Scottish Football Books
The classless appeal of football has produced some great characters over the years, including players, managers and other important figures. Both Sides of the Border by Archie Gemmill is the autobiography of the Scot who scored, arguably, the best ever World Cup goal. The Real Mackay by Dave Mackay charts the legendary Hearts and Tottenham Hotspur stopper from his playing days through to his management career and his role in building Middle East football. Engineering Archie by Simon Inglis offers an insight to one of the game's unsung heroes, Archie Leitch, who designed some of the greatest football grounds in Britain.
No list of football titles would be complete without the definitive histories and the fabulous performances of the clubs that comprise the leagues. Bonetti’s Blues by Jim Wilkie follows the trials of Dundee FC through the Bonetti years. Heartfelt by Aiden Smith is a year in the life of a diehard Hibs fan supporting the sworn enemy, Hearts, for a season. And Walking Down the Somerset Road by Duncan Carmichael provides the complete history of Ayr United.
Beyond this wealth of historical and social information is a range of books devoted to statistics and quizzes that will inform and test the most knowledgeable enthusiast. Fitba Gallimaufry by Adam Scott is billed as ‘Essential and Obscure Facts from the World of Football’. Football in Scotland by Alexander Graham provides an account, in figures, of Scottish football from 1873 to 2005. Test this new found knowledge with Ewen and Roughie’s Football Quiz. Alistair Findlay's poetry collection tackles the three issues closest to many a Scotman's heart - Sex, Death, and Football - for what else is there?
Off The Ball
A spectator sport like football lends itself well to illustrated titles like Football in Our Time by Stuart Clark or Inside Scottish Football by Tom Purdie, which features photographs from the Jim Rodger Collection. With a rather tenuous link to the game itself there is Labanotation by Alec Finlay, which covers the greatest goal ever scored, Archie Gemmill’s ’78 stunner, being transformed into a dance by Scottish contemporary dancer Andy Howitt and performed at the Sadler’s Wells theatre in London.
From the sublime to the ridiculous could describe the state of Scottish football at any given time and a good sense of humour goes hand in hand with being a fan. Hampden Babylon by Stuart Cosgrove is a fine example of not taking things too seriously by one of Scotland’s most petty and ill-informed football broadcasters. The grounds have their fair share of happy banter in the form of songs.
If that’s not enough information, celebration or agony then perhaps The Hope That Kills Us will offer enough football fiction to satisfy.
The Old Firm
Last but by no means least is the considerable publishing effort put into the Goliaths of Scottish Football – Rangers and Celtic of Glasgow. There are a number of titles covering all areas of concern to the Old Firm and their followers. Fans favourites like Terry Butcher of Rangers and Tommy Gemmell of Celtic are celebrated along with great managers of the past, like Jock Stein and Dick Advocaat. Famous teams and their achievements are recorded in titles such as To Barcelona and Beyond and Celtic in Europe and the fans are not forgotten in Voices of the Old Firm, which captures the views from both sides of the divide. Some of the issues relating to the clubs and the influence they have are also set down in Bhoys, Bears and Bigotry, which depicts the history of the clubs in the city. Des Dillon has taken a different perspective on the old firm, in his play Singin' I'm No A Billy, He's a Tim.
The roots of modern football are in Scotland. Find out why the game is so important culturally and economically, how it is coping with the issues facing it, and why it will never die.
- Celtic In Europe: Four Decades Of Floodlit Drama - - Paperback
The drama of Celtic Football Club's European exploits is captured here. The excitement of the club's initial steps in Europe during the 1960s is recounted, as is the development of the team under the management of Jock Stein. This edition is updated to include Celtic's European adventures in season 2003-04.
- Fitba Gallimaufry - - Hardback
Scottish football writer Adam Scott has collected together the fruits of a life-long obsession with football. The book contains gems like the fact that Bovril, traditionally the drink of the terraces, was invented by a Scot for Napoleon's army.
