|About The Book of Football |
See below for the history of this magazine
'The Book of Football is a work oif art. It is arguably the most encyclopaedic and lavishly produced volume ever published on the history of British football.'
The Book of Football was a serialised magazine published in 12 fortnightly instalments during the course of the 1905/06 season. Part one appeared on Friday 20th October 1905 and the concluding Part twelve on 23rd March 1906. The press marketing described it as ' The Football Book of the Century'.
I was lucky enough to own a complete set with covers intact but it quickly sold from my website. I still have 10 of the 12 editions but without their covers for sale, which are very collectable in their own right.
For me as a football magazine collector -The Book of Football - represents the holy grail of my collection. .
Not only is the best football magazine ever it is also in my opinion the best football book. The book's subtitle is ' A complete History and Record of the Association and Rugby games'. Many of the pages of the book feature full page photographic plates, meaning the temptation for booksellers to cut up editions and sell single images has been overwhelming. I had nearly given up on finding a collection so finding a complete run on ebay was a special moment. Fascinatingly the book covers all the major teams of the era and writes up their history. This means that this book contains the first records of clubs such as:
Aston Villa, Woolwich Arsenal,Newcastle United,Liverpool, Everton, Manchester United ("late Newton Heath"), Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs, Stoke, Sunderland, Leicester Fosse , Sheffield United, Southampton, West Brom, Watford, Burton United, Queen's Park FC, New Brompton, Corinthian FC and many more.
When complete it made a book of 300 pages complete with overall index. This run of magazines is very rare and because the full colour covers were not designed to be part of the book finding them intact is very difficult. This is because they were designed to be detached. On the reverse of each image the first edition from October 1905 said :
!!<'Remove this picture carefully from the book; take it to your picture framer and ask him to mount it with a grey mount in a light oak frame. You will then have the first of the 'Gallery of Famous Footballers', which will form an ornament to any room.' <br><br>
The magazine was printed on quality paper stock and was over 12 inches by 9 inches and retailed at the princely sum of 6d, so you can understand why these complete sets rarely come up for sale.<br><br>
Looking at the magazine covers and forgeting that they were a one off book publication you have to say that these were first football colour magazines in history. <br><br>
The man behind it was Alfred Harmsworth of Amalgamated Press who started the Daily Mail in 1896 and was based at Lavington street , Southwark . So the magazine was a production in its own right from Amalgamated Press and it was cross publicised in the Daily Mail .After a very convoluted journey Amalgamated Press became IPC in 1963. I would love to know if Marshall Cavendish knew about this illustrious predecessor when they published The Game in 1969 as the concept was exactly the same.<br><br>
Click through to find the full contents of each edition. <br><br>
About The Book of Football .</b>