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"Football is not a matter of life and death, it is more important than that."

Bill Shankly, Liverpool Football manager


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Peter Shilton and Steph Shilton, London, Ad Lib 2021. ISBN 9781913543648

This important book is a book of two halves. The first is written alternatively by Peter and his second wife Steph. It is an account of how the couple met and how Steph discovered Peter’s shocking dark secret, that he was a compulsive gambler who had lost over £1 million in gambling. With Steph’s help he stopped gambling and then put considerable energy into raising awareness of the endemic of gambling addiction.

The second half of book is Peter’s account of his career. Some lovely stories of playing under Brian Clough including the night before a big European game when Clough allowed the players to drink. As Shilton puts it, Clough knew that “the opposition would likely be worrying about the game. In contrast, we were now totally relaxed”.

There is an assessment of Shilton by his peers. Chris Woods commented: “Back then we had keepers who were technically better than they are today”. I totally agree with that assessment.

This website is always looking for a connection between faith and sport. We noted the comment by Steph Shilton: “I’m a devout Christian so I wanted not just a glamorous wedding but one with true meaning. We attended couple’s classes at the church and heard bans being read at every service. I was so serious about saying my vows in front of God – it meant so much to me as it would mean that our marriage would be blessed”.

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