Monday, 2 December 2013

Got Not Got Book Spectacular

With Christmas just around the corner, we take a look at the latest books from the Got, Not Got authors, Derek Hammond & Gary Silke.

What could possibly be said about Got, Not Got that hasn't already been?  Not much if the glowing praise inside the latest incarnation is to be seen. There's even a quote from some 2 bit blog about Attics ;-)

Anyone who hasn't read a copy of the original Got, Not Got book is seriously missing out on a treat of nostalgia. OK, it's not a patch on The Football Attic Annual (what could be?), but it's nevertheless rammed full of sweet, sweet memories.

And so we come to its sequel...and we all know how tough it can be to produce a decent follow up - just look at Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen...hang on, the original was crap as well...this analogy isn't working. What I'm saying is, the original GNG was a masterpiece, so the pressure was really on to come up with the goods yet again. The problem with the past is, it's a finite resource...anything that was going to exist already has done and given the sheer weight of stuff already covered, would there possibly be enough to fill another book?

The answer is of course, yes. Not just a small yes, but a rather large one, as this time out, as well as coming up with another look at The Lost World Of Football (that's the title you see), there's also a bunch of club specific volumes and a further gem in the guise of 'What a Shot - Your Snaps of the Lost World of Football', which is a collection of readers' photos of football from years gone by. More of that later...for now we'll concentrate on the main course.

The LOST WORLD of Football

Following the same format as the original, which was billed as the A-Z of lost football, this runs through yet another alphabet of nostalgia, running from Airfix Footballers to Zetters.

Naturally with a book like this, it's impossible to cover everything in a review so I'll instead choose some of my favourite highlights.

Memories :)
Keeper Klobber - a whole page devoted to all things goalie, from Peter Bonetti gloves to some rather fetching ads for Sukan Sports. Right on the side of the page are two kit illustrations from the Reusch advert I gazed longingly at in the weeks leading up to Christmas in 1987. I never could decide which kit to get (silver and blue looked awesome, but yellow and black looked so much more the real deal) and so I never got one...

Filbert Street Revisited - a two page spread detailing a ridiculously accurate model of Leicester's ground circa 1979 courtesy of model maker Micky Bates.

Star Turns - the top 5 Player or Club 7" singles, featuring possibly the most terrifying artwork ever, courtesy of St. Etienne fan & pop star, 'Jacques Monty'.

Pocket Money Endorsements - "When it's the Best Patio Door v. The Rest, Trevor Brooking is on Therm-A-Stor's side" - nuff said!

Part of the joy of a book like this is the little gems one might usually overlook. One of these is entirely non-football related, but still evokes that warm sense of nostalgia perfectly. Lurking at the bottom of one page is an image of a set of Ever Ready batteries (now more well known as Energisers). This may not mean much to a lot of people, but to me it captures that Christmas morning feel and takes me back to that first time I tried out my new Subbuteo floodlights.

There's a lovely pic of Highfield Road in there too...albeit covering casuals and hooligans, but hey, us Cov fans will take what we can these days ;-)

The item called "Football Unfunnies" takes the same tack that we did in our Backpass article on Shoot! magazine, that the majority of football cartoons just weren't funny.

For many readers, a real delight awaits in the "Posing in Your Kit" section, a couple of pages of readers' pics of themselves posing, as the title suggests, in their childhood kits. Quite how they failed to use this gorgeous pic of yours truly in full CCFC outfit I'm not sure, but there are plenty quality kits and matching hairstyles to go around. My personal favourite is of brothers David & Mark Jameson in Newcastle's classy 85-86 home and away outfits.

For me, it's not just the coverage of ephemera that make the LWOF a great read, but the reminiscences of the authors with titles such as 'In the Garage' and 'Long Hot Summer' providing a real personal touch which is sure to have readers nodding and smiling as their own memories come back.

Finally, there's a truly heartwarming section near the end under the banner 'You could send letters', which showcases a series of replies to letters from author Gary Silke to various clubs. Each one has clearly been typed by hand and though some of them do have a distinct air of the standard 'don't call us, we'll call you' response, the fact that someone somewhere had taken the time to reply is, in this age of computer generated responses, a truly beautiful thing, a phrase which neatly sums up the Lost World of Football

Got, Not Got - The Lost World of Manchester United

Alongside its bigger brother, the GNG team have released a series of club specific GNG books. These are naturally smaller affairs and have a slimmed down price tag of only £12.99. Very often with this sort of thing, the slimmed down tomes often just repeat what's already in the bigger book and leave you with a sense of disappointment. Not so here as these have a wealth of material all related to the relevant club. This one covers Manchester United and has 144 pages of Old Trafford related memorabilia. Again there's a vast amount on offer, with very little crossover from the main book.

I can't wait to get stuck into the Coventry one...what? There isn't one? This is just like my childhood all over again! ;-)

While there may not be a CCFC version, there are books available for Leeds and West Ham and I've no doubt there'll be others to follow.

What A Shot!

When this book landed in my lap, I thought I'd gone to retro heaven. While the above two may be choc full of facts and pics, this is pure photo based gold. The book is a compilation of photos from the authors alongside a host of those sent in from Mr. J. Public. The end result is a raft of over-exposed, grainy, often blurred and badly angled photos from days gone by and by god if it isn't one of the best collection of football photos known to man, then I don't know what is!

Its amateurish nature is what gives it its undeniable charm as we all recognise the sort of photos on show. Alas, I neglected to send any shots of my own in and so don't have the pleasure of seeing my own handiwork displayed, though there is a great shot of our very own Chris next to the vampiric looking Ray Reardon, the then famous snooker player.

Highlights include the previously mentioned David Jameson's shot of Mirandinha's first appearance at Newcastle; photos of the Baseball Ground both in its heyday and also after its demise; several other long since abandoned grounds in various states of decay and some serious floodlight porn.

A bad photo of...a bad photo!
As I say though, the real pleasure in this is the wealth of grainy shots only a 110 or 35mm Minolta from Dixons could produce and the sort of photo Boots would affix a sticker to, advising of how to not use the flash in close up or something about overexposure. If you have only ever lived in a world of digital cameras where any bad shot can be deleted in a heartbeat, this is not for you. If, like me, you waited with baited breath outside Snappy Snaps (or for them to arrive in the post from Truprint), then you will fall in love with the photos in What a Shot!

If you're in any doubt as to whether this book is worth it, I can only urge you to get it. For £12.99, it'd seriously be insane not to.

Still not convinced? (seriously?) You can take a sneak peek inside all 3 books by clicking on the sample chapters below.

Lost World of Football

Lost World of Man United

What a Shot!

Coming soon...we take a look at "Six Stickers", Adam Caroll-Smith's attempt to track down the players from the missing six stickers in his Permier League 96 album...and we have 5 copies to win!


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