Biteback is delighted to announce that The Greatest Comeback: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover has been shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2017. The book tells the story of Béla Guttmann, who survived the Holocaust and went on to become the world’s first superstar football coach.

Having narrowly dodged death by hiding for months in an attic near Budapest as thousands of fellow Jews in the neighbourhood were dragged off to be murdered, Guttmann later escaped from a slave labour camp. His father, sister and wider family perished at the hands of the Nazis.

But by 1961, as coach of Benfica, he had lifted one of football’s greatest prizes: the European Cup – a feat he repeated the following year. Rising from the death pits of Europe to become its champion in just over sixteen years, Guttmann performed the single greatest comeback in football history.


Praise for The Greatest Comeback:

“David Bolchover has produced a remarkable work: as a history book alone, it carries the reader through a hideous chunk of the twentieth century in the most deft and compelling way, while as a biography of a great football coach it is both original and definitive.” Patrick Barclay

“Moving, original, full of insight, this is a gripping tale told by a skilled storyteller.” Daniel Finkelstein

“David Bolchover has expertly woven one huge, tragic strand of twentieth-century history together with a great footballing story.” Henry Winter

“A remarkable life has the thoughtful, passionate biography it has long deserved."  When Saturday Comes