When Mick Rathbone signed for Birmingham City as a 16 year-old apprentice he was living every schoolboy's dream. But when he discovered he was so nervous he was unable to speak, let alone pass the ball, in the presence of his boyhood hero and City star Trevor Francis he realised that a career in football might t be everything he had imagined. The Smell of Football is the brutally honest and utterly unputdownable story of how 'Baz' conquered his personal demons to build a life in the game - from the terrified teenager who purposely tried to get injured in training rather than get picked for the first team, to the experienced pro who became Head of Medicine at Premier League Everton FC in charge of the treatment of the likes of Wayne Rooney, Louis Saha and Tim Cahill. Brilliantly written and packed with hilarious tales featuring a football 'who's who' cast of characters - from Sir Alf Ramsey and 'Big Sam' Allardyce to David Moyes, Duncan Ferguson and Rooney himself - The Smell of Football is an engrossing and moving memoir that covers every aspect of the professional game and gives an unprecedented insight into what life is really like at football's coalface.
Mick 'Baz' Rathbone is unique in the game of professional football in that he has been a player, manager and physio. A no-nonsense full back, between 1975 and 1995 he turned out for Birmingham City, Blackburn Rovers, Preston North End and Halifax Town, where he began his career as a physio and ended up managing the team as they battled to retain their place in the Football League. He went on to become physio at Preston North End in 1995 and then in 2002 he was appointed Head of Medicine at Everton FC by David Moyes. He left Everton in 2010 but continues to work in professional football in a freelance capacity, most recently for the England U17 team, Preston North End and Coventry City.