If Only...



Imagine a world in which Scotland win the first-ever World Cup, where Derby County are champions of Europe and 1966 isn't the only year that England win anything.

Simon Turner’s If Only boldly turns football history on its head.

  • What was the greatest sporting clash of the 20th century? Ali-Frazier? McEnroe-Borg? How about Clough vs. Cruyff, when Derby County met Ajax in the 1973 European Cup final?
  • Ramsey’s Double; why the first nation to win both the World Cup and European Championship really should have been England
  • The greatest clash between England and Scotland: Bannockburn, 1314? Wembley, 1967? Or Rome, 1984 when Dundee United met Liverpool in the European Cup final?
  • Forget 1966; the first of the home nations to win the World Cup should have been Scotland. If Only tells how that incredible triumph could have come 36 years earlier
  • The greatest overachievers of all time? Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest? Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City? If Only explains how it could have been Jim McLean’s Dundee United
  • England vs Argentina 1990; If Only reveals how England could have avenged the Hand of God in the most bitter World Cup final of all time
  • Should Leeds United have won the European Cup in 1975? Probably. Could Leeds really have won the Champions League in 2001? Certainly!

If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game is a fiercely original counterfactual history of football. It is often tempting to believe in the grand sweep of history; to conclude that the triumphs of football's greatest teams were simply inevitable. The truth, however, is that history can turn on what appear, at first glance, to be infinitesimally small events. Behind all those triumphs lie the countless disappointments of teams that were denied glory by a cruel bounce, the width of a crossbar or a dubious refereeing decision. Challenging the perception that the outcome of great clashes could never have been any different to what they were, If Only reflects on what our football history could have been, what it might have been and, in some cases, what it probably should have been.

If Only makes an enthralling journey along the paths that fate forgot. Featuring breathless depictions of the greatest games never played, it will delight the dreamer in every football fan.

It’s out now. Or possibly tomorrow if you live in a parallel universe.

Click here for more information, or to read a sample from If Only.