For Club and Country
Welsh Football Greats
Distributed for University of Wales Press
For many sports fans in Wales, football is very much the game. In recent decades, rugby may have received more media attention, but there is some justification for the claim that it is soccer which is truly the national game of Wales. After all, the playing and watching of soccer has been characteristic of cities, towns and villages throughout the country and it is soccer, more than any other sport, which has helped forge an all-Wales identity. Whole communities have taken delight not just in their local teams but in the careers of those who have played for leading English and continental teams. And, naturally, there has been particular pride when these stars have joined with home-based players to wear the magnificent red shirts of Wales.
In For Club and Country: Welsh Football Greats a distinguished team of experts and enthusiasts celebrates the careers of a host of Welsh football’s finest players – from that first superstar, Billy Meredith, through the hey-day of the peerless John Charles to latter-day heroes such as Mark Hughes and Ryan Giggs. Rather than try to define a list of all-time greats, individual authors have set out to evoke the genius of those players who have inspired them most, setting them firmly in both their cultural context and within the changing pattern of the game in the United Kingdom and internationally.
“A volume of such a high standard as For Club and Country is not only welcome but should, indeed, be revered and made compulsory reading for all radio, television and press mandarins . . . This volume is priceless.” –gwales.com
“It’s an absorbing work that unearths some fascinating facts and also buries the sporting myth men of Harlech need ball to hand rather than to feet.” –North Wales Evening Leader
“. . . [a] fine compendium of biographical portraits . . . Bringing to life the bandy-legged dribble king Billy Meredith, jug-eared fag-smoking Cardiff City icon Fred Keenor, the great Edwardian goalkeeper Leigh Richmond Roose, the bustling bellicose centre forward Trevor Ford and perhaps the greatest Welsh footballer of them all, John Charles, For Club and Country places them all vividly in their social and historical context, incidentally spotlighting the undulating fortunes of the club and national sides as their stories unfold . . . This is an inspirational anecdotally-chunky volume which joins the dots between the past and present without being swamped by misty-eyed self-deluding nostalgia. It redefines and reclaims a Welsh footballing heritage . . .” –Wales Watch
“A timely reminder of the marvellous roles Welsh heroes have played in the history of football; and of how prominently football stands in the country of their birth. A book to stir the blood.” –Ken Jones, sports journalist, Independent