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The Got, Not Got Football Gift Book Review

Sunday 20th October 2019
Remember all the football memorabilia from your childhood? Chances are it's here.
Remember all the football memorabilia from your childhood? Chances are it's here.

I’m putting a call out to football fans of any age, any club, to step into the wonderful ‘Got, Not Got’ time-machine and be transported back in time to football's distant past, a time the authors Hammond and Silke refer to as ‘footballs simpler, happier golden age’.

Title: The Got, Not Got Football Gift Book – Every Fan’s Catalogue of Desires
Author: Derek Hammond and Gary Silke
Publisher: Conker Editions
Date Published: 2019
Price: £16 from Amazon

The Football Gift Book is a gem within the Got, Not Got range that loves to explore and reflect on the good old days of football merchandise in the 60s, 70s and 80s. It is this trip down memory lane, the opportunity to put on the rose-tinted spectacles and immerse yourself in footballing nostalgia, that captures the very essence of being a football fan.

The passion and genuine excitement that radiates from every page comes from the authors themselves. They write with expertise on all matters football, however obscure, but always in a witty and humorous style that makes for an informative yet highly enjoyable read.

The ‘catalogue’ starts with a bang, examining the almost endless list of toys associated with the world’s most famous football-related game, Subbuteo.  All the ‘big hitters’ are covered from Shoot Magazine through Panini stickers to the iconic computer game, Football Manager.

But it’s not just the household names that draw commentary. The obscure, rare, unusual and one-offs are all honourably mentioned, footballing merchandise that only the serious collector will remember. Some, such as the bobble hat and rosettes are now sadly extinct. The vast array of football memorabilia is mind-boggling and the Got, Not Got guys got it all.

The bool's strength is its ability to connect with you on a personal level. When you turn the page and experience the joy of seeing that football gift you once held in your hand or had sat atop your bureau in the bedroom, it’s almost like thumbing through the family photo album. My magical moment happened on page 150 when I spotted my old Mitre Ultimax football staring back at me.

The whole book is an explosion of colour and vibrancy. It’s crammed full of pictures, a feast for the eyes. I challenge anybody to find a book with more photos of anything and everything to do with football. Everything is presented in a retro style as cool as the old club tracksuits featured in the tips and training chapter. 

The Got, Not Got Football Gift Book is much more than a collection of images. It offers accompanying commentary with insight and thoughts that provide real context to every item pictured. There are features too, including a club-specific section, a look at the history and evolution of football merchandise and the author’s observations on a snapshot of a footballing scene of the day. These, in particular, are pure comedy gold. 

Supplemented by contributions from football supporters, this adds extra value to the book, ensuring even the most obscure footballing commodity gets a mention. Its stuff you probably never knew existed or hadn’t seen in thirty years. A treasure trove that makes you realise the boom days in football stuff are now way behind us, outside of the replica shirts. 

Maybe today’s game has become a bit dull off the pitch. Got, Not Got looks to plug that gap. 

As I enter my mid-forties, the catalogue is perfect for me and by its nature would appeal to my generation and beyond. At the same time, it taps into a movement in the popularity of football nostalgia.

Let’s face it, anybody who likes football will enjoy thumbing through this book. You can peruse at your leisure. It’s a classic pick up and put down read. It's time to revisit your lost childhood and indulge in a bit of escapism. 

The Got, Not Got Football Gift Book is guaranteed to get you up in your attic or down to the local car boot sale.

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Allan Kemp

Born in Suffolk but a Norwich City supporter who is currently trying to swap a career in finance with one in football writing. I am an FA level 2 coach and also a published author, my book of Hall of fame - Norwich City's - All-Time Greats is available from all good bookshops. I currently have a weekly column on Norwich City website - 'My Football Writer' as well as writing book reviews on 'Its Round and Its White'.

Total articles: 55

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