Sunday, 18 January 2015


ONE of the saddest episodes in the history of Crystal Palace Football Club is recalled in this absorbing publication.

Originally from Prudhoe in Northumberland, Billy Callender was a popular goalkeeper who made more than 200 appearances for the club between 1926 and 1932.

He fell in love with Ella Leslie, a Thornton Heath girl, and the couple became engaged - but the marriage was called off after she was struck down by the crippling disease, polio.

Callender cared for her during her illness, pushing her around the park in a wheelchair and was heartbroken when she died.

He was never able to come to terms with his grief and, according to his landlady, suffered a breakdown.

A few weeks later, he signed on for the new season at Selhurst Park but never left the ground.

The following day, he was found in tragic circumstances in the old stand. His pockets contained letters and a photograph of his sweetheart.

In The Sad Story of Billy Callender, tribute is paid  to the kindness and devotion shown by the goalkeeper, especially in Ella’s last days when she was bedridden.

The text also traces Callender’s impressive playing career (he was awarded a testimonial for long service to Palace) and the circumstances surrounding his untimely death.


THE spotlight falls on Dougie Freedman in this publication which looks back on the ups and down of his career as a player.

It started with apprenticeship at Queens Park Rangers, where he never played for the first team, and ended at Southend United.

In between, there were also spells where he enjoyed varying degrees of success at Crystal Palace, Wolves, Nottingham Forest and Leeds.

Recalled are not just the highlights, but also the lowlights - including his occasional run-ins with managers such as Gerry Francis, Mark McGhee and Ron Atkinson.

Freedman seldom played in the Premier League, but there was one match of  which he will not have happy memories - as a Forest player in a record 8-1 home drubbing  against a Manchester United side which was on its way to an historic Treble.

Afterwards, Atkinson angered the Forest faithful with his jocular description of the match as "a nine-goal thriller"!

The publication also recalls the striker's childhood  in a deprived  part of   Glasgow and the strong influence of his family as he was growing up.

One of the biggest disappointments for Freedman - who subsequently managed Palace, then Bolton -  was that he was so seldom given the opportunity to play for Scotland.

But, when he was eventually selected, he did not let his side down, scoring one of the goals in a 2-1 win against Latvia in a World Cup qualifier.


SCOTTISH-born striker Matt Tees scored more than 200 goals in the ‘Sixties and ‘Seventies.

In this fascinating retrospective, he offers fascinating insights on his time as a player with Airdrie, Grimsby Town, Charlton Athletic, Luton and Boston United.

He has fascinating tales to tell about the people he has met - including his sometimes tricky relationship with manager Lawrie McMenemy, one of his managers at Grimsby, and an offbeat bath-time encounter with the late Eric Morecambe who was a Luton director.    

Oddly, throughout his career, Matt never once took a penalty. "I couldn't kick the ball far enough,"he jokes.

Matt also describes the great relationship he enjoyed with fans and expresses regret that he never had the chance to play in a farewell match at any of his clubs - particularly Grimsby’s Blundell Park ground which was his happiest hunting ground.
In addition, Matt  reflects on the professional game as it is today, offers tips on the art of scoring and describes the importance to him of his happy home life in Cleethorpes - he and wife May have two sons and four grandchildren.

All titles are available  as e-books on Kindle or via Amazon or at £2 each (post free) from:

James Wright
33 Parker Street
North East Lincolnshire 
DN35 8TH

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