|About the Book of Football|
See below for the history of this magazine
Marshall Cavendish have been producing "partworks since 1968 and still do today. Their proudest football moment was the "Book of Football" which launched in 1971 and built into 75 weekly parts.
Sky TV's football commentator Martin Tyler helped with the publication of the "Book of Football" saying in a Guardian interview in 2004;
"While on the dole in the early 70s, I was tipped off that a new partwork, Book of Football, was launching, so I eagerly made contact with the publishers, Marshall Cavendish. When they asked how I knew about the secret project, I simply replied: "Journalists don't reveal their sources." It's all I knew about the business. In May 1971 I started a month's trial. It was a fantastic first week to be in football journalism and it was love at first sight. I lived the perfect life for two years because not having to cover weekend matches ensured I could continue playing."
It built into 6 binders, the first 5 binders of 300 pages in each. At the back of the 5th binder is a comprehensive index. The final 6th binder was a collection of statistics showing the final league standings and FA cup results for every season from 1871/72 until 1971/72.
The quality of the writing and the reproduction of the photographs was excellent and was clearly a quality product aimed at a discerning reader. Interestingly this is the earliest magazine I have seen that attributes every photograph to the photographer or the Agency. In all the other magazines of the time photos were published without attribution.
As a football magazine buying teenager living on a diet of Charles Buchan and Goal the "Book of Football" felt like a luxury item -I had never felt such thick paper!
Each 20 page weekly magazine had to feature a range of topics but overall it had to build into a complete reference work. The topics featured every week were:
The Players (First issue: Jimmy Greaves and Trevor Francis)
Skills and Tactics (First issue: The Wall Pass)
World of Football (First issue: Scotland)
The Clubs (First issue: Liverpool)
Matches to Remember (First issue: Benfica v Manchester United)
Fabric of Football (First issue: The Affluence that spreads Football Poverty)
Marshall Cavendish's second foray into the world of football was the "Football Handbook" which is also featured on my site.
About Book of Football magazines.