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John McGovern is a winner. In a career spanning 19 years and over 500 league games with Hartlepools United, Derby County, Leeds United and, most famously of all, Nottingham Forest, he won two European Cups, two league titles, two League Cups and one European Super Cup.

A tough-tackling midfielder, McGovern was the captain and engine room of Brian Clough’s great Forest side that won the league title in 1978 then the European Cup two years in a row. McGovern was Clough’s on-pitch general, following the great manager from Hartlepools to Derby, Leeds and then Forest.

In this, his long-awaited autobiography, McGovern tells the inside story of his life and career, including many poignant recollections of his legendary boss and his assistant Peter Taylor – not least what really happened during those infamous 44 days at Leeds immortalised in The Damned United – as well as numerous nostalgic tales of footballing greats like Dave Mackay, Billy Bremner and Archie Gemmill from a long-gone era of muddy pitches, tough tackles and heaving terraces.

Beyond the football, the trophies and the classic Clough tales, McGovern’s story is one of incredible determination in the face of adversity. After losing his father at a very young age, he did not kick a football until the age of 13 and made it to the very top level of sport despite suffering from a handicapping muscle problem.

Honest and forthright, fiercely proud but incredibly modest, John McGovern is one of the truly great figures in British football and this is his riveting and inspirational story.

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John McGovern: From Bo'ness to the Bernabeu
Average rating
4 / 5
Honest opinion
June 6th, 2013
Nice to compare Johns view of the Clough Years as against Brian's
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