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Didi Man with a big place in Liverpool folklore

SPORTS BOOK OF THE WEEK


The Didi Man: My Love Affair with Liverpool

Published by: Headline (Hardcover)

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?


If Luis Suarez had only asked, a little advice from Dietmar Hamann could have spared the Uruguayan a lot of trouble.

The German international midfielder spent seven years on Merseyside, during which, quite apart from playing a major role in Liverpool’s epic triumph in the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul, he demonstrated everything that is correct about how a foreign player in England should conduct himself.

Intelligent and eloquent, even in a language not his own, Hamann won universal respect in the Premier League and particular affection among the Liverpool fans not least because of the evolution of his accent.  Just as the Dane, Jan Molby, seemed gradually to turn into a pukka Koppite, so Hamann appeared to learn his English from Jamie Carragher.  By the time he left, in 2006, he was calling himself the world's "only German Scouser".

Nicknamed The Didi Man with a nod towards another Merseyside icon, Ken Dodd,  at 6ft 3ins Hamann hardly qualifies as Diddy.  Yet it seems perfect for him as someone determined to embrace local culture.  So anglicised did he become that he even developed a fascination with cricket and managed to get a game for Alderley Edge Second XI in the Cheshire County League.

This book for the most part is a look back on his time at Anfield, told with warmth and a personality that reflects his humility and self-deprecating humour.  His part in the Istanbul legend, when he came off the bench at half-time, despite a broken toe, to inspire Liverpool’s fight back from 3-0 down, ensures a permanent place in the affections of the Kop.  The feeling is clearly mutual.

Who is the author?


Although Dietmar Hamann's name is on the cover, the words were assembled by Malcolm McClean, a writer and entrepreneur based in Alderley Edge.  He previously collaborated with Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel on his book, Thinking Outside the Box.  He has written an entrepreneurial self-help guide, Bear Hunt, as well as To The Edge: Entrepreneurial Secrets from Britain's Richest Square Mile.

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