Thursday, September 13

There's Only One Stevie Bacon — win a free copy!

There’sOnly One Stevie Bacon, published by Biteback and written with Kirk Blows, is a gloriously indiscrete read. As club photographer for 30 years Bacon travelled on the team bus and roomed with the team, so he has lots of juicy inside info on the banter, boozing and lads’ shenanigans, though all told from the viewpoint of a Plaistow-born West Ham fan. 

We learn that Lou Macari, whom Bacon got on well with, asked Stevie’s advice before signing Colin Foster (so Steve’s to blame). He clearly didn't get on with Alan Pardew and writes, “I’ve never known a more arrogant man in my life”. Pards didn’t get off to a good start with Steve when he announced at a hotel dinner that if Bacon’s order looked nicer, “I’m having that!” Never come between a growing lad and his grub. The book recounts a terrified Paolo Di Canio refusing to fly, Harry Redknapp covering Don Hutchison is sandwiches, John Moncur leaping naked from lockers during team talks and Igor Stimac arranging for the players to shoot machine guns in a Croatian wood while playing in the UEFA Cup. Plus we have Billy Bonds trying his first Chinese meal in his forties and confronting Trevor Morley and Ian Bishop over those false rumours: “Well, are you or ain’t you?”

Strangely there’s no mention of Fortune’s Always Hiding’s Clicker Bacon cartoons drawn by Phill Jupitus, but we can’t have everything. Mixed in with the gossip, Bacon has some astute observations about both players and managers over the years. It’s worth buying just for the revelation that on a three–week Australia tour under Redknapp they didn’t see much of Kenny Brown in Sydney: “He teamed up with a girl who worked in a condom shop in the shopping mall and we barely saw him for five days. He was a bit of a randy geezer.” Clicker Bacon deserves the accolade of having The Stevie Bacon Burger named after him by one Green Street stall.

Even better news is that Hammers in the Heart has two copies to give away. Just name all the managers Steve Bacon has served under at West Ham from John Lyall up to the present day. Email your answer and address to and the book will be posted out to the first two people to answer correctly.

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