Football book featuring Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho is runner-up for St Albans author
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A local author whose latest tome blows the whistle on some of the biggest figures in football, including Alex Ferguson, has been named runner-up at a book awards ceremony.
Ian Ridley, 59, of Flamstead, received the accolade at last week’s British Sports Book Awards for his autobiography of former Premier League referee Mark Halsey.
Ian’s ghost-written work Added Time lost out to American tennis legend Jimmy Connors whose book The Outsider won autobiography of the year.
Mark Halsey was the longest serving full-time professional referee in the English game – 14 of those in the Premier League – until his retirement a year ago.
The book, with a foreword by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, charts the story of his life growing up in Herts.
It includes a spell as goalkeeper for St Albans City, rising through the refereeing ranks and revelations about altercations with the likes of Alex Ferguson and earfuls from Wayne Rooney.
Added Time documents Mark’s battle with throat cancer and how he returned to referee at the top level against the odds after gruelling treatment, only to then face another struggle – this time with Premier League chiefs to get his book published.
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Judges at a recent ceremony, held at Lord’s cricket ground, praised Ian’s book for its “searing honesty” and said “anyone who goes to football should read this book”.
The author has written 10 football books including the number one best-selling Addicted with former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams.
He did beat off competition from the likes of former Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp, former England cricketer Andrew Strauss and snooker ace Ronnie O’Sullivan.
Guests at the ceremony included cricket legend Geoffrey Boycott and Andy Murray’s mum Judy.
Ian, a former chairman of St Albans City, said: “We were beaten in the final set by Connors – no mean feat itself – but it was great to hear the judges’ praise for Added Time and get recognition for the struggle we faced, not only writing the book but getting it published.”
Mark and ghost-writer Ian will be talking about Added Time on the eve of the World Cup at the Flamstead Book Festival on Saturday, June 7.
For more details and to buy tickets go to www.flamsteadbookfestival.com