Bryan Gibson grew up watching football, wishing he was on the pitch rather than in the crowd. After securing a trial at a well-known club, he was thrilled to be called into the manager’s office only to be asked ‘What would you do if you weren’t to play football?’
Part fact, part fiction and inspired by the author’s calamitous attempts to become a professional, Football’s Tallest Tales spans every aspect of The Beautiful Game and tells of the many fascinating characters he met along the way. The book includes a madcap reinvention of soccer that introduces readers to such fictional legends of football as Stanley Accrington, Betty Skyrocket and over-zealous supporter Hyam Keenbritches.
Covering every aspect of the game, including the invention of Dragon Grease (an indispensable aid), the gestation of women’s football, the demise of the annual Goalkeepers’ Convention and other stories, Football’s Tallest Tales also homes in on such farcical real-life muses as the cricket teacher who morphed into the umpire Dickie Bird, Herman the German of Bayern Munich FC, and Sandy Soot, football angel turned chimney sweep who showed the author how to take the perfect penalty kick.
Featuring many present-day football clubs, players and comical events as well as explaining such mysteries as why Barnsley FC supporters are all poets, playwrights and performers. A totally original super-spoof – the ideal gift for any football fan.
‘The runaway best-seller that upped and ran away’– Radio Water Bottle
‘If you want to know how footballs came to be round not square this book contains all you need to know’– Anon
‘Ground breaking’– Groundsman’s Weekly
‘A perfect cure for football fever’– Society of the Wet Sponge
About the author
Born close to what is now the training base for all England teams, St George’s Park, Bryan Gibson has written and edited many serious books, but Football’s Tallest Tales is his first surreal account. It is based on his youthful ambition to become an elite soccer player before being asked ‘What would you do if you weren’t a footballer?’ He became a lawyer. In a book of tall tales informed by decades of watching The Beautiful Game, he invites readers to peek into his mythical football world, including the time he represented England against the USSR.
John Cooper is an artist and stand-up comedian. His images include those for Good Moaning France: Officer Crabtree’s French Phrose Book, TV advertisements, posters and cartoons.