Digital Publishing Option for New Bryan Cooney Book

The world of professional football, still reeling from the allegations of chicanery at FIFA, is about to be stripped of some more of its gloss.

Bryan Cooney, former head of sport at the Daily Mail, is planning to launch a new book, Fingerprints of a Football Rascal.

But instead of it appearing in print, it is going to be available on Amazon's Kindle.

Plenty of humour and revelations are promised from the Aberdonian who began his career with the regional daily, the Press and Journal, in Aberdeen, and clambered to the top of the Fleet Street totem pole.

West of Scotland-based Cooney, now a freelance broadcaster with BBC Radio Scotland and a regular contributor to the Sunday Herald, told allmediascotland: “I've had discussions with a few publishers, but they take an inordinate time to make up their minds, preferring to mainline on obfuscation.

“One, indeed, emailed me promising to publish next year, but, considering the illness I've had recently [he has prostate cancer], I'm regarding time as my enemy. So this confirmed technophobe is going electronic.

“It's my belief that this is an extremely commercial project, as it reaches under the fingernails – and no doubt up the noses – of some of football's biggest personalities, past and present.”

Cooney, who retired from the Mail ten years ago through ill-health has added to an impressive CV since returning to Scotland. He has won the Sports Journalist of the Year award three times and, four years ago, lifted a bronze at the Sony Radio Awards, for his 'The Pain of the Game' radio series for BBC Radio Scotland.

Also a former sports editor of the Scottish Daily Mail (before moving to London) he tracked down former Celtic recluse, George Connelly, and helped him write his autobiography, and currently he has recorded a third series of the acclaimed 'Stuff of Legends' for BBC Radio Scotland.

It goes out today at 2pm when boxer, Barry McGuigan, now a boxing commentator, talks to Cooney about the highs and lows of his career. and the importance of his family life.

Adds Cooney: “In these days of PR orchestration, journalists are rarely allowed to get close to those on high. My good fortune was that I was allowed direct access to some of the biggest names on the planet.

“I doubt if these stories will ever be replicated. Among other things, I got absolutely paralytic with Sir Alf Ramsey one day – and almost died in doing so. I was close to fisticuffs with Harry Redknapp in the Savoy, secured an exclusive interview with Alex Ferguson on the night he joined Manchester United …and fell foul of the great Jock Stein.

“I was up close and fairly personal with a lot of these men …and sometimes it wasn't a pretty sight. But there were, and are, a host of amusing and controversial anecdotes.

“Former Rangers owner, David Murray, once called me a rascal. Initially, I was incensed, then reality kicked in. Hey, in order to be at least upsides of the football game, if not ahead of it, you have to be a bit of a rascal. Because, in many cases, you're dealing with a multitude of rascals …”

The Kindle launch of Fingerprints of a Football Rascal is scheduled for August.