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Some folk will tell you the FA Premier League is the greatest show on earth. They may even have a point. But to build something so successful, so popular, so inescapable, you've got to have mighty strong foundations.
Prior to 1992, the old First Division was England's premier prize. Its rich tapestry winds back to 1888 and the formation of the Football League. A grand century-long tradition in danger of being lost in the wake of Premier League year zero.
No more! In The Title Scott Murray tells the lively, cherry-picked story of English football through the prism of the First Division. Rich with humour yet underpinned with solid research, this is a glorious meander across our national sport's varied terrain.
With as much about Burnley, Wolves, West Brom and Portsmouth as the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, we learn the less well-known stories the sport has to tell, such as the plight of Glossop, the smallest club to ever play top-flight football, and final day drama involving Huddersfield and Cardiff that knocks Michael Thomas into a cocked hat. We bask in the managerial genius of Tom Watson, the bowler-hatted Victorian Mourinho; celebrate the joy of the Busby Babes; discover the shameless showmanship of George Allison; embark on righteous escapades with Hughie Gallacher; and meet some old favourites in Don Revie, Bill Shankly, Alex Ferguson and Brian Clough.
At turns exciting, surprising, witty and bittersweet, The Title is a highly informed, fresh and affectionate love-letter to the English game, and a delight for any football fan.