From Bo'ness to the Bernabeu - The John McGovern story

From Bo'ness to the Bernabeu is the tale of how a 13-year-old boy kicked his first ever football while staying with his Grandmother in Scotland and started a journey that would lead him to being captain of a European Cup winning Nottingham Forest side at the home of the great Real Madrid.

McGovern's 19-year playing career will, of course, be forever associated with the men who signed him for four different clubs and from starting out at Hartlepools to glory with the Reds (via success at Derby and possibly the most famous 44 days in football at Leeds) the names of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor are never far away.

Classic Clough sayings have filled many a book over the past few years but a new one to this reader provoked a 'lol' moment as a Forest player asked the boss if he wanted the ball played down the channel.

'The Channel is a stretch of water between England and France,' came the reply. 'Pass it to feet or I will throw you in the Channel.'

Despite his admiration for and 'gratitude' to the duo and their incredible success together, however, McGovern makes it clear that he received no special favours and walked away from the City Ground (to become player-manager at Bolton) without a handshake after some businesslike discussions on a loyalty payment.

An interesting postscript to the book are chapters by Ann and Alek McGovern, John's wife and son, which give a different insight into living with a famous footballer.

A former footballer with a real tale to tell, John McGovern's book reflects his playing career in many ways, honest about his abilities and fiercely proud of his many achievments with his love for his family shining through more brightly than anything else.

My Story - From Bo'ness to the Bernabeu - is published by Vision Sports Publishing on the 12th October 2012, RRP £18.99.

Check back to Forest Mad later this week for a chance to win a copy of the book.