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John Charles: Gentle Giant

Condition: BRAND NEW
ISBN: 9781840188028
Author(s): Mario Risoli
Format: Paperback
Year: 2005
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing Company
Dimensions: 132 x 199 x 21 (w x l x h)
Pages: 270
Series: Mainstream Sport

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'Whenever I look at him, it is as though the Messiah has returned'. That's how Jimmy Murphy, manager of Wales's 1958 World Cup side, described John Charles. In Italy, where Charles played for Juventus and Roma, he was known as Il Gigante Buono - the Gentle Giant - because of his placid temperament. In a playing career of 21 years, he was never booked. One of the greatest footballers Britain has ever produced, Charles left his native Swansea at 16 to join Leeds United, where he was switched from defence to attack. The Yorkshire club reached the First Division for the first time in its history thanks to Charles's phenomenal strike ratio of a goal every other game. His goal-scoring exploits at Elland Road attracted the attention of Italian club Juventus, who paid a British record of #65,000 to take him to Turin in 1957. Despite coming up against the world's most ruthless defences, the Wales international striker scored an incredible 105 goals in 178 appearances for I Bianconeri - the Black and Whites - and helped them to win three Serie A titles in five years. In contrast to his humble upbringing in South Wales, he enjoyed a glamorous lifestyle in Italy.
He opened a restaurant in Turin, recorded songs and mixed with the likes of Sophia Loren. However, it was not all glory. He returned to Leeds United in 1962 but the move was a disaster and after just 91 days he went back to Italy to join Roma where he strugg
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