Book Reviews

Comments and reviews of Diary of the Real Soul Crew:

I was never a hooligan or a member of the Soul Crew but I’ve watched City regularly from 1974 onwards and witnessed a lot of the incidents in the book. The point being that people might condemn Diary of the Real Soul Crew but you can’t deny these things happened and they are part of our history, both good and bad. The way the book is written it gives a factual account of how things were it also gives a perspective on Cardiff and their reputation from the viewpoint of other teams’ fans, which I found interesting. Overall, a very enjoyable book and a true reflection of how it was. – Blue Heaven

“I could not put the book down and read it from cover to cover. Some of the short stories provided by a multitude of writers are simply scary, funny and eye opening all in one. I have no affiliation to the authors or hooliganism but thought the book was a good read. If anybody is deliberating buying the book, don’t. Just go and get a copy for yourself as you will not be disappointed.” – Kozy

A top read, very, very interesting, I can’t put it down.– Blue Cheg

“I read it cover to cover. A good book with lots of good anecdotes and some surprising contributors.” – Feedback

“Essential reading for all Cardiff City fans.” – Dudders

“I must say that Corky’s and Gwyn’s tales are very funny and everyone who travels away can relate to Sam’s story. I would recommend it.” – Roy 1960

“I really enjoyed reading it. No bullshit like you find in similar books.” – Kodak

“A good honest account of an era in our country’s social history. It contains comments from a broad range of people and I think it tells it as it was.” – Denzil

“I’ve never been interested in the fighting side of things myself, but that doesn’t stop me from reading about it (particularly enjoyed the Gwyn chapter – hysterical!). It’s a very worthwhile read in my opinion and even if people say they’re not into the trouble side of things it’s still worth reading to appreciate what things were like.” – Batman

“I’m not a habitual ‘hooligan book’ reader, but I bought it purely as it’s a book about the club I love. I started reading it with an open mind that night, and must admit once started, I couldn’t put it down until I read it cover to cover. I really enjoyed it, and in parts it had me in absolute stitches, (not at glorifying violence but at genuinely funny experiences that we’ve all had at sometime or other down the City and on the road). It was great to remember and reminisce as I made my way through the book. I’ve been supporting the City since I was 7 (first game in 1977 vs Leicester), so I remember most of the eras mentioned. The matches, grounds, clothes, fashions, travel, pubs, and characters all came flooding back. Just like any book or film, it’s got its great bits, its got it’s not so great bits, but overall well worth the money and time invested.” – HM Alright

“In terms of telling what happened behind the scenes of the football club, the motivation of the main people involved and conveying what the club means to it’s supporters it was one of the most accurate and capitivating reads that I have come across.” – Majorblue

“Another book that grips you. A great insight into the football daft days of the 80’s and 90’s with interesting inputs from a variety of characters. A must read for any football chap!” – PtB


Comments and reviews of From Shattered Dreams to Wembley Way:

I took Shattered Dreams on holiday to Lanzarote recently and despite having the book for over a year I never read it from start to finish but have read certain chapters at various times, I made sure that I read it from front to back. Once I started I could not put it down, the only time I did was when other football fans seen me reading it they stopped to talk about Cardiff City to me.

A really interesting insight into the recent times of Cardiff City. I like Annis, how you remained down the middle, especially regarding Sam Hammam, as many know your friendship with Sam yet it doesn’t interfere with your thoughts at the time. It was good to learn of things that I didn’t know about, like that Sam took a phone call on the morning of September 11th 2001 whilst in a board meeting, and drove back to his home in London thinking of the words he could comfort his wife with, believing that two of his children had died in the atrocities. There is so much in the book about the workings behind the scene at the club and I particularly found the time of Sam’s arrival interesting in that certain people on the board were trying to block the move.

Where other people write chapters, my favourite would certainly be Vince Alm’s, he tells a great story regarding the politics behind the stadium planning and subsequent building. Vince is able to document the whole process and gives you a clear picture of all the runners and riders involved. I never knew until reading this book that certain councillors who objected the stadium build used a writer in the South Wales Echo to pen their objections in the media for them as part of this campaign but interestingly that writer is now very much part of the Cardiff City Supporters Trust.

I understand that many readers of this book think that Sam Hammam may not have been portrayed in the best light but it was very much the opposite for me and strengthened my view that Sam Hammam had forces working against him at the time and if others had worked with him and not against him then his time at the club would have been viewed as a far more successful period than what he is given credit for. 

All in all, it is a must read for any Cardiff City fan as it is an honest and open account of what happened at Cardiff City during the years of 2000-2008.
– Carl Curtis

“One of those books that is written from the heart of the most passionate fan that grips you from the moment you open it. I couldn’t put it down. The insight to the loveable maniac that is Sam Hammam is first class and charts some of the bigggest ups and downs that Cardiff City FC had lived through until that time. The sequel can begin!” – PtB

“Quite simply the best football book I’ve ever read. Informative and very well written.” – scots bluebird

“A must have book for all football fans out there, whether he or she be a Swansea City fan or Manchester United fan. It’s a book where everyone can relate him or her self to and shows how much character one football club, and it’s fans can have. Every single chapter in this fantastic read, tells the same story, but from different eyes, and that’s what makes this one so special. In my eyes, it may be because it’s about my football club, but it’s the best football book out there on the shelves at the moment. A Must Have Book!!” – Afan Bluebird

