Meluki's Celtic Catalog

Celtic Culture in Words and Music

In the Shadow of a Giant

In the Shadow of a Giant
Item# 9781844549795

Product Description

Publisher: John Blake

Author: Mel Charles

Mel Charles is one of the most popular and respected figures in Welsh football. His contribution to the sport was recognized with a lifetime service award by the Welsh FA in 2000, and he is one of five survivors from the team of 1958 who were honored with a civic reception in Cardiff in 2008. Still an enormously popular figure, and hailed as one of football's true gentlemen, Charles is one of the few men revered by Swansea and Cardiff supporters alike. But then came Wales' one and only appearance at the World Cup finals at Sweden in 1958—and a quarter-final tussle with Pelé and Brazil. Mel Charles was voted the best center-half of the tournament, and a record-breaking transfer to Arsenal followed. Mel found himself enjoying the London high life alongside movie stars and singers. Injuries would blight his Highbury career, before he found happier times with Cardiff and the Welsh League. He went on to win 31 caps for Wales, including trips to Mexico and Brazil, and scored all four goals in one memorable international game. Always the joker, and the more outgoing of the Charles brothers, larger-than-life Mel embarked on some harebrained but hilarious business ventures after his football career ended, before watching son Jeremy become a Welsh international and letting his pub team play in Pelé's prized shirt in Sunday league matches. Now 74, but still celebrated by Welsh football fans as one of the heroes of 1958, "Charlo" tells his own uplifting story for the first time. (pb)