More recent reading

John Gorman


John Gorman is my late Father’s cousin and has a reputation in football that is considerable.

As I child I was besotted with the rubbed off fame that he bestowed upon me in the playground.  My most vivid memories are of him as captain of Carlisle United.  Top of what is now the premiership.

Football is a fickle mistress though.

Carlisle’s early season winnng streak soon ran out and with that so did John, to Spurs, and injury.

After that Tampa Bay.

Most pros gradually fade away, but not John.  Through his association with Glenn Hoddle he rose increasingly to managerial prominence, culminating in his Assistant managership of England, as a Jock.

So, I was looking forward to this reading with enthusiasm.  There is however, a dreadful back story that permeates the book, the early death, through cancer, of his beloved wife Myra.  This element of the book is truly tragic and it is really quite poignant.

Despite this the book is not something I could recommend to the casual reader I’m sorry to say.  It’s ghost written by journalist Kevin Brennan.  Sadly Kevin Brennan is to literature what Michael Winner is to film making.  It’s not good.

It’s illuminating though and demonstrates ably how thin the line is between success and failure.  John goes through a job or two per chapter and there are 17 of them, so it demonstrates how grim a reality football management is, especially in the lower leagues.

One for the family and the collectors only I have to say.