Whatever Happened to Billy Parks by Gareth R Roberts

Whatever Happened to Billy Parks

Gareth R Roberts

Is there life after football? The old, too-familiar story of wasted talent off the pitch is given a ‘what if’ re-write in this tale of the rise and fall of Billy Parks. Fantasy is woven with reality in a nostalgic retrospective of the 60s and 70s, with cameo appearances from the likes of Brian Clough. Touchingly convincing and hugely engaging whether you're a football fan or not.


'I don't normally go for Cockneys, young man,' he told me, 'but myself and my pal Peter Taylor think that you've got what it takes to be a great player. What do you think about that?'
I didn't know what to say. I was confused. I hadn't thought about leaving West Ham. I felt guilty just talking about it.
'I'm not sure, Mr. Clough,' I said. 'This has come as a bit of a shock.'
'I'll tell you what,' said Brian Clough. 'I'll kip down on your couch and you go upstairs with your young lady and sleep on it. And we'll finalise things in the morning.'
'Er, OK.'
I then watched as Brian Clough took himself into our lounge with a quilt that Sandi had given him and closed the door. I put one foot on the stairs; I didn't know what to think. I wasn't sure that I wanted to go to Derby County. I wasn't sure about anything ...
When I got back the next morning, Brian Clough was gone. Sandi was furious - I told her that it was the only way I was able to get away from him, and that otherwise we'd have to sell our little house and move to Derby, which was practically in Scotland. It was never mentioned again.

  • Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby
  • That Damned United by David Peace

Books with similar mood

The End of Innocence

Moni Mohsin

Under an English Heaven

Robert Radcliffe

Revenge of the Middle-aged Woman

Elizabeth Buchan

The Personal History of Rachel DuPree

Ann Weisgarber

Still Life

Louise Penny

How to Read the Air

Dinaw Mengestu

PS, I Love You

Cecelia Ahern


Bruce McCabe

No Christian Grave

Edmund Power

Let's Twist Again

Leo Cullen

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County

Tiffany Baker

This is Paradise

Will Eaves

Bitter-Sweet Harvest

Chan Ling Yap

Haunted Ground

Erin Hart

In the Falling Snow

Caryl Phillips

The Terror of Living

Urban Waite


David Fuller

Family Matters

Rohinton Mistry

The Hope Family Calendar

Mike Gayle

The Sealwoman's Gift

Sally Magnussen

Sweets from Morocco

Jo Verity

Deaf Sentence

David Lodge


Rebecca Hunt

Alice Bliss

Laura Harrington

Love and Other Impossible Pursuits

Ayelet Waldman

The Memory Game

Nicci French


Kent Haruf

The Cookbook Collector

Allegra Goodman

The Association of Foreign Spouses

Marilyn Heward Mills

Black Water Rising

Attica Locke

Tell it to the Bees

Fiona Shaw

A Crying Shame

Renate Dorrestein

The Words in my Hand

Guinevere Glasfurd

The House of Dust

Paul Johnston

Gardens of Water

Alan Drew

The Poet's Wife

Judith Allnatt

Smaller and Smaller Circles

E H Batagan

The Pact We Made

Layla AlAmmar

Ukulele Jam

Alen Mešković


Min Jin Lee

Island of Wings

Karin Altenberg

The Golden Door

Kerry Jamieson

Ancient Promises

Jaishree Misra

Green Man Running

Georgina Hammick


Eleanor Bailey

The P45 Diaries

Ben Hatch

Ugly Duckling

Amita Mukerjee

Nelson's Daughter

Miranda Hearn