Maine Man: The Tony Book Story

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Tony Book's football career is something of a modern-day fairytale. This is the definitive account of his intriguing journey.Born the son of an army officer in 1934, he spent his childhood in India playing barefoot football with the local kids. From there he returned a young man to Bath, where he played for a local miner's side, before following his father into the army. It was in the forces that his football ability began to really shine. After a short period in service, Book became a bricklayer and played for various local sides before joining his hometown team of Bath City. It was there that he first met manager Malcolm Allison -a figure who was to have a great effect on Book's later career. In 1964, at the age of 30, Book was transferred to league club Plymouth Argyle, where he played for two years before former boss Allison, by then co-manager at Manchester City, convinced his partner Joe Mercer to take a chance on the by now veteran full-back. The risk paid off as Book went on to captain the team throughout their most successful period, during which they won every domestic trophy, as well as the European Cup Winners' Cup. Book was the recipient of the first-ever Player of the Year award in 1967 and was voted joint Footballer of the Year in 1974,the year he swapped roles from player to manager. After becoming assistant to Ron Saunders at Manchester City, he was elevated to manager a year later and his steadying influence saw the Blues win their last major trophy to date.....