Price: £9.99 plus postage and packaging
Format: 320 pages, paperback
11 great stories about the club you love
VOLUME II OF TALES FROM THE VICARAGE
WILL BE PUBLISHED IN SEPTEMBER 2013
I have now sold out of Tales from the Vicarage volume one. The only place with copies for sale now is the Hemel Hempstead branch of Waterstones.
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IN THE MEDIA
Short YouTube clip
Listen to Lionel Birnie talk about the book with Jon Moonie and Jason Bailey on the From the Rookery End podcast.
Lionel Birnie was a guest on the Watford FC podcast, From the Rookery End, which is available to download at iTunes. Episode: Waiting for a Lift
Q&A with editor Lionel Birnie at The Watford Observer
Lionel talks about how the book came about.
Don’t take our word for it… Here’s what others are saying about Tales from the Vicarage
- A book review from Hornets blog In the Wolf’s Mouth is here.
- Author of Golden Daze, Nick Corble, has reviewed the book here.
Tales from the Vicarage is a collection of original writing about Watford Football Club by a team of brilliant journalists and authors.
The book brings together writers from all areas of the media who have one thing in common – an affinity with the Hornets and Vicarage Road.
It will have something for Watford fans from every era and contains one or two delightful surprises as well.
So, what’s in the book? For a start, great stories and evocative writing.
David James – The Watford Family
(former Watford and England goalkeeper, columnist The Observer)
David began his career at the club and explains how those early days stood him in good stead for a long and successful, if not always happy, career. It’s a revealing look at the pressures of professional football.
Simon Burnton – All Change at Vicarage Road
Simon looks at the average football fan’s fear of change through the prism of one of the most turbulent seasons in the club’s history, 1959-60. Watford switched from blue to gold shirts and adopted a new nickname. Simon also tells the story of how the club came to be known as the Hornets and tracks down the man responsible.
Olly Wicken – Graham Taylor: The Unofficial Autobiography
(contributor to When Saturday Comes collection My Favourite Year)
What if Graham Taylor wrote his autobiography? What would it be like? Well, that’s what Olly has tried to imagine. In a manner of speaking. Olly’s chapter is touched by genius and verging on fantasy. We can’t possibly do it justice in a paragraph so you’ll have to read Graham Taylor’s incredible could-be-true story of the 1982-83 season for yourself.
John Anderson – On the Outside Looking In
(TalkSPORT, author of A Great Face for Radio)
John was born in Watford but moved away when he was young. Thanks to his career as a football reporter for radio he has often been elsewhere when the Hornets have had an important match. He’s spent most of his adult life following Watford from afar. Does absence make the heart grow fonder? Let John tell you.
Adam Leventhal – A Question of Loyalty
(Sky Sports News)
Adam has interviewed two of Watford’s recent managers – Brendan Rodgers and Malky Mackay – about their time at the helm at Vicarage Road. He looks at the nature of loyalty in the modern game and finds that while the fans demand it, managers know that there’s often no such thing. These exclusive interviews might – just might – make you regard Rodgers and Mackay a little differently.
Andrew French – We Are Premier League
Andrew was the club’s press officer when the team reached the Premiership in 1999. He was there, on the inside, behind-the-scenes during one of the most difficult seasons in the club’s recent history. For some it was the ultimate test of character. Although the campaign ended in relegation, Andrew’s account is far from doom-and-gloom but it does show what it’s like when everyone at a football club is pushed to the limit.
Tim Turner – You’ll Never Sit Alone
(author First Time I Met the Blues)
Tim’s is an evocative story of what it means to feel part of the Watford family emphasises the importance of the football club in all our lives. Perhaps you have watched matches with the same group of friends for years. Tim writes about how watching Watford started as a solitary pursuit until Vicarage Road became home to some long-lasting friendships he’d never have enjoyed with the Hornets.
Oliver Phillips – Six Decades
(former Watford Observer sports editor)
Oli chronicled the club’s progress in the pages of The Watford Observer. For generations of fans, his coverage each Friday was their link to the club. In an original piece written specially for the book, Oli charts six decades of the club’s history and his own journey from schoolboy on the terraces to doyen of the press box.
Kevin Affleck – Trouble at the Top
(former reporter, Watford Observer)
Kevin was the journalist covering the Hornets for The Watford Observer during one of the rollercoaster eras in the club’s history. From the incredible high of promotion to the Premier League to the brink of disaster in 18 short months, Kevin was there, documenting events and trying to get to the truth. For the first time, he tells the full story. However you remember that period, you simply have to read this account.
Lionel Birnie – The Italian Job, Part One
(The Sunday Times & author of Enjoy the Game)
With the Pozzo family at the helm and Gianfranco Zola in charge of the team, Watford’s fans have embraced the Italian revolution with perhaps a little less fervour than they did last time. Gianluca Vialli oversaw the first Italian Job in 2001 and it didn’t turn out too well. Lionel has interviewed Filippo Galli, one of the few genuinely bright spots of Vialli’s season, about how a former European Cup winner came to Watford at the age of 38 and finds out that, despite everything, he has very fond memories of his time at Vicarage Road.
Stuart Hutchison – Hornography
If you watched Watford’s match against QPR on the BBC a couple of years ago, you will probably have marvelled at the half-time video montage telling the story of the Elton John and Graham Taylor-inspired rise to glory in the 1970s and 1980s set to Kate Bush’s spine-tingling Cloudbursting. That was the work of Stuart Hutchison, a producer at BBC Sport and Watford fan. Stuart has travelled the world covering football but he’s also spent hours trying to locate every bit of Hornets-related footage in the BBC archive. This is his story of how a profession became an obsession.