Bob Paisley was the quiet man in the flat cap who swept all domestic and European opposition aside and produced arguably the greatest club team that Britain has ever known. The man whose Liverpool team won trophies at a rate-per-season that dwarfs Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements at Manchester United and who remains the only Briton to lead a team to three European Cups.
From Wembley to Rome, Manchester to Madrid, Paisley's team was the one no one could touch. Working in a city which was on its knees, in deep post-industrial decline, still tainted by the 1981 Toxteth riots and in a state of open warfare with Margaret Thatcher, he delivered a golden era – never re-attained since – which made the city of Liverpool synonymous with success and won them supporters the world over. Yet, thirty years since Paisley died, the life and times of this shrewd, intelligent, visionary, modest football man have still never been fully explored and explained.
Based on in-depth interviews with Paisley's family and many of the players whom he led to an extraordinary haul of honours between 1974 and 1983, Quiet Genius is the first biography to examine in depth the secrets of Paisley's success. It inspects his man-management strategies, his extraordinary eye for a good player, his uncanny ability to diagnose injuries in his own players and the opposition, and the wicked sense of humour which endeared him to so many. It explores the North-East mining community roots which he cherished, and considers his visionary outlook on the way the game would develop.
Quiet Genius is the story of how one modest man accomplished more than any other football manager, found his attributes largely unrecorded and undervalued and, in keeping with the gentler ways of his generation, did not seem to mind. It reveals an individual who seemed out of keeping with the brash, celebrity sport football was becoming, and who succeeded on his own terms. Three decades on from his death, it is a football story that demands to be told.
About the Author
Ian Herbert is the Independent's chief sportswriter. He began his career in Liverpool in 1989, where he was both a news and football reporter, and eventually became Deputy Editor of Liverpool Daily Post before leaving for the nationals. As a football reporter on the Post, he covered the managerial era of Graeme Souness, during which LFC's decline from the standards of the great Bob Paisley days was the steepest. @ianherbs
"An evocative, intimate portrait." - Rory Smith, New York Times
"Quiet Genius is like its subject, a winner and surely a candidate already for the best football books of the year, whether you are of a Liverpool FC persuasion or not." - Blackpool Gazette
"This biography puts Paisley on the map once again and brings him into the discussion of being one of the world’s best football managers ever. [Ian] Herbert deserves loads of credit for this as no other author could deliver a text as great as this. Kudos to Bloomsbury for yet another great football title and perhaps the top title of 2017." - International Soccer Network
"This brilliant new book chronicles how Bob Paisley the player reinvented himself as Bob the builder, Bob the physio, and ultimately Bob the all-conquering manager." - LFC Magazine
"Herbert has written perhaps the best Paisley biography, emphasising how hard work, an uncanny eye for a player and a belief that football is, at its heart, a simple game, worked wonders." - Bristol Post
"Terrific." - Scotland on Sunday
"A cut above many formulaic sports books.: - Daily Telegraph
"A beautifully constructed tribute to the virtues of the quiet approach, and all the more stirring for arriving in an age of constant noise." - The Times (Saturday Review)
"The depth of research is outstanding with the input of former players and coaches providing authoritative insights into a great man." - Daily Express
"Herbert will leave you with no doubt regarding Paisley’s exalted position in football’s pantheon." - Coach
"An eloquent portrait of the introvert who became Liverpool’s greatest manager of all time." - Daily Express