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In Review: For the Claret and Blue

Filed: Tuesday, 6th July 2004
By: Matthew O'Greel

Micky Smith (John Blake)
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A year or so on since his last release, Micky Smith returns as caustic as ever in his latest book 'For The Claret and Blue' - a collection of tales and stories from Hammers fans around the globe.

The first thing a quick glance inside the hardback cover will tell you is that FTC&B (as it will be known from hereon) veers ever so slightly away from the hooligan angle in order to encompass the views of general supporters - ie. those who had little or nothing to do with the ICF and/or various other factions and firms. This is generally a book not to celebrate victories off the field (although there is still plenty of that kind of thing on offer here) - but on it.

Much of the information used at the beginning of the book is gleaned from previous Smith efforts, and will therefore be familiar to those who have read earlier offerings. But there is much more than the one story on offer here - amongst the various sections topics such as the Bond Scheme, Mannygate and the future of football are discussed, whilst there are some enjoyable personal recollections from the likes of Bobbi the Mod (from Canada).

Always open to opposing views, Smith also offers space to supporters of other clubs and their personal recollections of certain 'incidents' - which offers a balance not often found in other books of this nature.

Although this is still a million miles away from a 'Banks' offering, FTC&B is Smith's first effort to concentrate on successes on the field. And it's not bad at all ...

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