The Final Season.pdf
In 1914, as today, professional footballers were heroes and role models. They were the sporting superstars of their time; symbols of youth, health and vigour. And naturally enough, when war broke out they felt it was their duty to join up. Between 1914 and 1918, 213 professional players fell in action. Some teams lost half their players, either killed or else so badly injured in mind and body that they were never to play again. The Final Season is the moving account of these young men who swapped the turf of the pitch and the cheers of the fans for the freezing mud of the battlefield and the scream of shell fire. It follows the players such as Patrick 'Handsome Jack' Crossnan (so-called by fans because he could pass anything but a mirror) and Walter Tull, Britain's second black professional player and first black commissioned officer, as they leave their clubs and towns, undergo training and then travel on to the bloody arenas of war: Mons, Gallipoli, the Somme, Paschendaele. Nigel McCrery paints these men in vivid detail. We will learn of their friendships, their loves, their sporting achievements, their wartime heroics. And we will learn when, and how, they made the ultimate sacrifice.
Nigel McCrery was educated at Trinity College Cambridge before being selected as part of the BBC graduate entry scheme. He joined BBC drama in 1992 and during his time there, created and wrote a number of prime time dramas including Born and Bred, Touching Evil, Back-up, Impact, Silent Witness and New Tricks. In addition to his television work Nigel has a long-standing interest in military history and has already written several books about the First World War. The most notable of these is All the King's Men, the true story of George V's own Sandringham Company which disappeared during the conflict. The book became a major BBC film starring David Jason and Maggie Smith and achieved the second biggest BBC drama audience of all time. Nigel has also written several Silent Witness novels and the Detective Mark Lapslie series. In 2013 he published Silent Witnesses: A History of Forensic Science with Random House Books.