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Total Football: Sunderland AFC 1935-37

Total Football: Sunderland AFC 1935-37

Ref No: 9781859837160

Details: Author: Paul Days and Mark Metcalf

Type: Books

Price: £12.99

“Arsenal Are Now Second To Sunderland” screamed The Sunday Sun on 7 December 1935, leaving the English public in no doubt who the all conquering football team of the day was. In a 1935/36 season where Sunderland AFC would go to win, at a canter, their 6th and to date last English Football League Championship; Total Football! Sunderland AFC 1935 to 1937 captures the mood of the day through the actual match reports and rare original photographs from the archives of North East based Sunderland AFC supporters. The book weaves in the social and other footballing history of the day, including the iconic Jarrow Crusade where the poverty stricken working class from South Tyneside walked to London to demand action for their plight. The death of Jimmy Thorpe, who the book is dedicated too, is told as Sunderland AFC’s young goalkeeper would tragically give his life, aged just 22, following a match at Roker Park against Chelsea, leaving a young son and wife to mourn. Despair however turns to ultimate triumph as Thorpe’s team mates played their hearts out as a fitting memorial to their fallen comrade, hammering Birmingham City 7 v 2 at St Andrews to capture the league title. It also tells the story of the 1936/37 campaign where Sunderland would win the FA Cup at Wembley for the first time in the club’s history and also claim the FA Charity Shield as this famous and traditional English football club destroyed all that was put in front of them. In all out displays of ferocious attacking football the legendary Manager of Liverpool FC, Bill Shankly, who played for opponents Preston North End in 1937 when The Black Cats won the FA Cup, would go on to comment that “In many ways the Sunderland team of 1937 played the same brand of Total Football as the great Holland team of the 1970’s.” Sunderland AFC 1935-37 harks back to a pre war era where Sunderland AFC was the best in the land. It brings back to life club legends such as Raich Carter, perhaps the finest player ever to play for the club, together with Silksworth’s own Bobby Gurney, who remains to this day the club’s highest ever goal scorer. Seventy years may have passed since the 2 campaigns finished but the achievements of the pre war Sunderland teams still fires the imagination and hopes of the club and its supporters in the 21st Century. This was Sunderland AFC at its finest, a club that even Arsenal could only hope to be second to. The story of that remarkable time and team is told for the first time.

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