Charles Buchan's Liverpool Gift Book


Edited by: Simon Inglis; introduction by Stephen Done
Format: 144pp cloth-bound hardback 300mm x 220mm
ISBN: 978 0954744564
Published by Malavan Media in October 2008

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 glamour to the football hungry public after years of war time austerity. At its peak in the 1960s the magazine sold 254,000 copies a week.

Published in 2006, The Best of Charles Buchan's Football Monthly has been one of the best selling Christmas annuals of recent years, receiving lavish praise in the national press. The title was supplemented in 2007 by the publication of Charles Buchan Gift Books for Manchester United and Arsenal, and Spurs in 2008.

Building on the success of these three titles, and on the Played in Britain series as a whole, Charles Buchan’s Spurs Gift Book features a stunning collection of material sifted from the magazine’s articles and portraits, 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, (Played in Britain series editor), Liverpool FC historian Stephen Done sets the scene: it is the early 1950s and despite being League champions in 1947 and Cup Finalists in 1950, Liverpool are humiliatingly relegated (while Everton are promoted). In Billy Liddell they have a national star, but not until Bill Shankly arrives in 1959 does the script change. Just as the Merseybeat starts to dominate pop culture, Shankly and his cohorts in the famous Anfield ‘bootroom’ lead the Reds to the League title in 1964 and FA Cup victory in 1965, thus laying the foundations for four decades of thrills at home and in Europe. Roared on by the mighty Kop – the first football terrace to attract its own media coverage – Shankly’s Liverpool come to define the age: power, resilience and professionalism.

As the hairstyles evolve and Liverpool adopt the red shorts that were to become their trademark, flying wingers Peter Thompson and Ian Callaghan join hotshot Roger Hunt, a hero of the 1966 World Cup. Stalwarts Ron Yeats, Tommy Smith and Ian St John become role models for emerging youths Emlyn Hughes, Steve Heighway and Kevin Keegan. The book ends in 1974 as Football Monthly folds and, by coincidence, the great Shankly retires. And so a unique record of a unique era, told through the pages of the magazine that was the fans’ Number One.

The team

Simon Inglis has many titles to his name. Engineering Archie (English Heritage) was runner up for the William Hill Sportsbook of the Year Award in 2005. 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. In 2007 Inglis edited Played in Liverpool (English Heritage).

Stephen Done knows Liverpool FC from the inside out. He is curator of the club museum at Anfield, and author of dozens of articles. His books include The Official Liverpool FC Illustrated History (Carlton Books) and a detective novel Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (Hastings Press), set in late 1940s Britain.