20100501

New book celebrates life of Joe Fagan


Maybe this is not the best moment to remind a Liverpool fan of the days when their team stood at the pinnacle of English and European football, their success not measured in the occasional consolation trophy (and even the 2005 Champions League now seems a little bit like that) but in domestic championships and continental glory nights, year after year.

In the evolution of book, timing can only ever be shaped by  informed guesswork and perhaps journalists Andrew Fagan and Mark Platt supposed that the first week of May, 2010 would find Liverpool supporters celebrating.

Perhaps they foresaw this as the year in which Rafa Benitez finally took his place alongside Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish among the managerial giants of the modern era.

Instead, now that another season has effectively passed with ambitions unfulfilled, they can hope only that Joe Fagan: The Authorised Biography, published next Thursday by Aurum Press, serves to inspire the team to strive even harder to end the club's 20-year title drought next year.

Fagan spent 26 years on the Liverpool coaching staff but was manager for only the last two.  Yet he managed to win the League Championship, the European Cup and the League Cup in his first season in charge, reaching three finals and finishing League runners-up the following year.

He announced his retirement on the day of the Heysel Stadium disaster in May 1985.

Journalist Andrew Fagan, who has written for the Daily Telegraph and the Independent, is Joe's grandson and this account of his grandfather's life draws for the first time on Joe
Fagan’s own diaries, as well as many interviews with players, colleagues and contemporaries to create a unique portrait of one of the founder-members of Shankly's inner circle 'boot room' staff and the workings of the club during its golden era.

Mark Platt, a writer and broadcaster with LFC TV, is the author of several books on Liverpool Football Club.

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