Yer Jokin' Aren't Ya? is the bizarre and gripping story behind Middlesbrough's epic 1996/97 season. When the Premier League ushered in a bright new era of English football, a Middlesbrough businessman named Steve Gibson asked a daring question. Why couldn't an untrendy team from a bleak North-East town join the elite of world football? With Bryan Robson at the helm, Gibson set out to prove it could be done. Gibson built a state-of-the-art stadium on the banks of the River Tees, and spent millions so the pitch would be graced by superstars. Robson helped attract Fabrizio Ravanelli, Emerson and the Brazilian maestro Juninho. For an ephemeral moment Boro's breathtaking football captured the nation's imagination. But chaos followed as Boro's season spiralled out of control. The book begins in the summer of 1996 and traces month by month how Boro's season unravelled due to the egos and excesses of this crazy team. It ended in tragedy, but for those who took part - and for the fans who witnessed it - it was a truly unforgettable time.
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Tom Flight is a British sportswriter based in Texas. He was a credentialed reporter for FC Dallas during the 2018 MLS season for Prost Amerika. He covered England during the 2018 World Cup for Prost Amerika and has been featured in the Football Pink. He has been a regular contributor to Everything MFC writing historical and opinion pieces on Middlesbrough FC. He is married with two children, Arlo & Lila. Yer Joking Aren't Ya is his debut book.