Stocking Fillers

A selection of football books available Left Field, by Graeme Le Saux. HarperSport (£18.99).

As a player, Le Saux was often seen as different. He was an individual with a seemingly different outlook to his team-mates who had interesting views on football. It was, therefore, no surprise that he should produce the most fascinating and frank autobiography this reviewer has read in many years.

Le Saux reveals his difficulty in adapting to the macho dressing room culture of English football before the influx of foreign talent made it a more cosmopolitan affair and tackles head on the untrue allegations that led to an infamous bust-up with Robbie Fowler.

Outcasts! The Lands That FIFA Forgot, by Steve Menary. Know The Score Books (16.99).

Once in a while, a book comes along with an unusual subject matter that captures the imagination and Menary's Outcasts! falls into that category.

For two years, he traced the history of those nations that FIFA choose to exclude from being members and the result is a well-researched book with the most fascinating chapter perhaps being the one on Gibraltar and how the national team's struggle to be recognised is being undermined by centuries of dispute.

Meet Me on Bunker's Hill,

by David Bond. Tykesport Publications (15).

Bond, through covering the Tigers for a host of newspapers including this one for more than 30 years, is as qualified as anyone to give a revealing insight into the club's football history.

This is a long way from the usual formulaic history book.

Bond's anecdotes and yarns give Meet Me... a highly personal feel.

That is never more evident than in the intriguing chapters concerning his time when the Hull board banned him from the Boothferry Park press box.

Walking Tall, by Peter Crouch. Hodder & Stoughton (18.99).

Crouch's story is an unusual one with his journey from the youth team at Tottenham to Liverpool including loan spells with Dulwich Hamlet and Swedish team IFK Hasselholm.

There are some amusing revelations, including the day Crouch's dad Bruce became so fed up with his schoolboy son shirking a tackle when playing for Tottenham's junior team that he left his son at White Hart Lane to find his own way home.

Unfortunately, these are few and far between and, once again, a 'life story' of a player in his 20s fails to hit the mark.

The Legends of Bradford City, by David Markham. Breedon Books (16.99).

Selecting 100 legends from one club is not as easy as it sounds. For a start, what is the true definition of 'legend'?

Do you measure it in terms of impact or longevity?

Some pick themselves, of course, with no list of Valley Parade greats complete without Stuart McCall. Or Bobby Campbell.

Markham has taken on the task of selecting a final 100 and the result is a fascinating read with the inclusion of former chairman Geoffrey Richmond perhaps the most controversial for fans.

Up the Avenue, by Malcolm Hartley & Tim Clapham. SoccerData Publishing (10).

Bradford (Park Avenue) can boast a long and varied past so with this season marking the club's centenary, this is a timely update from historian Clapham and former journalist Hartley.

Age was a barrier to this reviewer ever seeing Bradford play at their Avenue home, but I did watch Yorkshire several times on the adjoining cricket field so have always been fascinated by how the football club floundered in the Seventies before being re-born in the late Eighties.

This book covers both in depth.