Born in the Durham mining village of Horden, Stan Anderson didn’t go far from home in a playing career that spanned more than 500 games. He was a midfield player with Sunderland, Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, the north east’s big three. And he was the only player to captain them all.
Good enough to win two England caps and be a member of the England squad for the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile, Stan played in the same Sunderland team as Len Shackleton, another star to turn out for Newcastle and Sunderland, Brian Clough and Ron Revie, two men who made an indelible mark on football management.
Stan chose that route, too, replacing another Sunderland legend, Raich Carter, as manager of Middlesbrough in April 1966 before he, too, was succeeded by another illustrious son of the north east in Jack Charlton. Stan then moved further afield, spending a year Greek football, managing AEK Athens, before returning briefly to Queens Park Rangers and then back north to Doncaster. He stayed for three years before joining Bolton Wanderers, giving up management in 1981 to care for his wife Marjorie.
The book is full of fascinating stories of an era when players still suffered under a maximum wage and a feudal system that tied them to their clubs. Stan tells how Sunderland twice tried to stop him collecting what he was due.