New life for Joe Mercer biography

Joe Mercer, OBE: Football with a Smile. Follow the links to buy direct from this site.

Manchester City may be on the verge of a breakthrough, if qualifying for the Champions League can be so described, more than three decades since they were a genuine power in English football, yet they have some way to go still to match the heady days of the 1960s and 1970s.

Little wonder, then, that any mention of Joe Mercer, manager from 1965 to 1971, stills bring a smile to the faces of City fans of a certain age.  Mercer's achievements in winning the League and FA Cups, the European Cup-Winners' Cup and, in 1968, the club's most recent top-flight championship title, are unparalleled.

No era in City's history is recalled with such a nostalgic glow, which is why Gary James, a meticulous Manchester football historian and author of several books on City, can expect much interest when his biography of Mercer is reissued this month.

Joe Mercer, OBE: Football with a Smile was originally published in 1993 by the Polar Print Group, a small publisher in Leicester.  It was well received, earning praise from, among others, the Times sportswriter David Miller, who described the story as 'a welcome indulgence and entertainingly informative'.

It sold out quickly but a relatively small number of copies were produced and it has been out of print since 1995.

In response to continued interest, James had revised and updated his work and it is being given a new life by James Ward, a family-run publisher specialising in limited edition football books.

James has been writing and researching on football since the 1980s and has written or assisted with several books on Manchester City. An updated version of his exhaustive Manchester - A Football History, originally published in 2008, is due in September.

To find more on Manchester City and more by Gary James, visit the Sports Bookshelf Shop.

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