“A must read for any true football fan, Cardiff City or otherwise. If you’ve ever questioned your sanity when stood almost alone on a cold wet windy terrace dreaming, yet believing that your club would some day wake from it’s comatose slumber then this is the definitive book for you. A roller coaster of a ride encapsulated in a kaleidoscope of words and styles, where the passion and honesty of the contributors to this book make it impossible to put down” – Clusterman

“Shattered dreams is without doubt the most interesting, in depth and informative book ever written about cardiff city fc,
the rise and fall of the valley rams is simply a must read for all cardiff city supporters an honest and sometimes funny account of probably one of the most important times in the clubs history and about some of our greatest fans” – The Blue Path

“A unique history of Cardiff City from a true fan’s perspective. A must read.” – Peter Ridsdale, Chairman, Cardiff City FC

“A fascinating read. Abraham’s tale is packed with revealing anecdotes. It is not a great work of literature and was never meant to be, but it does succeed in its sole aim of making the reader aware of how weird, wonderful and ultimately destructive the Sam Hammam era at Cardiff City became.” – James Corrigan, Wales on Sunday

“Interesting and very informative. A very important book on an important part of the club’s history and one that is surely a ‘must have’ for all City fans. Although there are no real surprises, there’s plenty that the average fan will want to know about. Definitely a welcome edition to the City bookshelf. Rating: 9/10.” – Thin Blue Line fanzine

“I’ve read a great deal in my time and seeing such a volatile character as Sam Hammam from the points of view of several people with different characters is a rare sight in literature whether it be fact or fiction. It’s a mile ahead of the usual plodding ghost-written football memoirs and everyone involved creates a clear picture of the events that shook our club out of its grave and into the dangerous debt ridden sunlight. The whole story unfolds clearly and without sentimentality. It’s very interesting and gives those of us on the outside a close look at the conflicts of personalities and aims of those involved. A fascinating book.” – Caliburn,

“Compulsive reading. As a Cardiff City fan it came as no great surprise that the book was interesting but what did surprise me is that it was also entertaining, well-structured and well written. A very worthwhile project which certainly exceeded my expectations.” – Peter,

“Absolutely brilliant book and fills a lot of gaps that ordinary fans like me have wondered about for years.” – Ambassador,

“Cracking read. An honest and open account of Sam Hammam’s so-called inner circle. Some of the things that were written actually brought a tear to my eye, some made me laugh out loud and some made me angry – all the things you would expect being a City fan I suppose. A top read.” – Bucksbluebird,

“A must for all Cardiff fans and an excellent read for football fans in general” – Kempy,

“I’m one of those people who read one book a year but I couldn’t put Shattered Dreams down. It’s a must for all City fans with some interesting facts and many funny moments.” – Cityone,

“I have read many football books and this one is up there at the top of my list. Very enjoyable reading.” M Tobin,

“Compulsive reading and thoroughly enjoyable. I think the Sam Hammam era will prove to be the most fascinating period in the club’s history and certainly my lifetime. This book serves as a superb record of how it was.” – Nigelblues,

“A good, honest account of behind the scenes at Cardiff City written by fans hoping for a better tomorrow. A must read for any football fan regardless of where their club loyalties lie.” – Baron Village,

“A cracking read. Best book I have read since Oh Ah Stantona – in fact, the only football book worth reading since then! I’m not a great reader but picked the book up and couldn’t put it down. It’s well organised and although everyone in it is either a City fan or closely associated with the club it offers many different viewpoints. An excellent read.” – Wilts,

“If you’re going to do one thing this year then get this book! I guarantee once you start you won’t be able to put it down. It’s the closest thing to riding a roller coaster in print. Brilliant read.” – Pill Blue,

“Passionate, raw and often humorous. Essential for all those with an interest in Cardiff City.” – Bluebirds4me,

“An absolute must for any fan of Cardiff City. A can’t put down book. Real fans’ views of what were traumatic years for us all.” – Bobbanker, cardiff

“Being a relatively new Bluebirds fan (approximately 10 years) I found it a very convenient and informative guide to the club’s history.” Pooroldjon,

“Well written with some excellent photographs to illustrate the story. A very interesting read which had me on the edge of my seat at times.” – Smiffy,

“A great read. What amazed me that so many people could tell the same story from a different perspective and nonetheless keep it fresh.” – Danescourt Blue,

“It really is an excellent piece of work. Required reading for any City fan.” – Magichat,

“Shattered Dreams is a fantastic read and a great insight into the rollercoaster ride we as fans have experienced over the past eight years at the club.” – Forever In Blue Jeans,

Other Books


“Having read the first part, the second part was a must read and the madness continues with more valuable input from lads of all clubs. Annis and his colleagues give you it from the heart and there’s no bullshit in there as lads from other clubs can confirm with their mutual respect.” – PtB

“A fantastic read for anyone who was involved in the whole football culture, and an excellent read to those who missed those times.” – Nuclearblue


“Absolutely loved this one. Some of the biggest fans and Cardiff maniacs right through to the junior Bluebirds all with one thing in common – they love the City. Emotional to see my boy as 9month old in the centre. THere could be 500 similar books to this and they would still lave out some smashing pictures.” – PtB

“Pictures of the most passionate fans in the country. A must have book for any City fan. Fascinating to see how styles have changed over the years.” – scots bluebird