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Quiet Genius Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert

Quiet Genius Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager

Biography / Autobiography   Sport from the Armchair   The Real World   eBook Favourites   

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Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017

Quiet Genius is the story of how one modest man accomplished more than any other football manager, found his attributes largely unrecorded and undervalued and, in keeping with the gentler ways of his generation, did not seem to mind. It reveals an individual who seemed out of keeping with the brash, celebrity sport football was becoming, and who succeeded on his own terms. Three decades on from his death, it is a football story that demands to be told.

William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 is Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath, publsihed by cycling specialist Raph Editions

Other shortlisted books for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 were:

The Greatest Combeack: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing)

Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster)

Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury)

Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury)

Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld)

Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects)

Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)

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Quiet Genius Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert

Bob Paisley was the quiet man in the flat cap who swept all domestic and European opposition aside and produced arguably the greatest club team that Britain has ever known.

The man whose Liverpool team won trophies at a rate-per-season that dwarfs Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements at Manchester United and who remains the only Briton to lead a team to three European Cups. From Wembley to Rome, Manchester to Madrid, Paisley's team was the one no one could touch.

Working in a city which was on its knees, in deep post-industrial decline, still tainted by the 1981 Toxteth riots and in a state of open warfare with Margaret Thatcher, he delivered a golden era - never re-attained since - which made the city of Liverpool synonymous with success and won them supporters the world over. Yet, thirty years since Paisley died, the life and times of this shrewd, intelligent, visionary, modest football man have still never been fully explored and explained.

Based on in-depth interviews with Paisley's family and many of the players whom he led to an extraordinary haul of honours between 1974 and 1983, Quiet Genius is the first biography to examine in depth the secrets of Paisley's success. It inspects his man-management strategies, his extraordinary eye for a good player, his uncanny ability to diagnose injuries in his own players and the opposition, and the wicked sense of humour which endeared him to so many. It explores the North-East mining community roots which he cherished, and considers his visionary outlook on the way the game would develop.


'An evocative, intimate portrait' Rory Smith, New York Times

About the Author

Ian Herbert is the Independent's chief sportswriter. He began his career in Liverpool in 1989, where he was both a news and football reporter, and eeventually became Deputy Editor of Liverpool Daily Post before leaving for the nationals. As a football reporter on the Post, he covered the managerial era of Graeme Souness, during which LFC's decline from the standards of the great Bob Paisley days was the steepest.

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Book Info

Publication date

4th May 2017


Ian Herbert

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Bloomsbury Sport an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


352 pages


Biography / Autobiography
Sport from the Armchair
The Real World
eBook Favourites

Biography: sport
Football (Soccer, Association football)
Sports teams & clubs



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