Book Review - 'We Don't Do Walking Away' (Lisa Gray)
- 30 June 2013
Obviously, we here at TRS are highly professional in our approach to the information that we bring to our readers, so I can say without even a hint of sarcasm that reading this book in the blazing sunshine, sitting by a pool in Malta, in no way coloured my opinion of it.
Lisa’s book is a chronicle of what will hopefully be a unique season in the Third Division for Rangers. As a reporter for the Press Association, Lisa was present at every game, home and away, as Rangers negotiated their way past teams from the lower reaches of Scottish football. The book contains match reports on every game as well as brief mention of the various off-field events which influenced an incredible season for Scotland’s most successful club.
The match reports are detailed and act as a reminder of some of the on-field difficulties faced by the team, as well as high points like the League Cup victory over Motherwell. I can say, without a doubt, that it would have been useful for me to have read this book prior to the CRO end-of-season quiz. Had I, then I might not have put in such a woeful performance! The unique nature of the past season on the field is one that was well worth documenting (even if some of it wasn't worth watching) and Lisa has done a fine job of doing so.
However, match reports are not all that this book will bring to the reader. The far flung and sometimes forgotten outposts of Scottish football are brought to life. Given the shambolic state of the game in this country, it is easy to forget about the people across the country that put so much time into keeping the smaller clubs alive and kicking. Some of these characters, like Annan chairman, Henry McClelland, are rightly highlighted in this book. McClelland recently, almost single-handedly, held the SPL to account over league reconstruction and you can see from Lisa’s recounting of him, and from his own words, how much he cares about his club and Scottish football as a whole.
I suspect fans of most Third Division teams would find something in this book for them as well. From Forres to Annan, the towns that Rangers visited are highlighted. As is the contribution and much needed income that Rangers fans brought when they visited. You can tell from the words of the locals themselves just how much Rangers fans were appreciated on their travels.
If I had one criticism of Lisa’s book it would be that she fails to name the journalist who confidently stated that David Templeton had “gone right off the boil recently” just before he cracked in two wonder goals against Clyde at Broadwood! Perhaps some gentle questioning on Twitter would get her to reveal their identity?
All in all I thoroughly enjoyed Lisa’s book. It is arguable whether the most important action last season took place off the pitch or on it but that is no reason not to cover both. If you are going to buy one Rangers book this summer then obviously I’d recommend getting ‘Follow We Will: The Fall and Rise of Rangers’, written by our very own contributors to TRS. However, if you are going to buy two then make ‘We Don’t Do Walking Away’ the other one. The two books complement each other very well with Lisa’s focus on the pitch and ours off it.
You can buy “Follow We Will” here - http://www.luath.co.uk/books/sport/follow-we-will-the-fall-and-rise-of-rangers.html