Atyeo: The Hero next Door


Out of stock


When John Atyeo died in 1993, his former team-mate Jimmy Rogers said: ‘They broke the mould after they made him.’ It is the kind of tribute paid to the recently deceased often enough, but rarely has it rung more true than in the case of Big John, whose 350 Football League and Cup goals and 597 League appearances for Bristol City will almost certainly never be surpassed. The statistics go on: he is joint seventh in the all-time list of League top scorers, netted five times in six undefeated games for England and was a swashbuckling striker who was never sent off or cautioned in more than fifteen seasons. Yet facts and figures alone can never tell the full story of John Atyeo. Here was a player and a man who made what today would be extraordinary choices in his lifestyle and career. Even then, his decision to remain a part-time professional with an unfashionable Second Division club bemused most of his contemporaries, and it certainly cost him his place in the international team. Yet, if he regretted spurning the advances of Chelsea, Liverpool and other big names, he always said no, he would do it all over again. In his playing days, John Atyeo was a by-word for one-club loyalty and for fair play, but as Tom Hopegood and John Hudson have discovered through intensive research and interviews with family, friends and colleagues, he was much more complex than that. Readers will put this book down feeling they know the man much better than they would ever have dreamed possible. ISBN 1 904537 41 3 272 pages (inc. 32pp plate section) hardback