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Duncan Edwards: The Greatest [Hardcover]

James Leighton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: 18.99
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Book Description

24 May 2012
One of the greatest players of all time, Duncan Edwards's story is one of tragic heroism. From a working class Dudley upbringing, Edwards rose to great heights at Manchester United. In only five years, he helped United to win two League Championships and to reach the semi-finals of the European Cup. Edwards made his England debut in a game against Scotland at the age of 18 years and 183 days, becoming the youngest player for England since WW2 - a record which stood until Michael Owen's debut over forty years later. He went on to play 18 games for his country, including all four of the qualifying matched for the 1958 World Cup, in which he was expected to be a key player. Sir Bobby Charlton described him as 'the only player that made me feel inferior' and Terry Venables claimed that, had he lived, it would have been Edwards, not Bobby Moore, who would have lifted the World Cup as captain in 1966. Page-turning and poignant, author James Leighton tells a story of a magnificent sportsman and great man - the perfect antidote to the headline-grabbing footballers of today.

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Duncan Edwards: The Greatest + The Lost Babes: Manchester United and the Forgotten Victims of Munich + The Busby Era [DVD]
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 287 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857207814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857207814
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.6 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,545 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Leighton is a professional author who writes non-fiction thrillers and sporting biographies. Born and raised in Cardiff, Wales, James qualified as a litigation lawyer in 2007 before embarking on his dream career as a writer. Since then James has had five books published, with his next book, Alligator Blood, scheduled for international release in 2013. While James is a huge football fan he also enjoys playing poker, watching Quentin Tarantino films, and anything to do with The Beatles.

Product Description

About the Author

James Leighton is a professional writer from Cardiff. Following a legal career the biography of Duncan Edwards is the fourth book James has had published. Having played at a semi-professional level, followed by a spell coaching in America, James continues to watch the game at all levels as he looks for inspiration for future projects.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
James Leighton's wonderful Book on Duncan Edwards is a must-read for any Manchester United fan.
"Without any past we have no present, without any present we have no future" - and so it is that any Football Club's History & Tradition in these days of Footballing multi-millionaires, WAGS, ostentatious Mansions/Cars and egomaniacal parasitic Owners now more than ever we need to be remember, seek out and remind ourselves what Football is really about. Where it all started. How it got here.
My deep love for Manchester United and the Sport of Football itself has been sorely tested by my own Club and many other Clubs in the last decade or so, and this is why reaching back into Manchester United - Football's - history is now more than ever so important if that Love for the Beautiful Game is to remain unsullied or diluted.
This fine Book maintains superbly well the tradition of Writer-Historians reaching back into what seems like another world to remind us how The Beautiful Game came to have such a moniker attached to it in the first place.
Life for people like Duncan Edwards and their class was tough back in the mid-1900's - we rarely think how good we have it by comparison - but James' book transports the reader back utterly convincingly to the period into which Duncan Edwards was born, grew up and played his way to becoming a Manchester United Player & Legend as well as an England International.
In the same way that I didn't have to be a Horse Racing fan to be captivated by Laura Hillenbrand's "Seabiscuit" so it is that you don't have to be a Manchester United Fan - or even a fan of Football (though it might help!) - to enjoy James Leighton's excellent Book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A true legend. 15 Jun 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Author James Leighton has written an in depth biography of,possibly,the finest footballer of all-time.Although much of the book consists of the things i already knew about Edwards this book links it all together and gives the reader an indepth look at what the player was all about.Giving accounts of his early life,schoolboy football through united's youth teams and his senior football.All told in well in a flowing manner.There are stories from those who knew him and details from many of the games Edwards played in.His death is told of in a sensitive and touching way.A great book and an excellent read for any football fan or Biography reader.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still mourned, still greatly missed 1 July 2012
Just how good was Duncan Edwards? Because of the extensive TV coverage that football receives nowadays most of us will have seen the modern day superstars in action many times. This means that in future years people will have enough evidence on film to be able to decide whether Messi and the like warrant a place in footballs "all time great" list. Unfortunately we don't have that luxury with Duncan Edwards, who tragically lost his life after sustaining massive injuries in the Munich air disaster of 1958. In those days TV cameras didn't cover football matches as a matter of course, and very little footage survives of those games that were captured on film. Instead we have to mainly rely on the testimony of those that saw him play but, as this book so ably illustrates, everybody that saw Edwards in action agree that he was not just an extraordinary player, but could perhaps have become the greatest footballer of all time.

