Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Preston North End - The Rise of the Invincibles
Running to over 130 colour pages, The Rise of the Invincibles chronicles the birth and development of Preston North End from a park cricket team into the most successful professional football club in Britain in the early years of the Football League. In telling this remarkable story Michael Barrett also explores the historical background to events at the club, covering the creation of Rugby and Soccer codes and the birth of the Football Association and the F.A. Cup. He examines significant events that impacted on Preston, such as growth of the Cotton Industry and the hardship brought by the American Civil War. The book is extremely well researched and greatly enhanced by former Roy of the Rovers’ artist David Sque’s illustrations which bring the story to life.
Michael Barrett has used primary sources as well as the surprisingly large number of books about the club to fill in many fine details. For example, before the 1888 F.A. Cup Final, the players spent the morning watching the Oxford v Cambridge Boat Race and consequently took to the pitch freezing cold in the afternoon. He also records that Fred Dewhurst, the team’s captain and an amateur was a teacher at the town’s Catholic College, although he does not mention that he took the F.A. Cup into school to show the boys after Preston won it in 1889.
The Rise of the Invincibles is soft backed and retails at £19.99, which, given the number of full colour pages and the overall quality of the book, is good value. It is available from Invincible Books and Amazon.