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Destroying Angel: Steve Bloomer England's First Football Hero

Peter Seddon


Steve Bloomer  was a legendary English forward who is remembered as one football’s first superstars.  Described by Billy Meredith as ‘the greatest of all inside rights’ and ‘the greatest sharpshooter the game has ever known’, Bloomer remains a legend at Derby County where the club anthem, Steve Bloomer's Watchin', is still played before every home game. 

During a career with Derby County and Middlesborough, Bloomer was first choice for the England international team scoring 28 goals in 23 Home Internationals - in fact Bloomer scored in his first ten games for England. His most famous feat was during a match between England and Scotland, when he found the back of the net with a left- footed strike from the centre circle.  His League career lasted from 1892 to 1914 and was distinguished by an impressive 353 goals in 598 games (292 goals for Derby in 473 matches).  While playing for County he was the leading scorer for 14 consecutive seasons and scored 17 hat-tricks in the league. He later worked as a coach in Germany and was interned at Ruhleben, a civilian detention camp, during the First World War.   Immediately after the war he coached in The Netherlands and in 1923 he became coach of Real Unión in Spain. In 1924 he guided them to victory in the Copa del Rey, beating FC Barcelona in the semi-finals and then Real Madrid in the final.

This entertaining story of his life takes in every aspect of Bloomer’s colourful life from his dramatic rise from tough Black Country beginings in 1874 to his legendary goalscoring feats.  His famous playing career shares the stage with remarkable episodes in Bloomer's life never before fully researched, including his sorrow and bravery through four years in a German prison camp.  This book is more than just a great biography of one of football’s greatest players, it is a social history of Victorian and Edwardian Britain as football emerged as the nation’s favourite sport.  A must for all lovers of football history.

Published by DP Books