Spartacus Review

Volume 24: 16th September, 2008


Title: f00TBALL/DP/18459633ox/REF=SR_1_1?IE=utf8&S=B00KS&QID=122149265o&SR=1-1">Big Mal

Author: David Tossell


Publisher: Mainstream

Price: £16.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Malcolm Allison


Malcolm Allison is one of the most controversial figures of the last half-century of English football. Leader of the famed 'West Ham Academy', his playing career was cut short by the loss of a lung to tuberculosis. Disillusioned, he became a professional gambler before acknowledging that football was his calling. After humble beginnings as a coach, he began a celebrated partnership with Joe Mercer, turning Manchester City into one of the most stylish teams English football has produced. Along with the trophies came the birth of Big Mal, the larger-than-life personality who helped revolutionise televised football. He became instantly recognisable for his cigar and Fedora, and equally notorious for a string of affairs with beautiful women.As the dark side of Big Mal took over, he was banned for life from the touchlines, became embroiled in a series of boardroom battles and spent time in police cells and rehabilitation clinics fighting the effects of alcoholism. Despite the often-destructive effect of his Big Mal persona, Allison retains his status as one of the most inventive and incisive minds to have graced the game. This book tells both sides of the story, tracing the life and times of one of the most charismatic characters in British sport.

Title: Arsenal Stadium History

Author: Brian Glanville


Publisher: Hamlyn

Price: £25.00

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Arsenal


In May 2006 Arsenal played its last game at Highbury before moving to the new state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium. It was an emotional farewell to a ground that had witnessed some incredible games and which Arsenal fans had come to love as their second home. Relive those Highbury memories in this lavishly illustrated book that charts the stadium's story from the move to North London, the building of the stands and Chapman's many innovations. It brings to life the stories from the Second World War and the fifties when the team returned to winning ways. Reacquaint yourself with the characters that bought the first double to Highbury in 1971; the celebrations in' 89; the success of the Wenger revolution and the final season at this unique ground. It features rare and previously unpublished photography; exclusive interviews with ex- and current players; key members of staff and fans; and full statistics of every match in Highbury's history.