Royal Blue: Special Memories Are Made of This; Books Track Blues' European History

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), December 17, 2005 | Go to article overview

Royal Blue: Special Memories Are Made of This; Books Track Blues' European History


Byline: DOMINIC KING

A LRIGHT, let's get the obvious joke out of the way.

Lifelong Blues Mark O'Brien and Mike Owen have each produced books about Everton in Europe.

And, no. They're not short at all. In fact they're positively comprehensive.

Even without pictures, 'Der Ball Ist Rund: Everton in Europe 19622005' totals 264 pages - and it's as much a work of reference as it is an entertaining trawl through Everton's European archives.

Mark O'Brien's collage of memories, anecdotes and reminscences from the successful European Cup Winners' Cup campaign concentrates solely on a solitary season - but it does carry photos - and still weighs in at 125 highly entertaining pages.

' Road to Rotterdam' is the first real analysis of Everton's only successful European campaign - and it's sad that it's taken 20 years for someone to finally get round to it.

But Mark O'Brien does the subject matter justice, by talking to the people who were there.

There are interviews with players, journalists and scores of fans. The tales are colourful, ribald and offer a refreshingly sincere perspective of one of the greatest chapters in the club's history.

Derek Hatton explains how he managed to get a question about Adrian Heath onto Question Time, fans abandoned by the ferry during the infamous Dublin incident tell what really happened, UCD star Martin Moran talks about swopping blazers with Peter Reid in a Liverpool nightclub . . . and our own Phil McNulty admits how he ended up fighting during the Bayern Munich match!

The 1984-85 Euro campaign enriched the lives of all who witnessed it - and Mark's book has finally given it a lasting historical - and sociological - legacy. It is published by Head products at pounds 8.95, and Mark will be on the island near Gwladys Street Church selling copies of the book today. …

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