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Don Revie

By: Christopher Evans
Narrated by: Richard Burnip
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Summary

Bloomsbury presents Don Revie: The Biography by Christopher Evans, read by Richard Burnip.

The life and times of Don Revie - one of the most complex and controversial men ever to grace the game of football.

Whenever the greatest managers the game has ever produced are mentioned, names like Busby, Shankly, Paisley and Ferguson trip off the tongue. Despite dominating the game in the late 1960s and '70s, there is clearly one name missing: Don Revie, the former Leeds United and England manager.

Revie was one of the most complex and controversial men ever to grace the game of football. As a player he was crowned footballer of the year and credited with creating the modern centre-forward. As a manager, he took a Leeds United side languishing in the lower half of the second division and turned them into not only league champions, but one of the most dominant sides in the country.

In 1974, as Sir Alf Ramsay ran out of time as England manager, it was to Revie that the Football Association turned.

With England, Revie lost the magic touch he had had at Leeds and became increasingly indecisive. Having failed to qualify for the European Championships in 1976 and on the brink of going out in the qualifying stages of the 1978 World Cup, Revie feared the sack. After negotiating a big-money contract with United Arab Emirates Revie became the first man to walk out of the England job.

Then came the backlash. Branded a traitor and banned from the game for 10 years, the press declared open season on Revie. Accused of offering bribes to throw matches, his reputation was destroyed. Shunned by the football establishment, when he died just 12 years after walking out on England, the FA did not even send a representative to his funeral. His death robbed him of the opportunity ever to rebuild his reputation as one of the most important figures ever seen in English football. The life and times of this multifaceted, enigmatic, pioneering football man have still never been fully explored and explained in detail before.

Based on exclusive interviews, this is the first biography to examine in depth the secrets of Revie’s life. The audiobook also reveals how today’s football owes so much to Don Revie, in order to redeem the reputation of Don Revie for the first time, so that he can finally take his rightful place among the greats of the game.

©2021 Christopher Evans (P)2021 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc

Critic reviews

"A superb read which explains in detail the extraordinary life and times of one of English footballs most successful and controversial figures...." (Alex Montgomery, former chairman of the Football Writers Association and chief football writer)

"Excellent book...an honest and balanced assessment of Don Revie’s career." (Johnny Giles, Leeds United midfielder)

"A no-holds-barred insight that convinces the reader that Don Revie stands amongst the giants of English football." (Lord Mann)

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Endless and meaningless list of results

I was looking forward to hearing an analysis of a controversial and significant figure in the game - what I endured was an endless list of scores - read by someone who sounded as bored as I was listening to this poor book
What a waste of a credit

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Unnecessary use of accents.

I enjoyed the book very much but found the reader’s use of accent’s ridiculous and pointless.

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Disappointing- standard football cut and paste

Despite all the people listed as interviewees in the acknowledgments, there is little insight here as to how Revie created the team he did - his tactics and coaching. How did he make so many young players internationals?
We get the lists of football results and headlines through the years which anyone of a mind could do for themselves online.
I had hoped for more.

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Revie reappraisal

This is a decently written book with a fatal biographic flaw. It comes to its subject with pre determined beliefs in order to restore Don Revies reputation. So rather than dispassionately examining the more controversial aspects of that great Leeds side (such as alleged bribery attempts) it treats these incidents with contempt and sceptiscm. There appeared to be no attempt to interview the families of Gary Sprake or Bob Stokoe who both made serious allegations against Revie. Biographies that come to conclusions before the research begins are not generally trustworthy.

Less concerning but still irritating are a few factual errors. Arsenal did not need to beat Spurs to deny Leeds the title. A goalless draw was enough for Arsenal so Leeds weren't denied the league at the end by Ray Kennedys late goal. This is a significant error in an incredibly important game.

The narrator of the book is decent although all of his regional accents appear to be generic Northern England even if he's depicting Welsh, Scottish or Irish people.

Overall although this is a very well written book with an interesting subject matter, it's ultimately disappointing because the author had a desire to restore the reputation of Don Revie instead of a more thorough and thoughtful examination of his life.