After his goalkeeping career was cut short, and before he became a spiritualist and conspiracy theorist, he wrote a book about the perils and pitfalls of football. What can young goalkeepers learn from the strange story of David Icke?
David Icke’s goalkeeping career was over long before he turned up on Wogan in a turquoise shell suit and declared himself to be the Son of God. Icke was a promising young goalkeeper for Coventry City and Hereford United in the 1970s, until arthritis forced him to quit the game. He subsequently became a local sports reporter, and then a popular TV presenter, fronting the BBC’s Grandstand and snooker coverage.
Then, in 1990, Icke visited a Brighton psychic healer named Betty Shine looking for relief from his arthritis. The meeting with Shine changed his life, and set in motion perhaps the most unusual post-retirement career a goalkeeper has ever had.
Since then, Icke has written almost 20 books, with titles like And The Truth Shall Set You Free and Human Race Get Off Your Knees. But his first book, a slim volume published by Piccolo in 1983, long before that meeting with Betty Shine, was about football. It’s A Tough Game, Son! is a guide for young players, and particularly goalkeepers, on how to avoid football’s many pitfalls and problems. Subtitled The Real World of Professional Football (and approved by the PFA), the book acts as a stark warning for anyone who might think that the path to football superstardom is an easy one…
Read the full story in issue 7 of Goalkeeper Magazine.
The Japanese edition of my book Unofficial Football World Champions was published this week by Asuka Shinsha. It’s available from all good bookshops, including Amazon.co.jp, and there’s more information (in Japanese, obviously) at the Asuka Shinsha website.
The book traces football’s alternative championships from the very first international match in 1872 via more than 800 title matches, involving legendary teams and footballing minnows, classic finals and forgotten friendlies, celebrated players and unsung heroes.
As it happens, Japan are the current Unofficial Football World Champions, having taken the title from Argentina back in October. However, the Japanese play South Korea on Wednesday in the latest Unofficial Football World Championships (UFWC) title match. You can read more at the UFWC website.
The English edition of Unofficial Football World Champions was published in January, and is available in paperback from all good bookshops, including Amazon.co.uk, and it’s also on Kindle. There’s more information about the English edition here, and you can order it using the links on the right.
Hal Graham, the first man to officially fly a rocketbelt, has died. The following is an edited extract from The Rocketbelt Caper:
Harold ‘Hal’ Graham was a 27-year-old science graduate from Buffalo who had been working for the Bell Aircraft Company as a test engineer for just over a year when he was selected to be the first man to pilot the rocketbelt – the iconic flying jetpack created by engineer Wendell Moore.
It would be Graham’s first taste of flying. He was not a registered pilot, and the only machine he had previous experience of driving was a car. He was, however, a rocketbelt fan, having grown up with Buck Rogers comics and Commando Cody serials. When Bell began to ask around for a volunteer to fly the rocketbelt he had no hesitation in applying for the job.
Graham’s first tethered flight took place in March 1961. These flights took place in a large aircraft hangar. The rocketbelt was suspended from the ceiling, and small amounts of thrust were used to generate moderate lift. 36 tethered flights later, it was time for the safety ropes to come off. Read more…
It was clear from this week’s London Book Fair that the UK publishing industry is finally ready to embrace ebooks. But before the ebook can really challenge its paper equivalent, the industry has to avert a format war a whole lot more complicated than VHS vs Betamax…
Read the full story at The Guardian.