Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer

£10.00

Like our quarterly publications, Blizzard Books will provide the same freedom as in our quarterly editions for writers to write about the football-related subjects that are important to them, be that at the highest level or the lowest, at home or abroad. Eclecticism, and the desire to provide an alternative to that which already exists, is the key.

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Ernő Egri Erbstein was one of the greatest coaches there has ever been, a pioneering tactician and supreme man-manager who created Il Grande Torino, the team that dominated Italian football in the years immediately after the Second World War.

His was an extraordinary life that was characterised by courage and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.

Erbstein was part of the great Jewish coaching tradition developed in the coffee houses of Budapest and, playing in Hungary, Italy and the USA, he moved to Bari to embark on a coaching career that soon became noted for its innovativeness.

That he and his family survived the Holocaust was a matter of astonishing good fortune, but just four years after the end of the war, Erbstein was killed with his team in the Superga air crash.

Dominic Bliss, through a combination of interviews, painstaking archival research and careful detective work, pieces together the lost history of one of football's most influential early heroes.

What people have said about Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer

"Erbstein's story, largely untold before today, is one of those tales that makes us realise just how – for better and worse – European history is mirrored in football." – Gabriele Marcotti

“A powerful and moving account of one of football's forgotten heroes." - Anthony Clavane

Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer 3 5 5

Customer reviews

  • Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer 5

    Wow
    Posted by Lee Brown on 23/12/2014

    I knew a little of this Torino team from various football TV shows. An amazing story about an amazing man with strength to overcome adversity.

  • Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer 5

    Exquisite Writing
    Posted by Pranav Dar on 30/12/2015

    I had read extracts and small bits of information on Grande Torino from Wikipedia but this book was a revelation. Best purchase in 2015, by far.

    A fantastic piece of writing and thanks to Dominic Bliss for bringing this story to the English reading public.

    I am not on Twitter so I hope Dominic reads this and realises what a magnificent job he has done. Cheers.

  • Erbstein: football's forgotten pioneer 5

    So Glad I Read This
    Posted by Robin Hutchinson on 13/02/2017

    OK, I can truthfully say that I would not have bought this book if I had not accidently bumped into the author. When he told me about a pioneering football manager who lived through the holocaust and died in a plane crash with his entire championship winning team I was disturbed by my ignorance so purchased his work.

    Now the first thing when you buy something by someone you have met is the initial ‘god, I hope it’s going to be good’ feelings. I didn’t need to worry. It’s written in an engaging and open manner and narrates the life of Erno Egri Erbstein in a way that captivates. And what a life it was. I can do no better than repeat a part of the sleeve notes

    ‘Erno Egri Erbstein was one of the greatest coaches there has even been, a pioneering tactician and supreme man-manager who created ‘Il Grande Torino’, the team that dominated Italian football in the years immediately after the Second World War. His was an extraordinary life that was characterized by courage and resourcefulness in the face of adversity.’

    His innovations were those that fed the modern game and we take for granted now. Born in a later era he would be mentioned in the same breath if not ahead of names such as Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Alex Ferguson.

    Again from the sleeve notes

    ‘That he and his family survived the Holocaust was a matter of astonishing good fortune, but just four years after the end of the war, Erbstein was killed with his team in the Superga air crash.

    Dominic Bliss, through a combination of interviews, painstaking archival research and careful detective work, pieces together the lost history of one of football's most influential early heroes.’

    As a Manchester United fan I feel a slight shame that I knew nothing about a man and team that died in a plane crash almost ten years before the Busby Babes. Thank you Dominic for bringing this chapter of football back to life.

    And yes, it’s a book about football but it’s so much more than that, it is about life, dealing with adversity, the dangers of nationalism and hate. It is a book about a past that resonates today.

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