The Wanderer: the Story of Frank Soo

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Everything he did was hallmarked, and he seemed incapable of a clumsy movement. – Stan Mortensen

We are delighted to announce that our first major publication, The Wanderer: the Story of Frank Soo will be published on 14 November 2016.

The book, written by Susan Gardiner, the author of Ipswich Town: a History (2013), is the first full biography of the England international footballer, Frank Soo (1914-1991). Written with the support of the Soo family, this is a comprehensive history of his life, from his birth in rural Derbyshire. After being spotted as a brilliant star of Liverpool schoolboy football, Frank played for Prescot Cables, but was quickly spotted by Stoke City where he joined Stanley Matthews to create one of the great football sides and became a household name. His wartime matches for England, the FA and the RAF football teams brought him international recognition and led to his long coaching career which included managing Scunthorpe United, Padova, a plethora of Scandinavian sides and in 1952, he was chosen to be the coach of the Norwegian national side at the Helsinki Olympics.

Frank Soo was the first person from an Chinese background to have played for England, and remains the only Asian England international to this date. He was ahead of his time in many ways, bringing a new professionalism and discipline to the game, as well as being courted by the media where he cut a glamorous figure, but also became known as a player who would stand up for his own rights and for those of others. His life was tinged with sadness when his younger brother, Ronald was killed when his bomber crashed during the Second World War and his wife, Freda, died tragically young, but this is mostly a very positive story of how a young man, growing up in a family-run laundry in Liverpool, became one of the most admired and elegant players to have graced the beautiful game.

The book will be published in hardback (£25.00), paperback (£9.99) and electronically (price to be determined) and will be distributed worldwide through all major outlets.

 

 

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