Crerand, Cole, Glory & robbery

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Writing a book is only part of writing a book.

Once your publishers have your final manuscript, the promotion work starts. Review copies are sent to editors and a publicity team fix interviews for the author.

I’ve spent much of the last two weeks promoting Glory Glory! and it has been largely enjoyable, if tiring.

Seven meetings and interviews in seven hours around Manchester yesterday would have been more manageable had I not torn a ligament in my foot last week.

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We also have three book signings. The first was last Friday with Paddy Crerand in the Trafford Centre.

“How am I going to get there?” asked Crerand the night before, still tired after returning from United’s game in Moscow.

“By car, like most people,” I replied.

“I can’t do that, you’ll have to pick me up,” he responded firmly.

Which was probably sensible given that he thought we were going to The Water Shop rather than Waterstone’s.

He put his best jumper on and we walked through the huge shopping centre, Paddy cursing that he’d been once since it opened in 1998 – and that was only because his wife, who goes all the time, forced him.

“What the ****’s that?” he then asked in astonishment.

“A food court, where people eat.”

“F**king hell!”

An Indian family recognised Paddy and swamped him for photos. He’s like a living god among Manchester United fans.

“Do you remember me?” asked one man. “I used to see you in Altrincham in the '80s.”

“Of course I do,” fibbed Paddy with a smile. “How are you doing?”

The signing went well. Sky Sports sent a camera crew down and we met some lovely people.

One attractive lady told Paddy that she’d watched him in the '60s. He proudly opened a book to show her how good he looked then.

And he told me a story about how he’d been with Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Nobby Stiles.

Ferdinand and Rooney were totally in awe of Stiles and his stories of winning the World Cup with England.

Paddy’s wife was supposed to come and meet him after the hour session was up.

She didn’t so we carried on signing and chatting to all kinds of people, Paddy wearing his enthusiasm for life like a magic charm.

“How am I going to get hold of my wife?” asked Paddy eventually. “I don’t have a phone. Or her number.”

“You’re going to struggle then,” I replied.

Paddy got out his glasses case, where he had scrawled two phone numbers on the cloth inners – that was the sum of his phone book. Neither number had a name by it.

“Which one of those is Noreen’s?” Crerand asked.

“How am I supposed to know?" I replied. "She’s your wife.”

Neither number was correct.

10 minutes later, Noreen called me to relay a message that she was coming to rescue her stranded husband.

Noreen was a Glasgow beauty queen in 1958 and she’s great. She claimed she was first attracted to Paddy because he had eyes like the actor Paul Newman…that and he played for Celtic!

I’ve got to do two more signings with Andrew Cole this Thursday in Manchester.

In between, we’ll put the FourFourTwo readers’ questions to him for a One on One.

Cole is well organised and owns three mobiles. There could have been a complication had the signing been last week, though.

Some scrote robbed Cole’s car outside the Trafford Centre, with two of his mobile phones inside after he’d given his time to do a ‘Kick Racism out of Football’ initiative.

Given his aversion to the place, you can safely assume that the thief wasn’t Crerand.

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