- Add to BasketFootball In Our Time: A Photographic Record Of Our National Game - - Hardback
Stuart Clarke's photography captures the passion, comedy and beauty that is at the heart of modern British football culture. His work spans the whole of the game, from landmark internationals and the glamour of the Premiership to the sparse dressing-rooms of the lower divisions.
- Add to BasketFootball In Scotland: A Statistical Record, 1873 To 2005 - - Paperback
This is a statistical record of every game played in the Scottish Football League and Premier League with each season's final tables and 'home-and-away' charts showing results. Scottish Cup final, semi-final and quarter-final results are also included, together with other statistical information.
- Add to BasketHeartfelt: Supping Bovril From The Devil's Cup - - Paperback
You can change your house, your car, your political affiliations and even your partner, but your football team is one of life's constants, right? Wrong. A lifelong Hibs fan takes on the challenge of following hated Edinburgh rivals Hearts for an entire season.
- Add to BasketThe Hope That Kills Us: An Anthology Of Scottish Football Fiction - Hardback
Edited by Adrian Searle, this volume is an anthology of Scottish football fiction.
- Jock Stein: The Celtic Years - - Paperback
It was Jock Stein who ensured that Celtic were the first British team to ever win the European Cup. That win gained Celtic a good deal of fan loyalty for many years. This book profiles Stein's role at Celtic, his successes and his failures.
- Add to BasketMcfootball: The Scottish Heroes Of The English Game - - Hardback
This title examines the Scottish influence on the English football scene which contains colourful portraits of the managers who have monopolized major domestic prizes and a whos-who profile on every post-war footballer capped by Scotland while playing for an English club.
- Over The Top With The Tartan Army: Active Service, 1992-97 - - Paperback
Taking us on an erratic world tour, McArthur gives a frighteningly funny insider's view of active service with the Tartan Army. It is a must for any football fan who likes a good laugh and has a good sense of humour.
- Pittodrie Idols: The Story Of Aberdeen's Cult Heroes - - Paperback
This title tells the irreverent, intriguing and at times poignant story of Aberdeen's cult heroes through interviews as well as insights from esteemed media figures and supporters who helped transform players into idols.
- Add to BasketThe Real Mackay: The Dave Mackay Story - - Hardback
Mackay recalls his happy childhood in Edinburgh, revisits his glorious football playing days with Hearts, Spurs and Derby County and reflects on his subsequent managerial career which provided its fair share of highs, lows and controversy.
- Add to BasketSex, Death And Football - - Paperback
Alistair Findlay, author of the acclaimed 'Shale Voices', takes a measured look at those three most important facets of life - sex, death, and of course, football.
Fatigued by bloated big-game football, historian Daniel Gray went in search of small town Scotland and its teams. Part travelogue, part history and part being accosted in a strange Alloa pub, 'Stramash!' takes an uplifting and insightful look at the country's nether regions.
- To Barcelona And Beyond: The Men Who Made Rangers Champions Of Europe - - Paperback
'To Barcelona and Beyond' contains a collection of interviews with the Glasgow Rangers Football Club players who won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972.
This is an entertaining and frank account of Gemmell's life as as player in the 60s and 70s, including what it was like to play under the iconic Jock Stein, his career at Celtic and Nottingham Forest. Gemmell reveals the game as he knew it and isn't shy of giving his opinions on what it has become today.
- Add to BasketVoices Of The Old Firm - - Paperback
This book tells the history of Rangers and Celtic in the words of those who can genuinely say 'I was there'. By interviewing players, managers and supporters of the two great clubs, Walsh has built up a unique picture of 60 years of football in Glasgow.
- Add to BasketWalking Down The Somerset Road: The Complete History Of Ayr United - - Paperback
Founded in 1910 after Parkhouse and Ayr FC amalgamated, Ayr United have become one of the established members of the Scottish football league. This book traces the history, honours and noted ex-players and managers of 'the honest men'.
- We'll Support You Evermore: The Impertinent Saga Of Scottish Fitba' - Paperback
Including contributions from some of Scotland's finest writers and football fanatics past and present, this book about Scottish football reflects the special nature of the game. There are few countries of similar size whose people have such passion.