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In the summer of 1958 tiny Northern Ireland stood just one game away from a semi-final appearance in the World Cup against the mighty Brazil. The heroic story of this uniquely blessed squad of players, led by the peerless Danny Blanchflower, takes in the Munich Air Disaster, a fight against Sabbath Observers within the IFA who tried to stop them going to the tournament in Sweden, and a violent win-or-bust struggle against Italy to qualify. And yet it has almost been forgotten. Spirit of '58 tells the story of how Northern Irish football came of age under the management of Peter Doherty, and the team's journey from also-rans to being two games away from the World Cup final of 1958. Including interviews with all the surviving players, the book finally tells the full story of Northern Ireland's greatest ever team. A gripping rollercoaster of a story that will thrill football and sports fans.
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About the Author

Evan Marshall is from Northern Ireland and has worked in television there for the past twelve years, much of that time with DoubleBand Films in Belfast where he worked on Super 8 Stories and Those Were the Days. He worked extensively on Northern Ireland Screen's Digital Film Archive, and it was here that he first saw a Pathe news report on the 1958 Northern Ireland team. The footage inspired his acclaimed documentary film, Spirit of '58, which he produced and directed. In 2014 he established his own production company, Clackity Films.

Reviews

"It's the ultimate underdog story, from some pioneering ball-led training sessions to a keeper playing on with a broken hand." * FourFourTwo * "... Evan Marshall has written an excellent book with universal appeal that is well-researched, detailed, thrilling, emotional and a fine tribute to everyone involved in the 1958 campaign. The descriptions of matches are written beautifully, capturing the excitement, the highs and lows, the frustrations and emotions and the sheer gruelling toughness required to compete in such a tournament. It is a human story, a heroic story and a historically significant episode in Northern Irish sport. Rather like Northern Ireland's 1958 World Cup record, this book is a magnificent achievement." -- Joe Cushnan * Dropped the Moon * "Evan Marshall's fascinating account of Northern Ireland's finest hour on football's biggest stage is a must for all NI footie fans." -- Hugh Jordan * Sunday World *

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