Glanville was educated at Charterhouse School, where he played football to a high standard. Since then, he has enjoyed a lengthy career, having ghost-written "Cliff Bastin Remembers", the autobiography of his hero at 19 and a noted critique of the British style of sportswriting in Encounter magazine in the late fifties, lamenting the lack of depth compared to the American style of Red Smith, Damon Runyon or A. J. Liebling New Statesman - Kicked into touch. As a journalist he spent nearly thirty years as a football correspondent for The Sunday Times, to which he is still a contributor, and has contributed to World Soccer magazine for over 15 years in print and online; he currently contributes a weekly column to the website covering a range of issues. In the 60s and 70s, Glanville was also a member of the jury which awards the yearly Ballon d'Or France Football (or European Footballer of the Year award. In addition has also written for The People and recently has contributed several obituaries of prominent players to The Guardian. Guardian Unlimited | Search |
In addition, his work has been seen in publications such as Sports Illustrated SI.com - Soccer - World Soccer's Glanville: Africa not ready for hosting - Tuesday May 25, 2004 9:41PM and the New Statesman New Statesman - Brothers at war, and the prominent American Football writer Paul Zimmerman has called him "the greatest football writer of all time." SI.com - Writers - More Mailbag - Friday June 8, 2007 1:59PM
He spent much of his career based in Italy and has been seen as one of the leading authorities on Italian football as a result. Whilst based in both Florence and Rome, he wrote regularly for the Italian daily Corriere Dello Sport, as well as occasional pieces for La Stampa and Corriere della Sera.
Glanville is noted for taking a critical view of many issues, often in contrast to the typical British sportswriter. For example, since its formation he criticised the Premier League as the "Greed is Good League" World Soccer and FIFA president Sepp Blatter is referred to as 'Sepp (50 ideas a day, 51 bad) Blatter' relating to his comments on women's football and the introduction of the silver goal (see Blatter article for more details).
During the 1960s, Glanville also worked as a writer for the satirical BBC TV programme That Was The Week That Was and wrote the screenplay for Goal!, the BAFTA award winning official film of the 1966 World Cup. As a novelist he has written mostly about football and life in Italy, with his 1956 novel Along the Arno particularly well-received by critics. He has also written The Story of the World Cup, a frequently updated history of the FIFA tournament.
Away from writing about football, Glanville is a life-long supporter of Arsenal F.C.
Brian (Lester) Glanville Biography - Brian Glanville comments:
The Reluctant Dictator - London, Laurie, 1952.
Henry Sows the Wind - London, Secker and Warburg, 1954.
Along the Arno - London, Secker and Warburg, 1956; New York, Crowell, 1957.
The Bankrupts - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, Doubleday, 1958.
After Rome, Africa - London, Secker and Warburg, 1959.
Diamond - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, FarrarStraus, 1962.
The Rise of Gerry Logan - London, Secker and Warburg, 1963; NewYork, Delacorte Press, 1965.
A Second Home - London, Secker and Warburg, 1965; New York, Delacorte Press, 1966.
A Roman Marriage - London, Joseph, 1966; New York, CowardMcCann, 1967.
The Artist Type - London, Cape, 1967; New York, Coward McCann, 1968.
The Olympian - New York, Coward McCann, and London, Secker andWarburg, 1969.
A Cry of Crickets - London, Secker and Warburg, and New York, Coward McCann, 1970.
The Financiers - London, Secker and Warburg, 1972; as Money Is Love, New York, Doubleday, 1972.
The Comic - London, Secker and Warburg, 1974; New York, Stein andDay, 1975.
The Dying of the Light - London, Secker and Warburg, 1976.
Never Look Back - London, Joseph, 1980.
Kissing America - London, Blond, 1985.
The Catacomb - London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1988.
Dictators - London, Smaller Sky Books, 2001.
A Bad Streak and Other Stories - London, Secker and Warburg, 1961.
The Director's Wife and Other Stories - London, Secker and Warburg, 1963.
Goalkeepers Are Crazy: A Collection of Football Stories - London, Secker and Warburg, 1964.
The King of Hackney Marshes and Other Stories - London, Secker andWarburg, 1965.
A Betting Man - New York, Coward McCann, 1969.
Penguin Modern Stories 10, with others - London, Penguin, 1972.
The Thing He Loves and Other Stories - London, Secker and Warburg, 1973.
A Bad Lot and Other Stories - London, Penguin, 1977.
Love Is Not Love and Other Stories - London, Blond, 1985.
Visit to the Villa (produced Chichester, Sussex, 1981).
Underneath the Arches, with Patrick Garland and Roy Hudd (produced Chichester, Sussex, 1981; London, 1982).
The Diary, 1987; I Could Have Been King, 1988.
Television Documentaries: European Centre Forward, 1963.
Cliff Bastin Remembers, with Cliff Bastin. London, Ettrick Press, 1950.
Arsenal Football Club, London, Convoy, 1952.
Soccer Nemesis, London, Secker and Warburg, 1955.
World Cup, with Jerry Weinstein. London, Hale, 1958.
Over the Bar, with Jack Kelsey. London, Paul, 1958.
Soccer round the Globe, London, Abelard Schuman, 1959.
Know about Football (for children). London, Blackie, 1963.
World Football Handbook (annual), London, Hodder and Stoughton, 1964; London, Mayflower, 1966-72; London, Queen Anne Press, 1974.
People in Sport, London, Secker and Warburg, 1967.
Soccer: A History of the Game, Its Players, and Its Strategy, NewYork, Crown, 1968; as Soccer: A Panorama, London, Eyre and Spottiswoode, 1969.
The Puffin Book of Football (for children), London, Penguin, 1970; revised edition, 1984.
Goalkeepers Are Different (for children), London, Hamish Hamilton, 1971; New York, Crown, 1972.
Brian Glanville's Book of World Football, London, Dragon, 1972.
The Sunday Times History of the World Cup, London, Times Newspapers, 1973; as History of the Soccer World Cup, New York, Macmillan, 1974; revised edition, as The History of the World Cup, London, Faber, 1980, 1984; revised edition, as The Story of the World Cup, London, Faber, 1997.
Soccer 76, London, Queen Anne Press, 1975.
Target Man (for children), London, Macdonald and Jane's, 1978.
The Puffin Book of Footballers, London, Penguin, 1978; revised edition, as Brian Glanville's Book of Footballers, 1982.
A Book of Soccer, New York, Oxford University Press, 1979.
Kevin Keegan (for children), London, Hamish Hamilton, 1981.
The Puffin Book of Tennis (for children), London, Penguin, 1981.
The Puffin Book of the World Cup (for children), London, Penguin, 1984.
The British Challenge (on the Los Angeles Olympics team), with Kevin Whitney, London, Muller, 1984.