In 1971, Warner Brothers bought a local football team, the New York Cosmos. In 1975 the club signed a three-year deal with Pele, the greatest player the game had ever known. More big name signings would follow: the German superstar Franz Beckenbauer, the charismatic Italian striker Giorgio Chinaglia and Brazil's 1970 World Cup winning captain, Carlos Alberto. Cosmos players were mainstays of the hedonistic club scene at Studio 54. Set against the backdrop of a city on the edge, Once In A Lifetime is much more than a football book. It is a vivid evocation of the mania that surrounded the Cosmos at the height of their powers in 1977 and the explosion in new forms of popular culture, the debauchery of Studio 54 and the razzmatazz and conspicuous expenditure that surrounded them. It is a story that embraces millionaires, superstars, gangsters, groupies, glamour, power struggles, alcoholic excess, drugs, and full-on fistfights. It also has some of the greatest football players ever to grace the game.
GAVIN NEWSHAM is a sportswriter and journalist who has written for the Guardian, The Sunday Times and the Observer Sport Monthly magazine; he is also the associate editor of Golf Punk magazine. Newsham was awarded the National Sporting Club Best New Writer in 2004 for his first book, Letting the Big Dog Eat. Once In A Lifetime was published by Atlantic Books in 2006. Gavin lives in Brighton with his wife and two children.