From the publisher:
Boxing Day 1962: Sunderland's star striker Brian Clough suffers a career-ending knee injury when he collides with an outrushing goalkeeper. After a forlorn battle to regain fitness, he retires early and sinks into deep despair. October 1965: Clough persuades ex-'Boro teammate Peter Taylor to join him in managing perennial North-East strugglers Hartlepools United, lying next to bottom of the Fourth Division.
A magical football odyssey has begun. Alchemy reveals the bittersweet reality of Brian Clough and Peter Taylor's first management job together. Lower-league Hartlepools United are penniless, with a meddling chairman, a ramshackle ground and want-away players.
Yet the management pair tackle every challenge head-on, forging a winning blueprint that later transforms unfashionable Derby County and Nottingham Forest into League and European Cup champions. Exploiting a wealth of archive newspapers, plus interviews with those present at the creation, Alchemy exposes the humble origins of Clough & Taylor's meteoric rise to the top of the football tree.
Despite being born and raised in London, Christopher Hull has been following Hartlepool United since 1978. He is the author of Our Man Down in Havana (Pegasus, 2019), which William Boyd described as 'A revelation and a delight.'