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Forever a Babe: Growing Up With Manchester United Paperback – 25 Mar 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Booklocker Inc.,US (25 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601457812
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601457813
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.1 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,448,131 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ian Spencer on 14 April 2009
Format: Paperback
By a quirk of fate I happen to have been privileged to have read this book just before it was published having met Tom and his wife for the first time last week.

I found it a compelling, entertaining, informative, interesting and emotional read. I'm sure that football bias won't allow some folks to appreciate this work - but more fool them.

Manchester Utd fans ought to lap it up.

As for the title of this review: you'll have to ask Tom....
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nicholas Midgley on 19 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
This is as compelling and comprehensive an account of 1950s era Manchester United as you're likely to read. What makes it particularly effective is the way Tom Clare weaves autobiography and local social history in with first-hand recollections of United and his heroes by a genuine, passionate fan.

The autobiographical stuff is interesting and deftly avoids over-indulgence. The social history is genuinely fascinating, and the footballing side of the story is practically compulsory reading for true fans.

It may be stretching things a little too far to say that you don't need to be a United fan, or even a football fan in general, to enjoy this, but the warmth, affection and storytelling prowess Tom displays throughout the book makes it VERY readable. A quick skim through by a sympathetic sub-editor might have polished off the very occasional rough edge, but that's just a very minor technicality.

For those who were around Manchester and United at the time, it will be pure nostalgia (in the best sense of the word). For those of us who weren't, it's priceless eye-witness recollection and insight.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kerry Simpson on 30 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I've been reading and listening to Tom's recollections about the Babes for a number of years now and have often remarked, along with others, that he should write a book, I'm glad he finally listened to us all!

Tom has always spoken with such passion about United during the 50's and this passion is reflected in his book. I found it to be a riveting read which often moved me to tears or caused me to laugh out loud. His memories are so clear that it is easy to picture the scenes he describes and he gives a real insight in to how football was during a much more innocent age.

A truly wonderful read that I would recommend to anyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Nelson on 11 Jan 2010
Format: Paperback
There have been libraries of books written about Manchester United and the tragedy of Munich, most notably Bobby Charlton's engaging autobiography, My Manchester United Years.

But have you ever wondered what life in Manchester was like in the 1940's and 50's for a typical United supporter, and how the Munich disaster impacted on a young Mancunian boy of the time, whose footballing idols were cruelly, terribly snatched away? If so, this is the book for you.

Tom Clare doesn't simply paint a picture of life in central Manchester in that era - he draws you in, immerses you in the environment and the family and social relationships that were at the heart of Mancunian life in the mid-20th century. You begin to understand the grinding poverty that was prevalent in the city, and how it chiselled the tough but generous and compassionate core of so many Manchester people of Tom's age.

And of course, Tom's great gift to the reader is his eloquent, passionate, eye-opening history of Manchester United from their inception at Newton Heath, through to Munich - as seen through the eyes of the Clare family from his beloved Grandpa and down the generations. This family can truly say, "we were there", and many of the urban myths that sprung up around the club are put straight, courtesy of Tom's clear and succinct recollections.

Tom's deeply personal and emotional acccount of the months leading up to Munich in 1957/58, and its heart-wrenching aftermath, compels you to grieve anew for the lost Babes. Tom has created a lens back in time for you to see them for who they truly were - joyous, innocent, humble young men, who loved life, their trade, their club, and the Manchester community who embraced and adored them.
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