AMONG the many stories Paul Fletcher regales in his new book, with Dave Thomas - MAGICAL, A Life In Football, one immediately grabs the attention.
The former Clarets striker, then chief executive at the club, reveals that one of the applicants for the manager’s job, after the acrimonious departure of Owen Coyle in January 2010, was a certain Andre Villas Boas.
Then a relative unknown, despite his upbringing with Jose Mourinho at Chelsea, the Portuguese was in charge of Academica in his home country, and made it known he wanted the post.
Fletcher got the lowdown from his former Blackpool teammate Mickey Walsh, living in Portugal, and felt he had a certain star quality, despite his youth.
However, Burnley appointed Brian Laws - a decision Fletcher was at odds with - and the rest is history!
The full chapter certainly makes fascinating reading...
But Fletcher was and still is a Burnley hero.
Remembered for being one of the best headers of the ball ever at Turf Moor in the 1970s, and a key member of Jimmy Adamson’s “Team of the Seventies”, he went on to become one of the world’s leading stadium experts, having been involved in the construction of four UK stadiums and adviser to 30 others around the world.
He has met Kings and Queens, Bishops and Prime Ministers, sporting legends and heroes, comedians and football top brass.
A basic theme of his new book is how a council estate lad who left school at 16, can make good with effort, determination, and a lot of help and inspiration from a Dale Carnegie course that he attended in Bolton towards the end of his playing career, with his leg in a pot.
From that he went on to become an after-dinner speaker, a motivational speaker and on top of all that plays the ukulele at functions up and down the land with a big smile and huge aplomb.
His new book will be published on November 1st with the launch at 7-30 p,m. in the Jimmy McIlroy Stand.
Just 200 tickets are available from Dave Thomas on 0113 2555350 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for £5, including supper, entertainment from Mike King and Steve Kindon - and feel free to bring books and programmes for signing by the former players who will be attending.
The title Magical comes from Paul’s experiences in the game that have given him such a wonderful time and varied career.
It’s a word that crops up so often in the book.
It’s the word that perfectly encapsulates his life in football.
He returned to Turf Moor to oversee the building of a new multi-purpose stand.
The recession and banking problems put an end to that, but then, having resigned as chief executive, he continued to work on the establishment of the unique University College of Football Business at Turf Moor where he is now managing director of an institution that is rapidly expanding.
The lad who left school at 16, was coached by the legendary Nat Lofthouse, eventually helped found a university and received the MBE for services to football.
This is a far from routine football book, and is packed with variety and laugh out loud moments.
It’s a book that could just as easily have been called The Entertainer.
There are chapters on his early days in football, the move to Burnley, the “Team of the Seventies”, Jimmy Adamson; his time at Blackpool, and then the move into the normal everyday world of earning a proper living.
He covers his after-dinner speaking, stadium building, and his time back at Burnley that included the Premier League season.
This is a substantial hardback book at just £14.99 that is as lively and bouncy as Fletch himself.