I, for one, have only seen Duncan Edwards's play in a few minutes of grainy black & white news footage and whilst that allowed me a glimpse of his playing ability what it didn't allow me to witness were Duncan's other qualities and, as this book so tells us, it is these other qualities that sets him apart from any other player, before or after. He may have only been a boy of 16 when he made his Manchester United debut but even then he displayed the maturity of a man many years his senior. He was built like a brick wall too; as his career progressed some claimed that he was overweight but they were wrong, Edwards was solid muscle and he certainly knew how to use it although some of his challenges could be a little too robust and would earn him many a red card these days.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Duncan Edwards the Greatest 8 July 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is well researched, well written and interesting. I was a youngster during that period and I found it fascinating as it gave a more indepth picture of what was happening then. Would recommend it to all true football fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! 14 Jun 2012
By Jan
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Couldn't wait for this book to arrive and what a fantastic read! I thought I had read all there was about Duncan, but I learned even more about this amazing footballer. The author has done justice to the memory of the greatest footballer of all. Couldn't put the book down and digested all there was to read slowly because it captured your interest from beginning to end. It has become my prized possession now that it has been signed by Duncan's cousins.
This is one book that I will never tire of reading over and over again. Well done James.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An incalculable loss 9 Aug 2014
This book is detailed, well-researched, lively and above all moving. It captures the full power and grace of Duncan Edwards the footballer as well as the tragedy of his death whilst still a young man. I was skeptical whether the author would discover anything new in the all too short life of this footballing legend, about which much has already been written. I was wrong. James Leighton brings out original material, combines it with thorough research and weaves it together perfectly, bringing Edwards vividly to life on and off the field.

Perhaps the defining feature of the book is that Duncan Edwards appears real, not an infallible super-hero but a credible human being who happens to be an outstanding footballer. Yet his exceptional talent is heightened, not diminished, by the description. He does have off games; he does boil over; he even gets dropped occasionally, but more often than not his unique combination of skill, strength, bravery, motivation and character combine to win games for club and country, inspiring team-mates, leaving an indelible mark on those he played with and on those he lived alongside. However, above all he was a decent man.

Throughout the story of Duncan Edward’s life you have to keep bringing yourself back to the remarkable fact he was only 21 years old when he died. It is this amazing combination of achievement and youth which remains, leaving a sense of wonder and admiration. And yet in other ways he was only a boy. When his mother, Annie, comes to see him in the Munich hospital, Edwards still without a driving license, refers to his garaged Morris Minor: “Keep it on the road, Mum, for when I get better”. He was only a boy. Incomparable, as Sir Bobby Charlton said. His was an incalculable loss.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Husband didn't like this. It presumes 'what if he hadn't died ...
Husband didn't like this. It presumes 'what if he hadn't died and gone on to captain England.'
Published 26 days ago by MRS H MOODY
5.0 out of 5 stars I was 14 years old.
Duncan Edwards was my favourite player up to 1958 and still to this day, he was probably the best. I thank you for this book well priced, dispatched on time, well packaged Many... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ronald Lovell
5.0 out of 5 stars The best there was
This covers everything about the best player I ever saw.
It was very difficult the read the last passages as there was so must still for him to achieve.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest of them all
A good read I learnt a good bit about his childhood/schooldays. If like me you are not old enough to have seen him play. There is plenty of insights from people who knew him well. Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Dixon
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
I have followed Manchester United since my childhood in the seventies and have seen great teams come and go but the history of the Busby Babes is fascinating. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs Dawson
5.0 out of 5 stars present for hubbie
I bought this as a present for my husband - he was overjoyed with it and really enjoyed reading it.
Published 5 months ago by dinah
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly researched
I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was about time I learned more about this great footballer that was tragically taken away from us at such a young age. Read more
Published 5 months ago by rpmcquillan
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Like a lot of MUFC fans I really did not know a lot about Duncan Edwards.
The author has certainly researched the facts and has written a really good book on this iconic... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Stubbuteo
5.0 out of 5 stars kindle purchase
bought this as a hard back a few years ago and my husband enjoyed it but gave it away once it had been read. So thought i would invest for him it again but this time on kindle.
Published 11 months ago by anita
5.0 out of 5 stars Duncan
I was born in Dudley and I'm a Birmingham fan, however I always tell people I was born in Dudley first. Great book of the great account of possibly the best player in the world.
Published 11 months ago by Laurence Orr
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