SJA member Mike Donovan, a Tottenham Hotspur fan for the best part of 50 years, is writing The King of White Hart Lane, the authorised life story of Alan Gilzean, the gifted Spurs, Dundee and Scotland striker who died last year.
Gilzean’s biography will include insights provided by the player’s family, close friends and colleagues to add to the author’s own memories of the player known as ‘Nureyev on grass’. But Donovan would also welcome any reminiscences and anecdotes from journalists who recall the Scot.
Gilzean was a reserved, popular intelligent, easy-going man who shunned the limelight off the field but on it played with a swagger as a maker and taker of goals
Donovan, an award-winning writer who has written several Tottenham Hotspur-related books including Glory, Glory Lane, Spurs’ Greatest Games, Spurs’ Unsung Hero (on Terry Dyson) and Takenote! (Darren Anderton), has been a sports journalist for 40 years. He has worked for Hayters, Today, The Argus (Brighton), and freelanced for many daily and Sunday nationals.
There will be two versions of the book, to be published in October by Pitch Publishing. It will also appear under the title The King of Dens Park in Scotland.
Donovan says: “I witnessed him first-hand from the terraces in front of The Shelf throughout his time at Spurs. The elegant international striker remains worshipped at both clubs, drawing comparison with modern-day performers such as Dimitar Berbatov.”
He adds: “Gilzean was a reserved, popular intelligent, easy-going man who shunned the limelight off the field but on it played with a swagger as a maker and taker of goals, especially with Jimmy Greaves who regarded him as ‘the best I played with’.
He was voted Spurs’ 12th greatest ever player in an official poll in recent years, but was equally loved in Scotland, receiving instant hero status for scoring a winning goal in front of 133,000 at Hampden Park against England who were to win the World Cup two years later.”
Donovan can be contacted on: firstname.lastname@example.org
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