Joe Mercer, OBE: Football with a Smile - The Authorised Biography of an Everton, Arsenal and England (BOK)
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When Joe Mercer's father returned home from World War One, he took a football out of his kit-bag and threw it to his four year old son. From that day on, young Joe was obsessed with football. Gary James' acclaimed book covers the highs and lows of Joe's life - from his birth in Ellesmere Port, right through to his struggle with Alzheimer's Disease and subsequent death in 1990. Joe was a hugely talented and successful footballer, with glory coming at Everton and at Arsenal where, as captain, Joe helped his side win every honour available. He also gained much respect during his time as captain of England. As a manager, Joe took Aston Villa to the Second Division title and League Cup glory within three years of his arrival, after first learning what the role involved at Sheffield United. At Manchester City, he created a side of true quality and skill, returning the glory days to Maine Road. A history of success the Blues are rightly proud of. After helping Coventry City gain many admirers, Joe put the fun back into international football as he guided England through with a smile, a laugh and a genuine love of the game. In addition to the successes, Joe had more than his fair share of problems - two serious injuries as a player, a stroke at Villa, and a power struggle at City causing him to leave feeling unwanted - yet he somehow managed to retain his famous smile. This is the biography of Joe Mercer, OBE, written with the full co-operation of his family, friends and colleagues. It demonstrates Joe's love of the game, and of life, recalling the days when his infectious grin cheered thousands. Joe was a one-off, a truly great, successful man. He never changed, going through life and football with a smile.