Back in June 2015 I shared an article I'd written on this forum about former Colchester boss and England legend Neil Franklin. It was suggested in the comments section after I did so (and in a couple of other places) that the life and career of Neil Franklin would make for an interesting film or book. It'd be great if a film did come along at some point, but I'm delighted to say 'England's Greatest Defender: The Untold Story of Neil Franklin' - the book - is out this week.
Colchester were the only English club Neil Franklin managed following an illustrious and eventful playing career, and under him the U's yo-yoed between the third and fourth tiers playing a style of football that was pretty alien in lower league football at the time. Neil's time in Essex, which I expected to be a bit of a footnote to the book if I'm honest, was actually really interesting, and Dennis Mochan in particular gave me a really insightful interview about the period.
For those of you who don't know, Franklin was better known during his playing days for being the finest defender England had ever produced, but turning his back on the national team prior to the 1950 World Cup and making a lucrative move to the Colombian capital of Bogota. Colombia, as it happened, was in the midst of a bloody ten-year civil war, with world class footballers being drafted in in an attempt to distract the masses from politics and violence. It didn't work. Neil returned to Britain after just six games for Independiente Santa Fe, but an example was made of him, as he was suspended by the FA, ostracised by the England selectors and transfer listed by Stoke City.
For any of you who are interested in finding out a bit more or want to buy the book you can do so at: https://englandsgreatestdefender.com