All I Want for Christmas... (Paperback edition)

All I Want for Christmas... (Paperback edition)

Diary of a veteran striker

IN STOCK

By Iwan Roberts with Karen Buchanan

RRP: £7.99
Online shop price: £4.99

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ISBN: 0954642848

Format: Paperback

Pages: 416pp

Size: A Format

Weight: 420grammes

Illustrations: 16pp full colour

Published: July 2005

Much-awaited paperback release of veteran footballer Iwan Roberts' best-selling diary of Norwich City's 2003/2004 season. Brutally honest, revealing and at times hilariously funny, All I Want for Christmas... was acclaimed by the critics and sold more than 8,000 copies in hardback.

Causing quite a stir in the football world, national publicity included Iwan appearing and discussing the book on highly rated Sky TV shows Soccer AM and Monday Night Football and Radio 5 Live as well as national newspaper coverage of his previously undisclosed battle against skin cancer during the season.

All I Want For Christmas... was also highly controversial, with Iwan being charged by the FA over a section of the book in which he admitted stamping on an opponent in revenge for an earlier tackle. In September (by now player/coach of Gillingham FC) he was subsequently fined £2,500 and banned for three matches.

Consequently the book is extremely well-known by football fans across the country and we expect the paperback version to replicate the success of similarly candid football books such as Left Foot Forward by Gary Nelson and Full Time by Tony Cascarino.

INCLUDES
Brand new section in which Iwan talks about the controversy surrounding the FA charges and his anger at his treatment, as well as updating readers on his new life as player/coach at Gillingham FC and the intense pressure at the relegation-threatened club.

Quotes

This irrepressible account, in diary form, of Norwich City's 2003-04 promotion season is a rollicking good read. If it doesn't make you at least smile, then it's time to seek counselling. It is aimed at the same audience as Eamon Dunphy's classic Only A Game? Whether it is as good as that is debatable but it's certainly knocking on the door.
Daily Telegraph, November 2004

Breezy, candid and surprisingly moving. Proof that good football books don't have to be complicated, different or focussed on big stars. Sometimes being honest, thoughtful and well written is enough.
Four Four Two, August 2004

Reviews

FOUR FOUR TWO MAGAZINE

August 2004

***** (four stars out of five)

There is a lot of awful football literature, and diaries of seasons rank pretty highly in the hall of shame. Footballers, after all, live a fairly monotonous existence, plodding through training to matches to training to matches, with the odd injury, run-in with a fan and tedious practical joke thrown in. That is what is remarkable about Iwan Roberts' chronicle of last season - the thought of what a car-crash of a book it could have been. What if Norwich hadn't won the Division One championship? What if Roberts's contract had been renewed? What if he hadn't gone through the trauma of having a malignant melanoma removed from his arm? But they did, it wasn't and he did, and the result is a breezy, candid and surprisingly moving account of one of football's journeymen struggling to come to terms with the fading of the light, his dejection at the ending of his career all the more plangent for being set against Norwich's end-of-season celebrations. Roberts himself comes out of the book well. If there is a suspicion that he wasn't quite so understanding of his persistent omission from the team and the eventual decision to let him go as he makes out, there can be no doubting the sincerity of his devotion to his family and his terror at the cancer scare.

One minor act of vengeance on Kevin Muscat aside, this is not a book of revelations - although the amount of alcohol and fast food Roberts gets through is probably enough to make most people feel they lead relatively healthy lives.

But that, perhaps, is the point: this is the ordinary life of an ordinary footballer. As such, it should make most fans feel more sympathetic towards the people whose wages they pay.

It's proof that good football books don't have to be complicated, different or focused on big stars. Sometimes, being honest, thoughtful and well-written is enough.

Jonathan Wilson

DAILY TELEGRAPH

November 2004

This irrepressible account, in diary form, of Norwich City's 2003-04 promotion season is a rollicking good read. If it doesn't make you at least smile, then it's time to seek counselling. It is aimed at the same audience as Eamon Dunphy's classic Only A Game? Whether it is as good as that is debatable but it's certainly knocking on the door.

John Gaustad

GILLS365 website

November 2004

Gills365 Verdict: ***** (five stars out of five)

All I Want For Christmas... is the fascinating and endearing diary of Norwich City's Division One Championship-winning season as seen through the eyes of striker Iwan Roberts. It has added significance to Norwich fans as it also turned out to be Iwan's last season at the club where he had enjoyed seven great years.

Co-written with former editor of FourFourTwo magazine, Karen Buchanan, 'All I Want For Christmas' takes you through Iwan's, and Norwich's, season in diary form. In these days where we read about Premiership footballers getting involved in all sorts of questionable behaviour, it's hugely refreshing to read about a bloke who simply loves his job, loves the game and loves his family.

Iwan's obvious commitment to his profession and his family is a running theme throughout the book, which is why I'm slightly upset at the adverse publicity Iwan has received in the press surrounding this book. Yes, he did admit to stamping on Kevin Muscat, but it was an isolated incident and you have to take those comments in context with the rest of the book. Iwan Roberts is a model professional - to still be comfortably good enough to play Championship-level football at 36, he'd have to be. Unfortunately, the media stories relating to the charges levelled at Iwan suggest that his book may be one written by a footballing thug. That couldn't be further from the truth.

In the book, we read of Iwan's dedication to his profession: his disappointment when left out of the team, the delight when he's in – and the elation when he scores. But this is no big-time Charlie. When he's not running himself into the ground for his club, he can be found on the touchline of a local park, watching his son play boys' league football, or in the cinema with his wife and/or his kids. His relationship with the fans comes across as being extremely important to him too.

The book ends on a bittersweet note, with Norwich winning the title, but with the news that Iwan would be leaving the club. By the time you get to the emotional end of the book, you'll feel a real affinity with Iwan – and are rooting for him to sign off in style.

I finished the book wishing Iwan all the best for his career – and then realised that not only did he find another club to play for, but he found MY club. Having seen 'Iwan the player' on the pitch and having now read about 'Iwan the person' off it, I can say that I am extremely pleased to say that he is part of my team.

He was clearly deeply sad to leave Norwich, a club that he describes in glowing terms. Norwich comes across as a real family club, where everyone gets on well and works hard together. Now the next chapter in Iwan's career is at our club, Gillingham. If anyone is in doubt about Iwan Roberts, I strongly suggest you read this book. You'll be left in no doubt that we have signed genuine quality – both as a player and as a man.

Simon Head