Boston writer lifts the lid on Leicester City’s amazing rise to glory
And it features contributions from over 40 prominent players, team managers and celebrity fans, including striker Emile Heskey, manager Brian Little and TV chef Rustie Lee.
Minding My Own Football Business is the story from Barrie Pierpoint, who is also a former Boston councillor and LCFC’s first chief executive and director of marketing in the 90s.
Promising to be a must read for any fan of The Foxes, the book, which includes a foreword by city legend Steve Walsh, chronicles many of the behind the scenes events and business decisions that led to Leicester’s journey to the Premiership in the late 90s.
Footie folklore such as defender Pontus Kamark’s remarks to Juninho in the 1997 League Cup Final, who Emile Heskey looked up to in his early days as a professional, and perhaps most bizarrely, which City player waved a loaded gun at his teammates, are all covered in the book penned by ghost writer and football novelist Mathew Mann.
For Pierpoint, the book was a chance for football fans to hear first-hand how the club’s fortunes, both on and off the field, were rescued by a series of coaching and business decisions that led to The Foxes having recorded their fourth successive top ten Premier League finish in 2000.
“This book really has three facets,” explained Pierpoint. “It’s a football story and we’ve got some wonderful contributions from the likes of Steve Walsh, Emile Heskey, Brian Little and Tony Cottee, people that were vital to The Foxes success on the field in the 90s.
“Then we have the business and marketing side, such as the establishment of The Foxes brand, The Carling Stand and Family Night Football, all of which was vital in saving the club from the brink of collapse and helped turn it into a profit-making entity.
“And finally, it’s a human story, the people, the goings-on behind the scenes, it’s a celebration of mine and others’ times there. Of course, Leicester City is a massive commercial entity nowadays, and its presence and reach has expanded worldwide with the successes enjoyed in recent times.
“I’d like to think this book can help younger fans and new ones worldwide understand more about the club they love and support most passionately.”
Pierpoint, who also had spells at Portsmouth, Bradford and now operating as a business mentor, is perhaps most renowned for his time at Leicester for a bitter board dispute that led to his exit in January 2000.
But while the infamous ‘gang of four’ spat and reported fall outs with manager Martin O’Neill are covered in the book, Pierpoint didn’t want it to overshadow the overall story being told.
“I agreed to do the book on two grounds: that it wasn’t controversial and that it wasn’t a self-centred appreciation society,” he said,
“The fact is, myself and Martin (O’Neill) never had any problems and I was really appreciative of the work he did on the pitch.
“There was a lot of false reporting at the time that led to some dark periods of my time at Leicester. In that sense I do get to set the story straight, but this is more a light-hearted, nostalgic look at a football club that defied the odds, told by those that were there.
“Former directors, players, managers, staff, journalists and supporters have contributed to this book, which gives us a remarkable view of a fantastic era through their various lenses.”
For club captain Steve Walsh, the book was a chance to reflect on some of the fantastic highs experienced in his 14 years at The Foxes:
“Barrie was a flamboyant character, with his big cigars, flash suits and multi-coloured glasses, but what most stood out was his vision for Leicester City,” he said.
“This book chronicles and celebrates the story of Leicester City’s achievements, on and off the pitch, during the nineties, the best days of my career.”
Minding My Own Football Business is available for pre-order now, with a special 20% discount making the book an attractive proposition at just £12. Proceeds from each book sale will go to raising vital funds for Rainbows Children’s Hospice in Loughborough.
For more information and to make your pre order ahead of its December 1st launch, visit https://www.mindingmyownfootballbusiness.co.uk/.