The Age Of Innocence: Football in the 1970s, edited by Reuel Golden, book review


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The Independent Culture

It was Pelé who coined the phrase “the beautiful game”, and in the 1970s the game was at its most beautiful, free-flowing and entertaining. Football became truly international thanks to extraordinarily talented teams and charismatic players who became the first generation of football superstars.

This book tackles the global and cultural impact of the game, the memorable fashions, the girlfriends, the cars, the politics, the fans, the hooligans, the passion, the thrills and, of course, the sideburns.

It’s a joint celebration of the world’s most popular sport and the sizzling Seventies – including the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, the first football championship televised in colour; the 1974 World Cup, dominated by the intense rivalry between the powerful West German side and the “Total Football” of the Dutch team; and the 1978 World Cup, hosted and won by Argentina.

The Age of Innocence features photography by Neil Leifer, Peter Robinson, Gerry Cranham, Terry O’Neill, Volker Hinz, Jerry Cooke, Harry Benson, Sven Simon, and many others, as well as essays from award-winning writers Rob Hughes, David Goldblatt, Brian Glanville, and Barney Ronay.