Charles Buchan's Arsenal Gift Book


Edited by: Simon Inglis; introduction: Jon Spurling
RRP: £14.99
Format: 144pp cloth-bound hardback 300mm x 220mm
ISBN: 978 0954744533
Published by Malavan Media in October 2007

Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly was Britain’s first ever football 'glossy'. Packed with hand tinted photographs and celebrity articles, its arrival on the bookstands in September 1951 brought colour and glamour to the nation’s football hungry public after years of war time deprivation and austerity. At its peak in the late 1960s the magazine was selling 254,000 copies a week.

The Best of Charles Buchan's Football Monthly was one of the best selling Christmas annuals in 2006, receiving lavish praise in the national press.

Building on the success of this first book, and on the Played in Britain series as a whole, Charles Buchan's Arsenal Gift Book features a stunning collection of material sifted from the magazine's articles and portraits, many of them hand colour tinted, plus period adverts and titbits. The book also taps into the archive of a sister publication, the Charles Buchan Soccer Gift Annual, a must-have on the Christmas wish-list of a whole generation of British schoolboys.


After an introduction by Simon Inglis, editor of the Played in Britain series, Arsenal historian Jon Spurling sets the scene: the year is 1951, Highbury Stadium, its wartime bomb damage now patched up, faces a difficult decade. The club's 1930s glamour is rapidly fading. Arsenal stars tell Charles Buchan about life at post war Arsenal. Buchan himself was an Arsenal star in the 1920s and tells some grand tales too.

As the years go by the hairstyles change, the shirts and boots are more streamlined, the stars come and go – Joe Mercer, Wally Barnes, Dennis Compton, Cliff Holton, Jack Kelsey, Tommy Lawton, Tommy Docherty, George Graham, Frank McLintock, Bob Wilson, John Radford, Charlie George, George Armstrong... League Champions in 1953, but not again until 1971, FA Cup winners in 1950, but not again until 1971. Throughout thick and thin, Charles Buchan's Football Monthly was there to report on this great football institution with its glorious traditions, and some brilliant kits...

The team

Simon Inglis, editor of the Played in Britain series, has many titles to his name. Engineering Archie (English Heritage) was runner up for the William Hill Sportsbook of the Year Award in 2005. His earlier book, The Football Grounds of Great Britain (Harper Collins) was selected by the Guardian's Frank Keating as the best sports book of the 20th Century.

Historian and writer Jon Spurling has written four challenging and popularly acclaimed histories of Arsenal, most recently Highbury, the Story of Arsenal in N5 (Orion, 2006)