Roy Bentley's Stationary Club

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Roy Bentley's Stationary Club

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The 1960s was a decade of opportunity in all walks of life. Former England centre-forward and Chelsea legend Roy Bentley found his at Elm Park in 1963 as manager of Third Division Reading FC. It was the chance to revitalise a football club that hadn’t moved with the times in a town crying out for success.

Roy Bentley’s Stationary Club takes a close look at his battles against the forces of inertia in the harsh and fast-changing world of 1960s lower division soccer. Pop music and youth culture hammered on the doors of tradition whilst tactical innovation, foul play and poor refereeing often left fans bemused and angry. This is the anatomy of an ordinary club reacting – or not – to enormous changes in the English game. Roger Titford witnessed this stasis as a boy and now goes back to the era through club accounts, programmes, press reports and fan memories to understand finally why his was, far from uniquely in those days, just a stationary club.  

Most football books are about glory; a few are about failure. This is a true rarity, where nothing quite happens but in a fascinating way it picks apart just why that was and gives a real insight into the underbelly of 1960s soccer.

Roger Titford has been a regular contributor to WSC for many years and has written extensively about the history of the game and of Reading FC.

170 pages, paperback

Product code271

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