchison who scored for both sides in the 1981 FA Cup Final becomes Tommy Hutchinson; and the full back Kieran Trippier becomes Kevin Trippier. Perhaps most glaring is the statement that Henry "Hotspur" Percy, who died at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403, was immortalised by Shakespeare in Henry V.  Hotspur's rebellion was against Henry IV, and is described in Shakespeare's earlier play Henry IV Part 1. (Henry IV's son Prince Henry was present at the Battle of Shrewsbury, during which he was wounded by an arrow in the face. However, after a period in the treatment room, he recovered and, on the death of his father, became King Henry V in 1413, before leading England to a stunning away victory in France.)

Overall, though, I found this to be a comprehensive history of the football club that should appeal to football fans of all persuasions, and not just those in the blue and white half of North London.

To order your copy now, just click the link: UK or US

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