Book Review: My Football Journey by Dennis Tueart
November 11, 2011
Dennis’s autobiography is a compelling read for any football fan. It gives a fascinating insight into football and what it’s like to be part of the “beautiful game”. Dennis is well qualified to write this book, having played at the highest level for many years and later becoming a Director of Manchester City FC.
Dennis admits to being a very fastidious person throughout his career and it is this attention to detail and meticulous preparation which benefits his autobiography. His recall of everything is crystal clear and the book is well written so that it is never dull and moves along at a fast pace.
For fans of Sunderland AFC and Manchester City FC, this is a must read as it provides real insight into specific eras in the history of these two clubs. For fans of other clubs Dennis has views about the game and how it is run. He passionately believes that footballers, once they are retired, should have a bigger role in the running of the game and clubs in particular.
Dennis is concerned that “the grey suits”, as he calls the business men who manage clubs, don’t really understand the game and therefore make basic errors regarding the playing side. This is an interesting assertion which is worthy of consideration. However, I am left with the impression that Dennis as a Director, is more of a suit than he realises and that may be no bad thing. I suspect that Dennis is quite rare in turning his knowledge of the game into hard rules and guidelines for clubs to follow. There aren’t many footballers who have made, or could make, this transition.
Dennis is, of course, right that the “suits” haven’t played the game and don’t have the same insight, however it is also true that football people i.e. managers, coaches and players often shroud the game and its playing side in mystery. They encourage the belief that everyone is searching for the magic ingredient for success and only a few will find it, that this is an art not a science. Someone in Dennis’s mould will be invaluable to the “suits” as a bridge between the Board room and the dressing room. He is someone who can simplify the game.
It is no surprise that performing such a role led to Dennis falling out with some of his friends and ex-colleagues and Dennis doesn’t try to hide this. Football is like that on and off the pitch, this isn’t unique to Dennis. It is, after all, a game of beliefs and opinions and everybody has different ones!
There should be room in the game for someone as experienced, clear thinking and articulate as Dennis. Until he returns to the game we’ll have to make do with this compelling insight which he has given to us.
Dennis Tueart’s autobiography, My Football Journey, is published by Vision Sports Publishing (RRP £18.99). Dennis’s royalties from the book will be donated to the teenage and young adult cancer unit at The Christie cancer centre.
The book can be bought for the special price of £13.49 (plus P&P.) here>>