10 best football autobiographies to buy for Christmas 2019
You just can’t beat a good book. So, we’re running through the best football autobiographies of the year!
Ask any football fan what the last book they read was, and you can expect the same answer: a famous footballer's autobiography, with their choice of book probably depending on who they support. After all, you aren’t really gonna get a Manchester United fan reading Steven Gerrard’s memoirs.
Here at FOOTY.COM, we’re guilty of a football obsession, too. None of us in the team have read Pride and Prejudice, but we have all read every single word of Roy Keane’s books! Footballers from all different generations have fascinating stories to tell, from their time breaking into the first-team, to mad nights out and dressing room bust-ups. Juicy stuff indeed.
So with that in mind, if you have a major football fan on your Christmas gift list, no matter what decade they were born in, they’ll want to spend their Boxing Day with their head buried into one of the best football autobiographies of the year!
We couldn’t rank them from one-to-ten (it was just too damn hard), so here are our top picks for 2019 releases in no particular order:
1. Robbie Fowler: ‘My Life In Football: Goals, Glory & The Lessons I've Learnt’
This is hardly going to be a tough sell for any Liverpool fans, to them Fowler is simply known as ‘God’. But in all seriousness, this is an excellent read, full of insight, crazy stories and hard-hitting moments from the Liverpool legend.
Fowler scored 120 goals for Liverpool in just 236 games and played for a whole host of other Premier League clubs as well as his country.
Such is the intrigue in this book, even Everton fans might secretly enjoy this one!
2. Vincent Kompany: ‘Treble Triumph: My Inside Story of Manchester City's Greatest-ever Season’
Rightly considered a Premier League legend, Vincent Kompany left Manchester City in the summer after 11 glorious years at the Etihad.
This book focuses on his last season with the club which saw him captain the side to a dramatic domestic treble.
Kompany does not hold back in this book, opening the door into what it’s like to live with the pressure at one of the best teams in the world.
3. Peter Crouch: ‘I, Robot: How to Be a Footballer 2’
Following the success of his first book, ‘How to be a Footballer’, the second edition from Peter Crouch is simply a must-read.
Sure to be one of the best-selling books in the football world this Christmas, Crouchy is genuinely a comic genius.
He mixes fantastic stories and actual laugh-out-loud moments, with a fascinating insight into his career. Don’t forget ‘two-feet Pete’ has played with and against the best players in the world.
4. Mark Bright: ‘From Foster Care to Footballer’
A football autobiography with a difference. Former Sheffield Wednesday and Crystal Palace striker Mark Bright scored 166 goals in a 20-year career throughout the ’80s and ’90s.
This book sheds the light on Bright’s career but also his life outside of football, which he opens up about with brutal honesty.
A book for the older generations, who enjoy more depth to their literature, this gift could be a winner this Christmas.
5. Michael Owen: ‘Reboot: My Life, My Time’
Michael Owen certainly doesn’t pull any punches in his autobiography. The former England international has already made the headlines for his comments on past players.
A footballer’s autobiography is always better when the author is brutally honest (think Roy Keane... again), and that is certainly what Owen brings to this book.
But don’t forget, ‘little Mo’ was once regarded as one of the sharpest goal scorers in the world, finding the net for Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle United and Manchester United throughout his career. It’s a cracking read, and certainly one of the best football autobiographies of 2019.
6. Matt Jansen: ‘What Was, What Is and What Might Have Been’
I know we said we wouldn’t rank them, but….. this book is an absolute must-have for any football fan.
Jansen’s heartbreaking story saw his football career cut short from a motorbike accident in Rome in 2002.
There’s no doubt that the former Blackburn player would have made it to the very top. And this book digs deep into his story and how he coped with ‘what could have been’.
7. Trevor Francis: ‘One in a Million’
A bit of football trivia for you, Trevor Francis was the first £1million signing back in 1979 moving from Birmingham City to Nottingham Forest.
It wasn’t a bad deal either, with Francis scoring the winning goal in the 1979 European Cup Final, cementing his status as a Forest legend.
This book is full of interesting tales from a very different time in top-level football. A gift for someone who likes to remember the ‘good old days’.
8. Emile Heskey: ‘Even Heskey Scored, My Story’
The title of the book tells you all you need to know. Emile Heskey gives an honest account on his football career in this fascinating read in which the title refers to his goal in England’s famous 5-1 win in Germany back in 2001.
The former Liverpool and Leicester City striker was once part of one of the most feared partnerships in the Premier League with teammate Michael Owen.
It’s not just his career Heskey touches on in this read, the former goal scorer writes very passionately about racism in football and even gives his views on Brexit.
9. James Milner: ‘Ask A Footballer’
I guess if you were going to ask any footballer what it’s like to be in the Premier League, James Milner would be the man to go to.
The current Liverpool midfielder has spent 17 years playing in England’s top league and winning it twice (maybe a third come May?).
This book lifts the lid on the modern-day elite footballer, and shows that an unsung hero can reach the very top of the game.
10. Juan Mata: ‘Suddenly a Footballer’
Something a bit different to finish off our Christmas list for 2019. Unlike the majority of autobiographies above, Mata made his way in the game at Spanish club Valencia.
This book is full of insight from the little wizard, who’s creative flair has lit up the Premier League for a number of years at both Chelsea and Manchester United.
Mata is a popular figure in the football world and one of the main faces of Common Goal - an organisation set-up for footballers to give a percentage of their wealth to charities.