Anthony Vickers' first Boro book, '25 Years On The Riverside Rollercoaster', is now available to pre-order online from MFC Official.

The author has lived and breathed the club's time at the Riverside, and it's been a true labour of love chronicling the period in our history.

"Boro’s move from Ayresome Park to the Riverside Stadium is by far the most important, successful and culturally significant transfer in the long history of the club," writes Anthony.

"The epoch-shaping switch from the rusting hulk of our old home to a swanky state-of-the-art new arena set the stage for an unprecedented era of success. It was a seismic shift, a conscious break from the barren decades of mediocrity that had burdened us. It was a bold step towards a bright new world of possibility.

"Ayresome had generated a powerful mythology and some magic memories down the generations but it had been a frustrating, empty century and the arthritic old ground had been a financial deadweight.  Even after the padlocks came off it was holding the club back.

"The Riverside was a Great Leap Forward. It was modern. It was clean. It was family friendly. It had fantastic sight-lines. It had kiosks and shops and silver service hospitality. It had toilets! It looked amazing. It had the facilities, sheen and sleek lines of a show home. It was the future.

"But building the new ground – the biggest in the UK for 60 years and the first all-seater stadium constructed after the Taylor Report - wasn’t just about shaping concrete and steel. It was about shaping a new mentality. It was about unleashing unashamed ambition and unlocking long dormant potential.

"The Riverside Stadium was a gleaming white cathedral to Steve Gibson’s vision of a proud, progressive new Middlesbrough that could flourish and compete at the highest level. It did just that.

"The move was the catalyst for a golden age of achievement and success far beyond the dreams of even the wildest-eyed optimist on the Holgate.

"The Riverside Rollercoaster has been an amazing 25 year white-knuckle ride packed with twists and turns, drama and heightened emotions. Yes, there have been disappointments, bleak winters and relegations. There have been far too many mandatory Wembley heartaches. We’ve had campaigns that have fizzled out into frustration.  

"But the highs have been incredible. And frequent. The Riverside era has produced vivid collective memories that have been burned with colour and passion into our psyche and our folklore and have given Boro fans a new sense of identity and pride.

"A new mythology too. Now our backstory revolves around a flurry of finals, a legion of legends, the euphoric taste of trophy triumph at Cardiff and two cavalier campaigns in Europe. Around Juninho, Southgate, Viduka and Leadbitter. Around pulsating nights and famous victories against Liverpool, Steaua Bucharest and Brentford. Around last day promotion shoot-outs and pitch invasions. Around success. The Riverside era has reshaped us.

"We have just passed the landmark 25th year at the Riverside and every single season has had its own distinct narrative. This book drills down into them all, recalling pivotal moments on the pitch and the emotional landscapes off it; reliving the rhythm and intensity of the matches and revisiting the cultural footprints left on our folklore.

"It covers the decision to move, the sense of awe as the steel skeleton and the whiff of paint and history on that first day and examines the changing crowd dynamics and fan culture over the years. There are flashbacks to the England internationals, big name friendlies and other high-profile events. It reconnects with the names, games and moments that excited and infuriated us so.

"It has been brilliant quarter of a century with a lot to celebrate."

#UpTheBoro

Priced at £15, pre-order now from mfcofficialdirect.co.uk for delivery from 25 October