Four stars of Notts County’s 1997-98 title-winning season are returning to the club for a special Q&A with supporters as part of the release of a book recounting their record-breaking feats.
On the morning of our opening game of the new League Two season on Saturday 4 August – at home to Colchester United – three former Notts captains in Ian Richardson, Ian Hendon and Ian Baraclough will appear in Broken Wheelbarrow at 11am to discuss the new book: Record Breakers – The Inside Story of Notts County’s Momentous 1997-98 Title Win.
The book, written by Magpies fan and journalist Paul Smith, tells the tale of Notts’ historic championship success 20 years on, through the thoughts of the players behind the achievement. That side remains the only one in English football post-war history to have secured top spot by the end of March in any division.
Available exclusively in the club shop for the first week following its release on the day of the Q&A, Record Breakers includes an exclusive interview with current Notts boss Kevin Nolan, who tells of his attempts to emulate the achievements of one of his mentors, the then-Magpies manager and future England boss Sam Allardyce.
And Allardyce himself talks openly for the very first time in the book about the reasons behind his eventual departure from Meadow Lane for Bolton Wanderers, as well as recounting his own memories and his reasoning behind Notts’ stunning season.
Shaun Derry, top-scorer Gary Jones, goalkeeper Darren Ward and centre-back Gary Strodder are among the other players who reveal the tales from inside the dressing room in Record Breakers, while several fans share their stories from an iconic season.
Colin Slater, who wrote the book’s foreword, will lead the Q&A with the three Ians and that season’s physio, the popular Roger Cleary – a man Allardyce credits with proving pivotal to his side’s success.
Baraclough, Richardson, Hendon and Cleary will be in the club shop signing copies from 10.30am on the day of the Colchester match, for supporters to get their early copies of Record Breakers. Then, from 11am-12pm they will be in the Broken Wheelbarrow to talk about the book with Paul and Colin – with supporters invited to attend and ask their own questions, before signing more copies and posing for pictures.
The quartet will return to the club shop just before kick-off for further book signings.
Paul said: “The book has been a real labour of love for me. It was a fantastic side and the stories the players told me are as insightful as they often are revealing and hilarious.
“The Q&A offers a great chance for supporters to mix with the heroes of 20 years ago and find out what made them tick, while getting a signed copy of a book, which will stand the test of time – just as the side’s record-breaking feats have.
"I look forward to seeing as many supporters in Broken Wheelbarrow as possible to whet the appetite for our own new assault on the League Two title!”
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