Manchester United: The Biography

man utd bio pic

Manchester United: The Biography: The Complete Story of the World’s Greatest Football Club, Jim White

Jim White’s book tells the story of one of the world’s great football clubs.  As a Manchester United fan of almost 20 years, I am pretty familiar with the Fergie era and admit that anything before 1994 was a vague knowledge of the Munich Air Disaster, the 68 European Cup win and the relegation of 1974.  Starting with the early days around Newton Heath, White retells the days of near bankruptcy (twice), early successes and failures, the rise of the Busby Babes, the lean years of the 70’s and 80’s and finally, the emergence of Alex Ferguson and nearly 25 years of success at every level.

White’s stories added depth to incidents that I was familiar with—Fergie in 1990, why Ruud and Keano left, the Glazer takeover— and the comments on Sir Alex at the end of the book were especially poignant, considering I read them right after the great man retired, for real this time.  One disappointment was that the lean years were glossed over, and while I agree that it would not have been great reading, it would have given context and contrast to the great times.

If you’re not a United fan, not sure what the book offers you.  A glimpse into a great side, a sense of history.  If you are a United fan, it’s well worth the read.  Biased, not keen to show too many warts, but re-living those moments of glory throughout the years is a treat.  This is a book I can return to time and time again as I continue to learn more about the club.

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