Jimmy Hogan: the Greatest Football Coach Ever?

By Ashley Hyne, author of George Raynor (History Press, 2014)

Despite being considered the greatest coach in the history of the game, Jimmy Hogan is also the great mystery man of British football. His significance has so far been misunderstood by historians and his influence misapplied. A previous attempt at writing his life story was so poorly conceived that it wrongly stated his date of birth and held that he was utterly integral in the 6-3 defeat of England by Hungary in 1953. Others have argued that he was solely responsible for the development of ‘Total Football’ and should be considered ‘the father of Brazilian football’.

Hogan’s renown is undoubtedly merited but his achievements are now for the first time presented in their proper context. This new biography looks at the impact of his leaving the priesthood as the key turning point in his life and examines his incredible mastery of the media of his time – the key reason why Hogan became so famous. It examines the strange relationship he had with a number of administrators and British club sides and the concerns and issues professional players had with him and his work.

This biography challenges the understanding of what we know of Hogan and examines him afresh. It seeks to present Hogan not from the prism of positive bias but to objectively assess his faults, failures and successes and leaves open the question as to whether Jimmy Hogan really was the Greatest Coach Ever?

ISBN: 0995539650

Price: £9.99

My Favourite Game: Ipswich Town

A compilation of new writing about Ipswich Town Football Club, My Favourite Game, was published by Electric Blue Publishing on 29 September 2017.
Thirteen very different Ipswich Town supporters write about their favourite games. From the sublime, when Ipswich beat Bolton in the 2000 play-off semi-finals to a near riot at Millwall in 1978, and including classic games against Norwich and Sheffield United, this book shows how it’s not our greatest victories as a football club that stay in our hearts, but other values, less tangible than silverware: love, family, friendship & sport.

The contributors to this book are, first and foremost, Ipswich Town fans, writing as fans, but as well as those making their debut into print, there are essays by established writers whose names will be familiar to Ipswich Town fans and football supporters in general.

Contents: Seán Salter writes about the “Bryan Gunn” derby match in 1996; Stuart Hellingsworth on the great comeback against Warnock’s Sheffield United in 2003; Sarah Rogers on a classic Robson team’s 4-0 defeat of Everton in 1980; Alasdair Ross on a troubled FA Cup fixture at Chelmsford in 1973; Emma Corlett remembers a trip to play Foggia in the Anglo-Italian Cup; Grant Bage writes about the notorious 1978 game against Millwall; Gavin Barber on the infamous play-off semi-final against Bolton Wanderers in 2000; Rob Freeman on ITFC vs Newcastle in 1992; Susan Gardiner on beating Inter Milan at Portman Road;, Hannah Sibley on Watford away in 2015, Chris Rand on the Meaningless Last Home Game of the Season (against Crewe); Stephen Moore on a play-off match at Bramall Lane in 1997; and Adam Green explains how a Norwich City fan went with the Blue Army to watch them play Torpedo Moscow in the UEFA Cup.

ISBN: 9780995539648 Paperback

Price: £10.00

Published on: 29 September 2017

Available from all bookshops and online booksellers.

My Favourite Game – Ipswich Town

Electric Blue Publishing will be publishing My Favourite Game: Ipswich Town on 29 September 2017.

mfg coverMy Favourite Game: Ipswich Town is a collection of writing by a number of Ipswich Town fans recalling their favourite matches and their adventures travelling around Britain and Europe to support the club that they love.

ISBN: 9780995539648 Paperback

Price: £10.00

Published on: 29 September 2017

Further information will be available closer to the publication date.


Frank Soo biography published in November


We are pleased to annouce that The Wanderer: the Story of Frank Soo by Susan Gardiner will be published on 14 November 2016.

Frank Soo is in many ways the forgotten man of twentieth century football. In his time he was a household name, his life chronicled by national newspapers in Britain and, on occasions, around the world. He had a successful club football career, playing for many years alongside Stanley Matthews for Stoke City. He played for England nine times and captained the RAF team during the Second World War. He appeared as a guest player for Everton, Newcastle United, Chelsea, Brentford and Millwall, and after the war played for Leicester City, Luton Town and Chelmsford City. His later career as a football manager, mainly in Scandinavia, included spells as the coach of both Norway and Sweden and he took Djurgårdens IF to the top of the Allsvenskan, the highest football league in Sweden. Among the many clubs he managed were the Italian side Padova, AIK in Sweden and Scunthorpe United. A pioneer in many ways, Frank Soo was the first person from a Chinese or Asian background to play for England and remains the only one to this day. Whatever the reasons for Frank Soo’s disappearance from the narrative of football history, this book is an attempt to rekindle interest in a significant figure who was a hugely admired and skilful footballer, a charming and charismatic man, and a role model for any aspiring young player, now as much as he was during his lifetime.

Susan Gardiner is a full-time writer who lives in Suffolk. Formerly an academic librarian, she has published several books, as well as articles about football, social history and the history of popular culture. Her first book was Ipswich Town: A History about the football club she supports. She has an MA in Literature, History and Culture (Southampton, 2001).

The book will be sold via Amazon, Waterstones & many other booksellers.

Hardcover £25.00 ISBN 978-0- 9955396-0-0

Paperback £9.95 ISBN 978-0-9955396-1-7

ePub £5.00 ISBN 978-0-9955396-2-4

PDF £5.00 ISBN 978-0-9955396-3-1



The Wanderer: the Story of Frank Soo


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.