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Other stuff to buy this Christmas for an Arsenal fan and family

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By Tony Attwood

Don’t Panic.

This is not yet another ad for my book, in fact apart from this sentence, my book doesn’t get a mention.   This is about the books published by GCR.

Until now GCR has had a special place in my heart because it has republished some of the long out of print books from the past about Arsenal.

Now it is more in my heart because they have also published a book that I can read to two of my grandsons (both members of the Junior Gunners from birth, and now aged two and a half – and we are all looking forward to the day when they are the mascots of the club one lovely saturday afternoon.

But before you turn away because you have no sons or grandsons of a suitable age, let me say, this article is not just about that book – it is about several of the new books GCR have done.  I’ll return to them in more depth later, but it’s 1 December as I write this, so time is pressing and you need to buy the person with everything Arsenal something else, now.

Let’s start with the book for the kiddies. It is Billy Gooner’s First Match.  It’s a story about 1976 when Billy Gooner goes to a match with his dad to watch the mighty Arsenal play the evil West Ham.

Well, to be honest,  “evil” isn’t actually part of the story – I just made that bit up.  It’s a kiddies story with lovely pictures, a nice feel-good tale suitable for kiddies of all sorts of ages.  Quite what ages I am not sure, because my three daughters are all grown up now, and I can’t quite remember what I read to them when.

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But I have read this to Sam and Harry, the twins aged two and a half, and they listened and loved it.   OK they also got into it more as I put in the sound effects, and held each one in turn up and then did that grandfather thing of dropping them down and stopping the drop at the last minute as my daughter said, “Dad – they’ll be sick, they’ve just had tea,” and “Dad, you’re winding them up again, and its bed time,” and I said, “that’s what grandfathers do.  I’ve waited my whole life for this moment, and I am not stopping,” and to her credit my daughter understood.

In short, it is a book you can do anything to.  Even throw balloons at them (which I did – but you’ll have to read it to see why).

Back to the book.  It’s a kiddies book, you can show them the pics, and you can read it to them, and as they get towards seven they can read it to themselves.  Give it to your children, or your neighbour’s children, or your grandchildren, or your neighbour’s grandchildren, or someone.  It’s fun.

Click here and you get to the page

So, in other news…

GCR have also republished the only book that I know by Herbert Chapman.  This is the story of the man who advocated numbered shirts, white footballs, the ten-yard “D”, greater use of floodlit matches, goal-judges, and (and you will love this bit) a plan for improving the England team.  OK as the Arsenal History site has proven (spoil sports that we are) he didn’t actually change the name of the club from The Arsenal to Arsenal, but he did the rest of it..

Herbert Chapman on Football is the collection of articles Chapman wrote for The Sunday Express, published soon after he died.  I am going to write more about this anon, when the Arsenal History site moves on to the Chapman era, as we will shortly.  But for now, if you venerate the man, you need his book.

Here’s the link for the Chapman book.

Last one for today: Cliff Bastin Remembers.

Cliff Bastin – Exeter City to Arsenal aged 17.  Five league titles, two Cup winners medals, scored 178 goals for Arsenal – a record until that Wright fella popped up.   And all this in a career interrupted by Mr Hitler.

If you are serious about Arsenal history you need this book, because this man is Arsenal, and unless you know Cliff Bastin, you don’t know Arsenal.

And this is the final link of the series

Let me emphasise, these two volumes are the original books published about Arsenal greats, long before any other club had books on their players for the general market.

And in case you are getting suspicious, no I have no particular axe to grind in favour of GCR who republish these books.  I just think it is truly magnifico that this is what they do.  Quite simply, if you want to know about Arsenal history, this is what you have to read – the original publications.

Look I’m not even publicising my own book.

Latest bits from the Arsenal History site

There’s told told’s, told untold’s, untold told’s and untold untold’s.

8 comments to Other stuff to buy this Christmas for an Arsenal fan and family

  • tahsein

    But I have read this to Sam
    and Harry, the twins aged
    two and a half, and they
    listened and loved it.

    ha ha ha,i got really scared.i felt you were talking about ‘big sam’ and the ‘melting face’.

    nice to read about your family life.i wish them all the best in life.

  • walter

    tahsein, I think you got a point there about those names. 😉
    Tony how could you let this happen… 🙂

    And thanks for the tips so I can expand my Arsenal library. Hello family, it’s almost my birthday and christmas is coming soon. 😉

  • Wrenny

    Tony’s suggestions of Arsene and Thierry fell on deaf ears….

  • I think the key thing with one’s children as they grow up is to recognise the moment when debating a point with them is, sort of, pointless. I have six grandchildren, including the twins Harry and Sam, and in each case my daughters have phoned me after the births and told me the names, and I have been just so pleased to have the little ones in my life, I don’t care at that moment what they are called.

    However, with the last of the six to be born I was called by my daughter while I was at the Ems. It was the game where I did the little bit on camera asking Lord Wenger a question (its on the members DVD) and just after I finished the phone rang and Christie (my daughter) told me the name.

    At that very moment I was looking at the cover of the programme for the day with Robin Van Persie on the front. And Christie said, “He’s called Percy.”

    So its Harry, Sam and Imagen born to Catherine, and Maria, Josephine and Percy born to Christie. My third daughter Heather is working for a year in Australia and is not contemplating a family (as far as I know!.

    More family news later…..

  • Richard B

    I remember the first tome I took my son to an Arsenal game. I recommended to him that, if he did get hooked, to enjoy the good times as much as he could but to never get depressed by the bad because they will enevitably come – at least occasionally. But if he were to decide to support another team he would have to move out and find himself somewhere else to live.
    For an eight year old this was a shock.

  • walter

    That is the right attitude Richard B. 😉 You have to make things clear to them at an early age.

  • RedGooner

    I have a suggestion. How about buying them tickets for the Ipswitch match in January 🙂 Bound to be a lot of fun !!!

    Great draw for us I think.

  • The publisher of the books noted in this article has seen the review and said that if you are thinking of ordering you can get 10% off the advertised price at his online shop by entering “untold” in the discount code box when you check out.

    That’s rather nice I think