MANCHESTER CITY OFFICIAL HANDBOOK 1997-98
TITLE Manchester City F.C. Official Handbook 1997-98 EDITOR Julian Baskomb PUBLISHER Polar Print Group Ltd, 2, Uxbridge Road, Leicester. LE4 7ST PRICE £4.95 NO ISBN
The tenth edition of the annual Official Handbook follows the same A5 format as the previous nine, including the obligatory upbeat foreword from the chairman that has lost its lustre by the time of publication. There are the familiar statistical and pictorial reviews of the previous season and the brief profiles of the current playing and management staff, together with all the usual features including the general statistical section (so if you're interested, we've never lost in the League to Bournemouth, Cambridge, Chesterfield, Darlington, Rotherham, Scunthorpe and Southend. Until recently, this also used to be true of Stockport...).
Each handbook profiles a couple of erstwhile heroes and this year it's Willie Donachie and Joe Royle. The indefatigable John Maddocks has written a feature on brothers and other relations at the club, and also done some digging to provide a record of City playing in testimonial matches (record attendance: 47,901 for Bert Trautmann, while the recent 21,262 for Paul Lake is the 5th highest at Maine Road).
Virtually every contact address or telephone number associated with the club is contained here, but the Citynet website address is a curious omission. There are no surprises within the pages, so if you've bought any of the previous nine handbooks you know what to expect. But with 132 pages, many in colour and with only a few advertisements, a fiver represents fair value for money.
Presumably the handbooks make money for the club or they would not keep
producing them, but perhaps the format is now stale and could benefit from
a revamp. Over to you, Polar.