Men of the match | Logging ‘football time’ at £20 per week

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William Hill's Sports Book of the Year. Link to Guardian (U.K.) article.London | The story of a stoical, much-journeyed footballer for Scotland, Nottingham Forest and several other clubs has been named William Hill’s Sports Book of the Year. My Father and Other Working-Class Football Heroes (Yellow Jersey Press) by Gary Imlach chronicles a period (the 1950s) when top-class players earned £20 per week and looked to other occupations for sources of livelihood. Imlach’s father, Stewart, was a joiner in addition to being named man of the match in Forest’s 1959 FA Cup final victory over Luton Town.

According to a review in the December issue of When Saturday Comes, Stewart Imlach had to fall back on his joiner’s work after being fired from coaching. “[H]e is later happily captured wielding his tools on the Liverpool pier head among punters who barely recognise him,” writes reviewer John Williams. “He had done his football time.”

Update: See 12 Feb 06 for the latest on Imlach and the Scotland caps row.

About the Author

John Turnbull founded The Global Game in 2003. He was lead editor for The Global Game: Writers on Soccer (University of Nebraska Press, 2008) and has also written on soccer for Afriche e Orienti (Bologna, Italy), the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the New York Times Goal blog, Soccer and Society, So Foot (Paris) and When Saturday Comes. His essay "Alone in the Woods: The Literary Landscape of Soccer's 'Last Defender' " in World Literature Today was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Also for World Literature Today he edited a special section on women's soccer, "World Cup/World Lit 2011," before the Women's World Cup in Germany. The section appeared in the May-June issue. His next project is a book on soccer and faith.

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