Physiotherapy student strikes a winner with brand new book

Wed, 17 Nov 2021 16:19:00 GMT
Jeff previously served in the Navy before turning his hand to writing and physiotherapy
Jeff previously served in the Navy before turning his hand to writing and physiotherapy

A GCU student has taken his passion for Scottish football to another level after becoming the author of his very own book. 

First year BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy student Jeff Webb officially released Scotland’s Lost Clubs” on 8 November, with an initial 5000 copies available to buy at the likes of Waterstones and WHSmith. 

Jeff, who grew up in Birmingham, explained how the beautiful game remained a constant through key stages in his life. 

He said: “I’ve always loved football. My first love was actually Aston Villa and I still go down every now and then! 

When I moved to Scotland at the age of 12, my first experience was Albion Rovers. Watching them gave me a bit of a bug for football up here and I then moved to Dundee with my mum and dad, where that interest developed further. It was the 2008/2009 season, when Dundee United were doing well -  I went to Tannadice and got hooked on them.” 

Jeff added: “then left school when I was 16 and joined the Navy straight away. I was on submarines for ten years and there’s not a lot to do on them, so we had constant football chat!  

We would get DVDs of games delivered to us two months after they had been played. Every week we would also get what’s known as a ‘welfare signal’, which is basically a couple of lines with the main news headlines. Importantly, it had the football results on it, so we would all gather round to read them. 

After over 1000 days at sea, Jeff left the Navy to spend more time with his young daughter. He then completed a SWAP Course, which eventually led to him studying at GCU. 

During his successful journey into further education, Jeff maintained his love for football. 

He explained: “After leaving the Navy I started writing a few football blogs for Forgotten Clubs, which is an Irish blog site. I also wrote an article for a site called The North Section, and it really kicked off from there because I ended up creating more content about Scottish clubs. 

Lockdown recently meant that a lot more people were reading my work and it was quite reassuring to see the interest in it. My better half then suggested approaching a publisher because I had a real passion for writing pieces about clubs that were former giants of the game – particularly in Scotland. I got in touch with Pitch Publishing and thankfully, they were interested.” 

Jeff’s book takes readers on a journey across Scotland, focusing on a number of clubs who now cease to exist - despite many enjoying previous periods of success.   

He said: “When you look at previous Scottish Cup winners, you notice teams like Third Lanark, Renton FC and others that you probably didn’t even know exist or where they’re from. It also interested me how there were so many teams in Edinburgh previously and now there are only really a few left. I wanted to know why these clubs stopped existing, which really acted as the inspiration for the book. 

In England a lot of clubs died as a result of the World Wars, but in Scotland they just seem to drop away. I think one of the biggest challenges was professionalism coming in during the late 1800s - so many teams dropped away over the next 10-30 years. The Great Depression also had a big impact. 

Jeff added: “I don’t think anyone ever really expects to write a book about their passion but I knew there was a market there. Every provincial club like to reminisce about past successes and think about how good they used to be.   

There’s probably only three or four Scottish football history books that exist and they really tend to focus on Celtic and Rangers. My desire was to show that there is really interesting stories to be told outwith these clubs. 

There are already plans in place for Jeff to write further books in future, something he’ll have to balance with the demands of a full-time University course.  

Despite the obvious workload coming his way over the new few years, Jeff is keen to maintain a balance between football and physiotherapy. 

He explained: “You have to obviously give your degree the respect it deserves, however I think some people overly concentrate on it. You need something your passionate about as a release.  

I find it’s nice to have a couple of days away and have something else that keeps you occupied - that’s why I love researching and writing about football.” 

'Scotland’s Lost Clubs: Giving the Names You’ve Heard, the Story They Own' by Jeff Webb is available to buy now  

By Ross Clark          
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