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Winning Isn't Everything: A Biography of Sir Alf Ramsey

Dave Bowler

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Biography: sport, Prose: non-fiction

A biography of world cup winning football manager Sir Alf Ramsey

England has never had a more successful national coach than Sir Alf Ramsey. A cultured full-back with Tottenham's push and run stylists, he turned to management once his international career had been cut short by Puskas' rampant Hungarians. At Ipswich Town he piloted a collection of comparative journeymen from the depths of the Third Division South to the heights of the League Championship, acquiring the job of England manager along the way.

F ted for winning the 1966 World Cup, castigated for the way he won it with his 'wingless wonders;, then reviled for going out of the 1974 competition, Ramsey's achievements are lost in the legends of Russian linesmen, Bogot and a Polish clown. Yet he was a commanding general, a footballing intellect beyond compare and a man who deserves more than caricature.

Thoughtful and incisive, Dave Bowler's biography features extensive interviews with Geoff Hurst, Walter Winterbottom, Mick Channon, Tom Finney, Ray Wilson and Jimmy Armfield, among others, and reassesses Ramsey's contribution to the English game.

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