Date: 15th September 2014 at 7:56am
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The latest chapter in the popular Where Are They Now series takes a look at the career of Tony Book.

TONY BOOK – Born 4th September 1934 Bath, England.

Tony was born in Bath but moved to India when he was four when his father, an officer in the Somerset Light Infantry was posted there. The family returned to England in September 1945, just in time for Tony to start secondary school in Bath.
It wasn’t long before he represented Bath Boys and soon after Somerset Boys.
He left school at sixteen to become an apprentice bricklayer, at the same time he played for Peasedown Miners as an inside forward. When he was called up for National Service he played for the Army team, converting to a full back.
An army colleague of Tony’s was Chelsea and future England player, Frank Blunstone and he recommended him for a trial with his club.

Tony wasn’t taken on by Chelsea and when he finished his National Service returned to bricklaying and started to play for Frome Town. During the 1955-56 season Frome ran into financial difficulties and were forced to release all their players.
In January 1956 he signed for Southern League team Bath City. In 1960 Bath were Southern League champions with Tony being made team captain. Bath recruited a new manager in 1962, Malcolm Allison, it was the start of a long association between the two of them.

At the end of the 1962-63 season Malcom was offered the job as coach of Toronto City in Canada taking Tony with him. Malcolm returned to England in May 1964 to take over as Argyle manager. Not long after Tony also returned to England to resume playing for Bath City, but not before he had been voted best full back in Canada.

Malcolm had been warned the board were wary of signing an older player without league experience so Malcolm told them the thirty year old Tony was only 28 and the board agreed to pay £1,500 for him.
Tony made his debut in the opening game of the 1964-65 season in a 2-0 defeat at Coventry. It proved to be money well spent with Argyle beating season end champions Newcastle 2-1 at Home Park with Cliff Jackson and Mike Trebilcock scoring the goals.
Tony even managed to score a couple of goals, both came in February and within the space of four days.
He scored his first at Ayersome Park Middlesbrough in a 3-1 win after Tony had got the first Cliff Jackson and Duncan Neale both scored to set up a fine away win.
In the next game an easy 4-0 win at home to Southampton, Mike Trebilcock (2), Tony and Nicky Jennings were all on the scoresheet. Tony only missed two games all season, both against Northampton over the Easter period.

Tony only missed one game throughout the whole of the 1965-66 season, the opening game, a 4-1 defeat at Portsmouth with Doug Baird scoring a consolation goal. Tony managed to add another goal to his tally when he scored the first goal in a 3-1 win at home to Portsmouth with Cliff Jackson getting the other two to get revenge for the opening day defeat at Fratton Park.
When the season ended Malcolm Allison left the club to become assistant to Joe Mercer at Manchester City, the team that had just won the Division 2 title by five points despite Argyle beating them 1-0 at Home Park thanks to a Johnny Williams trademark thunderbolt goal, and drawing 1-1 at Maine Road with a Mike Doyle own goal gifting a point for us.

It didn’t take long for Malcolm Allison to persuade Joe Mercer to make a bid for Tony, again his age was a bit of a sticking point, but a bid of £17,000 was enough for Argyle to sell at a pretty good profit. Tony played his last game in a 3-2 defeat at home to runners up Southampton on the last day of the season.
It was his 93rd appearance and he had scored three goals. I’m pretty sure Tony had a florist shop at Henders Corner and kept it for some time after moving to Manchester.

Despite moving from non-league football to Division 1 (Premiership) in three seasons Tony had no problem adapting to a higher level of football.
He made his debut in the opening game of the 1966-67 season, a 1-1 draw with Southampton, and just as he had been at Argyle he was one of the first names on the teamsheet, he only missed one game all season, at the end of the season he was voted the Manchester City inaugural Player of the Year.

Before the 1968-69 began Tony was named club captain after the previous captain, Johnny Crossan, was transferred to Middlesbrough. It was a successful season for both Tony and City, he never missed a game all season as he led his team to the Division 1 title, the only disappointment was being beaten 2-1 by Leeds in the Charity Shield. After the success of the previous season Tony missed the first four months of 1968-69 season due to an Achilles heel injury.
He returned to first team duties just as City started their FA Cup run.
In the week before the final Tony was named the 1969 Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year, jointly with Dave Mackay of Spurs. Seven days later he led City to a 1-0 FA cup final win over Leicester.
The FA Cup win qualified them for the European Cup Winners Cup, which they went on to win, beating Polish team Gornik Zabrze 2-1 in the final. Also in the same season they won the League Cup, beating West Brom 2-1 to become the first English team to win a European and domestic trophy in the same season.

In 1971 City were unlucky to be beaten 3-2 by Bologna in the final of the Anglo Italian League Cup, after a 1-0 defeat in Italy they were held to a 2-2 draw in the second leg.
Further honours came Tony’s way when in 1972 he captained his team to success in the Charity Shield beating Aston Villa 1-0, the following season they were beaten 1-0 by Burnley also in the Charity Shield.
In November 1973 the current Manchester City manager Johnny Hart was forced to resign due to ill health with Tony being asked to combine playing with responsibility for the team as well. He did this until Ron Saunders was appointed as manager with Tony being named as his assistant.

At 40 Tony decided it was time to end his playing career and after hardly missing a game in his seven years at the club apart from his Achilles injury, passed the captains armband on to Colin Bell after making 314 appearances and scoring five goals.

Tony settled into management as easily as he had moved from being a non-league footballer to playing in Division 2 with Argyle and Division 1 with Manchester City.
Ron Saunders didn’t do quite as well though, and after only six months was dismissed. Tony took over managing the team for one game and was then offered the job on a permanent basis. His first victory in charge came in a 1-0 win over local rivals Manchester United with former United player Denis Law scoring with a backheel.
In his first full season as City manager they finished a respectable eighth, a six place improvement on the previous season.

In 1976 City again won the League Cup, beating Newcastle 2-1, making Tony the first person to win the trophy both as a player and manager. At the end of the 1976-77 season City were narrowly beaten to the league title by one point by Liverpool.

Tony remained as manager until 1979 until he was replaced by his old friend Malcolm Allison. He remained at Maine Road taking on various positions including another spell as caretaker manager in 1993.
In 1997 he left to become chief scout at Huddersfield working under manager Brian Horton.

Tony was held in such esteem by Manchester City that he holds two honorary positions at the club. He is the Honorary President of Manchester City and Life President of the Manchester City Official Supporters Club.
In 2004 he was inducted into the Manchester City Hall of Fame.

plymouthvital@aol.co.uk