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'Without football,we were strangers under the same roof. With it, we were father and son.’
Longlisted for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, Hamilton tells of how he was inspired by his father's devotion to Newcastle United and the heroes of yesteryear, such as Jackie Milburn, Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards, Hamilton recreates a distant, bygone age and charts the progress of post-war British football to the present day. From the hardscrabble 1940s and the ‘never-had-it-so-good' 50s, right through to how the dowdy-looking First Division of the 80s transformed itself into the slick, money-driven Premiership that is so familiar to us today. Hamilton writes about the some of its most sublime players, from George Best to Lionel Messi, and some of its most respected managers, from Bill Shankly to Sir Alex Ferguson.
But at the heart of The Footballer Who Could Fly, is Hamilton’s exploration of the bond between father and son through the Beautiful Game, and how football became the only live connection between two people who, apart from their love of it, were wholly different from one another.
From the two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year comes a personal and affecting story that beautifully captures one of the most important three-way relationships in a man's life. Father and son and football.
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[Duncan Hamilton’s] spellbindingly evocative The Footballer Who Could Fly...is an unforgettable homage not only to his father but to his flat-capped generation of ye grand olde days of thud and mud and Saturday's teatime urban gloaming. Hamilton dead-heats as the misty-eyed book of 2012. - The Observer
Another winner. - The Sunday Times
Pitch Perfect...marvellous and affecting...Hamilton is a first rate pen-portraitionist... - The Spectator
Hamilton brings football home...As a memoir, it is heart-crackingly nostalgic. As a record of historic moments in British football, it is eye-wateringly evocative. - Blackpool Gazette
Hamilton takes us on a hugely enjoyable nostalgia trip...a moving depiction of how football can bind together a family. - Sunday Express
Touching - Sport Magazine
The book is sincere and deeply honouring of Hamilton’s father as well as dead greats such as Lawton, Shankly, Jackie Milburn, Duncan Edwards and Bobby Moore... - Financial Times
A beautiful, heart-cracking memoir by a sublime writer - Saga Magazine
All of Hamilton’s books have an elegiac quality, this more than the rest - Independent
About the Author
Duncan Hamilton is the author of Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough which won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year for 2007. In 2009, he was awarded the William Hill again, for Harold Larwood, as well as winning the prestigious Wisden Book of the Year for 2009 and Biography of the Year at the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. He lives in the Yorkshire Dales.