Tuktuk Day 97

Gary Thacker – Books on Spain

We had an interesting “day” last week talking about Spanish football and anybody who knows me knows that Steve+Spain+Football+Books equals “Almost heaven, West Virginia.”

One of my favourite writers about Spanish football is Gary Thacker who has written two of my absolute “must read, highly recommended” books about the non-league game in Spain. If you have any interest in the subject I’d definitely shoot to his website and get them both – “The Games People Play” and “A Whole New Ball Game.” In fact if you have any interest in football, give yourself an hour or two as there are dozens of great articles on subjects as diverse as Lineker, Escobar, CSKA Sofia, Raul etc etc etc. Four Four Two eat your heart out!

Gary has his fiction on Spain as well as definitive works about the Dutch and their “nearly-teams”, Chelsea, the English and Brazilian national teams and much more. Enjoy.

The Games People Play / A Whole New Ball Game – Gary Thacker
Two seasons and two separate docu-novels about life in levels 9 and 10 of the Spanish structure.

These novels follow an English coach in the lower leagues of Spanish football and his relationships, his successes and defeats both on and off the pitch. It is great escapist fiction, perhaps for your summer holidays by the pool or in the English driving rain as you dream about a holiday in Spain! Far-fetched? Yes. Impossible? Absolutely not. It’s life very far away from Real Madrid, Barcelona, the Galácticos, los Yeyés and their likes.

Like all great writers he is a great reader and he kindly forwarded his list of must-reads for anybody interested about learning about Spain. I have read or know of most and can’t disagree with any. I have added more details at www.ThisIsSpain.info

· An Anarchist’s Story (Chris Dolan)

·The Transformation of Spain (David Gilmour)

· Homage to Caledonia (Daniel Gray)

· Tales of The Alhambra (Washington Irving)

· The Anarchists in the Spanish Civil War (Robert Alexander)

· A New International History of the Spanish Civil War (Michael Alpert)

· Unlikely Heroes (Richard Baxell)

· For Whom the Bell Tolls (Ernest Hemmingway)

· Barcelona (Robert Hughes) · Durruti (Abel Paz)

· The Spanish Civil War (Mark Lawrence)

· Homage to Catalonia (George Orwell)

· After the Civil War (Michael Richards)

· A People Betrayed (Paul Preston)

· The Spanish Civil War (Paul Preston)

· Comrades! (Paul Preston)

· The Last Days of the Spanish Republic (Paul Preston)

· Doves of War (Paul Preston)

· Hell and Good company (Richard Rhodes)

· The Last Stalinist – The Life of Santiago Carillo (Paul Preston)

· The Spanish Civil War (Francisco J Romero Salvado)

· Twentieth Century Spain (Francisco J Romero Salvado)

· Britons in Spain (William Rust)

· Brother Against Brother (Ed. Frank Thomas)

· To Make the People Smile Again (George Wheeler)

· Carteles de la Guerra Civil Espanol (Various)

· British Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War (Richard Baxell)

· The Spanish Second Republic Revisited (Manuel Alvares Tarido & Fernando del Reguillo)

· The Battle for Spain – The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 (Antony Beevor)

· The Spanish Civil War (Antony Beevor)

· Guernica (Dave Bolling)

· To Remember Spain: The Anarchist & Syndicalist Revolution of 1936 (Murray Brookchin)

· I am Spain (David Boyd Haycock)

· The Life & Death of the Spanish Republic (Henry Buckley)

· Blood & Faith – The Purging of Muslim Spain 1492-1614 (Matthew Carr)

· The Moor’s Last Stand (Elizabeth Drayson)

· Brigadista – An Irishman’s Fight Against Fascism (Bob Doyle)

· Modern Spain 1875-1980 (Raymond Carr)

I would personally add Morbo: The Story of Spanish Football (Phil Ball) and Fear and Loathing in La Liga (Sid Lowe) although I recognise that they are about football IN Spain rather than about Spain per se. Certainly, I believe if you follow Gary’s choices you have a fantastic overview of Spain through the centuries and, as importantly, Spain’s transformation in the last 50 years from a dictatorship to a forward-looking, economically-sound world power.

I hope these ideas help you. How can you help me back? Well, please kindly remember that the purpose of this 90 day challenge is to raise funds for my local football club and an equal amount for Prostate Cancer. As always, I HOPE you are all enjoying the tour of the UK and that you will consider a donation to support FC Deportivo Galicia and/or Prostate Cancer UK If everybody chipped in with just £1 I would easily hit my target of £10,000 and life would be easier in West London whilst the charity could continue their great work. A HEARTFELT thanks, if you can. If you can’t please consider sharing this site on Twitter/Facebook/LinkedIn or wherever and if you want me to feature your club, kit, team etc just ping me.

Thanks in advance.


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