Sometimes you love a soccer team not only for their strengths, the splendor of their play, and the appealing thrust of their character, but also for the haunting possibility that their best hopes may never be fulfilled. This has rarely been demonstrated so vividly as by the Manchester City team, who briefly, but unforgettably, illuminated the late sixties. And no one was more caught up in their struggles and their triumphs than James Lawton, a young sportswriter starting out on a career that would take him to all the great events of world sports. Yet still, fifty years after Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison began to shape the brilliant team, Lawton counts watching their rise to glory as one of the most exciting times of his professional life.
Francis Lee, Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee--Lawton goes back to these heroes, interviewing all the main players and characters who are still alive, and vividly brings to life the story of that City team which, with such wonderful panache and freedom, won the first division title, the FA Cup, the League Cup, and the European Winners' Cup between 1967 and 1970.
This is not just the story of one team. It's a broader one of how sports can so often mirror the exaltation and despair of the real world, how competitions carry the athletes who participate--and sometimes even those who merely watch--to moments that will claim a permanent place in their hearts.