Date: 11th December 2006 at 10:26pm
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Christmas is coming, and Auckland Owl reveals his Top Ten Footy Books of All Time: maybe Santa will drop one of them in your stocking?

OK, pop pickers, here we go, in reverse order, from number ten to number six. Alright?

10. ‘The Mavericks: English Football When Flair Wore Flares’ by Rob Steen

Tony Currie snogging Alan Birchenall on the cover?! This is an unashamed plug for 70s youth culture and football with individual articles on legendary figures like Frank Worthington, Stan Bowles, Charlie George, Alan Hudson and Rodney Marsh (yes, he really did play football)… violence, platform heels, Admiral sock tags, Gola football boots, all set to a glam rock soundtrack. Great fun.

9. ‘McIlvanney on Football’ by Hugh McIlvanney

A collection of articles from the career of the legendary British journalist. Matt Busby, Jock Stein, Bill Shankly, Pele, Moore, Best and Maradona, World Cups and much more. One for the bedside table, to pick up now and again (and again and again).

8. ‘Barca: A People’s Passion’ by Jimmy Burns

Everything you need to know about Barcelona and its history. More than a football club, a social phenomenon, an expression of Basque pride and identity, with added Terry Venables and Johan Cruyff! Very well written, needless to say.

7. ‘Football Against the Enemy’ by Simon Kuper

Ajax supporter Kuper’s take on footballing rivalries, and the effect football has on politics and culture. Sounds a bit dry, eh? When I tell you that Chapter Two is called ‘Football Is War’… a bit more interesting? The cover photo is Frank Rijkaard spitting at Rudi Voeller. Ah, now you get the idea.

6. ‘All Played Out – The Full Story of Italia 90’ by Pete Davies

Does what it says on the cover. Davies spends the 1990 World Cup with England, who actually fulfilled their promise (yes, my children, it does happen now and again). Bobby Robson, Gary Lineker, Gazza’s tears, Chrissy Waddle’s hair (pre-Wednesday), the merits of playing a sweeper in the latter stages of a major competition. Lovely.

That’s all for today, tune in tomorrow for the final countdown. Which book will be number one?