Joe Mercer, OBE: Football With A Smile (Hardback Edition)
By Gary James
Personally Signed Gary Himself
When Joe Mercer's father returned home from World War One, he took a football out of his kit-bag and threw it to his four year old son. From that day on, young Joe was obsessed with football. Gary James' acclaimed book covers the highs and lows of Joe's life - from his birth in Ellesmere Port, right through to his struggle with Alzheimer's Disease and subsequent death in 1990. Joe was a hugely talented and successful footballer, with glory coming at Everton and at Arsenal where, as captain, Joe helped his side win every honour available. He also gained much respect during his time as captain of England. As a manager, Joe took Aston Villa to the Second Division title and League Cup glory within three years of his arrival, after first learning what the role involved at Sheffield United. At Manchester City, he created a side of true quality and skill, returning the glory days to Maine Road. A history of success the Blues are rightly proud of. After helping Coventry City gain many admirers, Joe put the fun back into international football as he guided England through with a smile, a laugh and a genuine love of the game. In addition to the successes, Joe had more than his fair share of problems - two serious injuries as a player, a stroke at Villa, and a power struggle at City causing him to leave feeling unwanted - yet he somehow managed to retain his famous smile. This is the biography of Joe Mercer, OBE, written with the full co-operation of his family, friends and colleagues. It demonstrates Joe's love of the game, and of life, recalling the days when his infectious grin cheered thousands. Joe was a one-off, a truly great, successful man. He never changed, going through life and football with a smile.
This is a well told story of a special football man. It is not a football story of any man. Read it.A" Graham Taylor, Former Aston Villa & England Manager, The Daily Telegraph. A welcome indulgence and entertainingly informative.A" David Miller, The Times. Mercer was one of the last great gentlemen in a sport that has sometimes become too professional and sinister for its own liking. James' book is a fine tribute, lovingly told and lavishly illustrated.A" Stephen Kelly, Four Four Two magazine Ask any Arsenal fan who is the greatest player ever to grace the Marble Halls... one name will be repeated an amazing number of times, Joe Mercer. This book demonstrates what an extraordinary character and asset to English football he was.A" Arsenal Matchday Magazine A superbly researched book tracing the remarkable career of a remarkable man. This is one biography not to be missed.A" Paul Hince, Manchester Evening News
About the Author
Gary James has been researching and writing about football since the mid-1980s. He has written several landmark publications and articles on the sport's history, clubs, players and personalities. In recent years these articles have appeared in publications as diverse as The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, The Times, When Saturday Comes, and the match programmes of both Manchester clubs. He has also lectured on the game. Gary cares deeply about football and wants to see the history and development of the game accurately recorded. Joe Mercer was City's manager when Gary was born and, inevitably, Gary's interest in Joe's life and career developed as a result. In the 1980s he met Joe for the first time and became determined to write a biography worthy of the great man. Research for this book has seen Gary interview players, fans, broadcasters, journalists, critics, friends and other figures from every aspect of Joe's life in his quest to accurately portray a footballing legend. For more information on Gary's work visit: www.manchesterfootball.org