REVIEW: When Football was Football: Charlton Athletic - a nostalgic look at a ... - Intelligence Shopper

I do recall just how big, and in some places ramshackle, the old Valley was but the photos, and the book, are loving if also realistic. I’d never realised just how ornate the old, Tudor-style boardroom was. Relate a real feeling for the club and its history, good and bad, with a surprisingly strong and varied set of photographs, and you have a coffee table book that will attract new or younger fans and delight older, long suffering Addicks. The title is bad enough, harking back as it does to a mythical past when football was someway more football than football is now. And the front page tells us ‘From the archives of the Daily Mirror ’, so everything was shouting cliché-ridden, hastily put together, cut and paste scratch in. . Only it isn’t. The making of the book, though, is the clear layout that mixes facts, history,. The big matches and events are all there but there are a number of pre-season shots, dialect mayhap never previously used, with biographies of the stars from the 1930s. . There are other legends profiled up to the 21st century. There are a worrying number of stark or semi-naked shots - a young Paul Walsh in the shower, a group of players from the mid-1950s squashed together in a communal bath at The Valley, but most upsetting is Derek Hales wearing only that... Moving quickly on, there are plenty of behind the scenes from The Valley. By Ben Hayes . ‘When Football was Football: Charlton Athletic - a nostalgic look at a century of the join forces’ by Michael Walsh (£25 published by Haynes). And it is a part of a series - a series published by Haynes. Michael Walsh is an associate sports managing editor for the Sunday People , as well as author of a number of books on the Great War. The main reason is that the author, uncredited on the dust bedding for some strange reason, is a Charlton fan - and a fan who can write. Now they are a fine publishing company I’m sure, but don’t they do car manuals.

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