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"Tunnel of Love is as essential as Touching Distance was. That belonged in the romance section, Tunnel of Love could sit in thrillers, or even tragedy," Mark Douglas, the Evening Chronicle.
"Tunnel of Love had me on page one. So many happy and sad memories," Simon Bird, the Mirror.
"Hardy has a brilliant knack for taking the reader back to how it felt at a particular moment in Newcastle's history. He impressively combines the journalistic inside scoop with raw emotion. The account of the dressing room before the Champions League game in Rotterdam is brilliant. Tunnel of Love will make you laugh and it will make you cry. It should be on everyone's Christmas list," Jack Lacey-Hatton, the Mag.
Pages:288 Size: 216mm x 138mm Hardback ISBN: 978-1-909245-43-3 Publication: 15 October 2016
By the summer of 1996, Newcastle were officially the second best club in England following a dramatic race for the Premier League title, with the ambition to become even bigger.
They would break the transfer world record by signing the England captain Alan Shearer, ahead of rivals Manchester United, for £15 million from Blackburn Rovers and had the talismanic figure of Kevin Keegan as their manager.
It was expected a golden period to match the start of the 1900s would follow, when Newcastle had been champions of England three times and has reached five FA Cup finals. Instead, by the start of 1997, Keegan has left following a boardroom row. Sir Bobby Charlton had accepted and then turned down the chance to replace Keegan as manager and Newcastle had turned to Kenny Dalglish to maintain their assault as a genuine, emerging force in European football.
Dalglish himself would be sacked within 18 months and Newcastle would embark on a breathless and reckless period in their history.
Tunnel of Love reflects the dramatic highs and the gut wrenching lows that covered the 13 year period which followed the failed agony of falling so close to becoming champions of England in 1996, when Keegan's Entertainers were in their pomp.
It takes in unforgettable nights at St. James' Park - the beating of Barcelona, the apparent taming of Manchester United and the breathtaking tribute to Shearer - for 10 years' service that saw him become the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Yet by its close Newcastle are fighting for their Premier League lives as they head to Villa Park on the final day of the 2008/09 season.
Tunnel of Love takes you back on the rollercoaster that got them there.
About the Author
Martin Hardy has been writing about football in the North East for three decades. He was senior sports reporter at the Sunday Sun, before moving to the Sunday People and then to the Daily Mail. More recently he has worked for the News of the World and the Independent. He currently writes for the Sunday Times. His first book, Touching Distance, was shortlisted at the 2016 Cross British Sportswriting Awards in the Best New Writer category.
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