For most football players winning three Welsh Cups, three English First Division League titles, an FA Cup and two UEFA Cups would amount to a job extremely well done. For John Toshack, the haul underpinned a career in management which across four decades, has taken in ten countries across Europe and Africa.
Having become the youngest player in Cardiff City’s history, Toshack would accrue legendary status at Liverpool where he quickly formed a potent centre forward partnership with Kevin Keegan under the guidance of the great Bill Shankly.
With a stack of winners’ medals, Toshack would return to Wales again but this time with Swansea City, where, as a player-manager, he inspired his side from the Fourth Division to the top flight, a level they had never reached before.
Such a thrilling period was enough for Europe’s elite to take note, and after a year in charge of Sporting Lisbon, Toshack moved to Real Sociedad, becoming their first ever non-Basque boss. Toshack fell in love with the city, and the people fell in love with him after a Copa del Rey title in 1987.
A title with Real Madrid would follow during a season where Toshack’s team scored a record-breaking 107 goals. He would manage Sociedad three times and Madrid twice, becoming one of the most influential foreign coaches in Spanish football.
Never afraid of the unknown, Wales’ most recognisable manager also took charge of his country’s national team, Deportivo La CorunÌa, BesÌ§iktasÌ§, Saint-EÌtienne, Catania, Macedonia, Khazar Lankaran and Wydad Casablanca.
Toshack’s Way: My Journey in Football, tells his story in full for the first time: the decade at the top as a player in one of football’s most famous institutions; unprecedented success as a manager; glories across the Mediterranean and constant cultural discovery elsewhere in the globe.