The son of Cobblers legend Frank Large has written an excellent new book about his dad’s nomadic footballing career - and author Paul Large will be at Sixfields tomorrow for a book signing session.
Paul will be in the club shop ahead of the Sky Bet League Two match with Burton Abion (ko 2pm), signing copies of ‘Have Boots Will Travel - The Story of Frank Large’.
The book runs through the career of striker Large, including his THREE stints at the Cobblers, with a chapter dedicated to every phase of a career that saw him play for 11 clubs between 1958 and his retirement in 1974.
Writing the book was obviously a labour of love for Paul, who was a young boy watching on in awe for the most of his dad’s career, but it is a fascinating read about a man whose ability on the football pitch warmed many a football fan’s heart, and whose kind nature off it saw him make a wealth of friends.
The three chapters about the Cobblers include an interview with Graham Carr, and feature that infamous FA Cup clash with Manchester United that saw George Best run riot and score six goals.
Paul also talks of his happy life in his various homes around Northampton and the surrounding area, with a chapter also dedicated to the family’s happy time spent in the village of Deanshanger, when Frank’s professional career was over, and also to the time spent in Ireland, where Frank moved to in the mid-1980s.
The book is full of great little nuggets of colour and history of the various times, including that the players were treated to a pre-match steak dinner at the Westone Hotel ahead of that Manchester United match - that might explain why the defenders couldn’t get near Best!
There are also great little segments, such as Carr, who was one of Large’s greatest friends, talking about the Sunday afternoons the pair spent at The Pioneer pub in Northampton, and the fact that Dave Bowen’s pre-match talk ahead of that United match failed to detail how to stop Best... although in his defence, the Northern Irishman hadn’t been expected to play having just finished a lengthy ban!
In all Large, who passed away at his home in County Mayo in Ireland in 2003, made 248 appearances for the Cobblers over his three spells, scoring 96 goals
Paul Large has done a great job producing a touching, warm and entertaining book.
In the introduction he writes of Frank: “On the day he died, I thanked him for being my dad and especially for those years he had done in the factory (Large worked 60 hours per week in a chemical factory for 11 years after finishing playing). I was never more proud of him doing that.
“I promised myself that I would try to tell Frank’s story as he deserved it. He was a man of few words, not prone to displaying emotions, but loving, caring, honest and loyal nonetheless.
“Frank was proud of his family and its achievement and a bloody good footballer to boot.
“When I discovered the wealth of goodwill that still existed within the game for him, my task became a pleasure, full of wonderful stories and amazing characters. My only regret is that Frank never got to hear it for himself.
“Mind you, knowing him, he would have taken it in his stride, enjoyed the laughs, the memories and the beers, but played it down without letting it go to his head.
“That was Frank’s way.”
That’s certainly the impression you will get after reading ‘Have Boots Will Travel’
You can buy a copy of the book at Sixfields on Saturday (price £17.99).