Only A Game? – review snippets

A season’s access into the dressing room with Eamon Dunphy

In his candid expose, Only A Game?, Eamon Dunphy gives a riveting, diary-style account of his last few months playing for the Millwall Football Club.

Eamon Dunphy's Only A Game book cover banner

He writes from within the game, giving us a peek at the high dramas developing within a professional football club as it fights to reach the top echelons of the English football league.  Eamon Dunphy gives us a very genuine and very personal glimpse of what goes on inside a player’s head when facing defeats that are soul crushing and victories.

The season-long peek into Millwall Football Club’s dressing room, from the perspective of a football player, became a classic through the decades.  It had set the standards for a lot of the modern type of biographies that we are now getting, warts and all (the better ones, that is).

The best and most authentic memoir by a professional footballer” – Brian Glanville

Exceptional. It became the standard by which similar books were judged …” – The Times

Side note:

Nick Hornby, writer of the Fever Pitch, cited Eamon Dunphy’s book as “The best book about football I have read by someone who has actually played the game…everyone who has ever dreamt of a sporting career should read it“.

Ironically, the acclaim of Only A Game? was only surpassed by Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch over a decade later.

Cop-out apology:

If you find my review on Only A Game? by Eamonn Dunphy brief, you’re welcome to comment below on how you found the book.  I promise to publish your review.

But brief though it may be (after all, it is a review snippet), I firmly assert that Eamon Dunphy’s book is an indispensable part of any sports section in your library.


  1. Hi there “Only a Game” sounds very interesting book since is over decade on the shelves being one among one of the top books, thank you for sharing and giving us a glimpse of what is going on through  the players head when facing defeats that are soul crushing and victories.

    Though your post is very short but yet straight to the point.

    • It was interesting. Eamonn Dunphy’s book was one of the first of its kind, and he is still in the game.

  2. It does seem like it is going to be an interesting read. Eamonn Dunphy was an exceptional professional footballer and learning about his life during his football career with all the challenges faced and the victories experienced would be great. 

    It is not everyday that we get the opportunity to go behind doors to experience the life of a professional footballer and his experiences behind the scene of what we see on TV or get from the media. I always watch football and have never really ones thought about doing this.                                                                                                                

    • Eamon Dunphy’s time at Millwall was a fascinating slice of a footballer’s life. Only a Game? He showed that it was much more than that.

  3. I’m not much of a footballer, but even I think this sounds like an interesting book to read. Do you think it’s one I would enjoy?  (I might not be a footballer, but I love a good book!) Also, what age range would this book be good for? Would my teen son enjoy it, do you think? 

    Is this a true story? 

    • Yes, it was a true story. The game has changed considerably, in that it is much richer and there is a lot more scrutiny nowadays. But the challenges the budding professional players face today would be the same as in Eamon Dunphy’s time. It’s still not Only A Game.

  4. Hi Shy Lock,

    Thanks for the review on Eamon Dunphy, although I am not a huge football fan having someone tell a diary like story about there experience with the sport is intriguing to me. Without this post I would not have considered reading it, thank you for broadening my horizons! 

    I look forward to more great book reviews, keep up the great work!!

    • Thanks. I enjoyed writing it and will keep reviewing sports books on this forwardandback.com Watch this space!

  5. Very interesting review of the book written by Eamon Dunphy, a professional footballer. He has been very critical about the Manager, coach and other players. Though the book is on football, you can correlate this with any group or office, you are a part of.

    • Football, and sports in general, is a microcosm of life. Eamon Dunphy has never hesitated to speak his mind, so it was interesting to read what he had to say about his managers, coaches and fellow players.

  6. Hi. Yes, your review is short and to the point. I bet the book has a few interesting stories in it. The fact that it remained at the top of the list for so long means it is worth checking out. Cheers

    • Thanks Andrew. The book does contain lots of interesting nuggets of information about life as a footballer. The writer has since become a respected journalist and TV pundit.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *