on 27 September 2013
I was attracted to this book as, like the author, I am a Manchester United fan and my time supporting the club pretty much began around the time Sir Alex Ferguson (or just plain Alex back then) became United's manager in 1986. I have some recollection of the author's infamous banner and although I was not on the terraces in the dark days of 1989, I do recall the media were building up the pressure on Ferguson around that time and reporting that United supporters were vocal in putting across their displeasure about United's performances at that time. Ferguson would turn things around by winning his first trophy with Manchester United, the FA Cup, at the end of that season and the rest is history, with a further 37 trophies following before Ferguson's retirement earlier this year. This book is the author's homage to fifty years of supporting Manchester United and one which he started writing ten years ago, but which he continually delayed completion of because Ferguson showed no signs of retiring, until earlier this year.
For the most part, the author adopts a chronological approach to the structure of the book, although the opening chapter is used to set the scene and to give some explanation for why the author came to make the banner with which he has become synonymous. Therefore, the first chapter is largely set in the 1989/1990 season. In chapter 2, the author goes back to the day he first became a Manchester United supporter in 1963, on the day that United contested the FA Cup final and thereafter, events of the past fifty years are recollected in chronological order by the author, right up to United's twentieth league title success in 2013.
The author's knowledge of his favourite team is demonstrated throughout the book as his facts and recall of matches and of players is exemplary. This is not always the case when reading books on this subject and so the author is to be commended for his knowledge and recall. But more than this, what really shines through is the author's passion for his club as he describes the lengths he has gone to in order to attend key matches that his team have played over the past fifty years and some of the sacrifices he has made in order to attend, such as missing wedding ceremonies of family members in order to go to a match. You do not need to share the author's allegiance to Manchester United to identify with his commitment to his football team, some of his anecdotes will strike a chord with supporters of other football clubs.
Throughout the book, the author is refreshingly honest and insightful, both about himself and also in his appraisal of his football club under the stewardship of each manager over the past fifty years. There are some tender moments that go beyond the football, such as the sometimes difficult relationship he had with his father, who disapproved of his son's skewed priorities where Manchester United were concerned, as well as the sad tale of the car accident that occurred when the author and a group of friends had travelled back from an away match in adverse weather conditions in the 1970s. But for the most part, this is an enjoyable nostalgia romp that explains how Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson overcame adversity to dominate the English football landscape over the past two decades, told from an eye of a supporter who was there to witness it all from start to finish.
I found this book to be really easy to read and once I started reading, I did not want to put it down. I ended up reading the book in its entirety in three days. I really enjoyed the author's gentle, easy going and at times, humorous narration and found this conducive to extending my reading sessions. As a fellow supporter of Manchester United, I particularly enjoyed revisiting the 1989/90 campaign as the FA Cup campaign that ultimately saved Ferguson's job and which was pivotal in changing the author's opinion of him was one of my early memories of following the team as a child. United supporters will enjoy recalling the journey, while supporters of other teams will appreciate the author's sentiments about how football has changed for a supporter since the advent of the Premier League and Sky Television in 1992.
This book comes highly recommended from me and another small point of detail which adds to the reading enjoyment are the names of the chapters, which are lyrics from songs which in some way describe the period being discussed in the chapter, ranging from Mancunian bands such as The Stone Roses, James and Oasis, right through to Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Waterboys, Coldplay and Eminem. This also hints at the author also having a varied, eclectic and very good taste in music. A really enjoyable read for football supporters everywhere, not just those that support Manchester United.
on 29 September 2013
This is one of the best books I have read for a very long time. Its one of those books where you don't want to put down,and you never want it to end. It is humorous, it made me laugh out loud on many occasions. But there are also some serious moments, but it all adds up to a great read. This is a must read for all serious football fans, young and old.
on 17 October 2013
A FANtastic read for any United follower, new or old. Written in a very readable style and almost impossible to put down. Provides a great source of reference covering 50 seasons and full of interesting escapades and anecdotes that all true football followers can relate to.
on 31 July 2013
Just reading "Ta Ra Fergie" the book written by a friend and colleague from the past - Pete Molyneux. Pete has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Manchester United and has been building this book for years - waiting (and waiting and waiting!)for the day Sir Alex retires as the relevant time to bring out the book. Pete became famous for his protest to have Fergie removed as manager in the early years as performances were poor. As we all know, things changed and Sir Alex has now left us an incredible legacy. but Pete is brave enough to own up to his mistakes and I am delighted that he has now got the book published that he has talked about for so long. It is the very funny story of Pete's travels following United over the last 50 years (most of it under Fergie's rule)through thick and thin and I recommend it as a must read book for all Manchester United fans (and any Pete Moly fans that may not be United fans!).
Congratulations Pete and very well done!
on 30 July 2013
To millions sat at home in front of the TV with their prawn sandwiches on Saturday nights (or any night these days), it's a mystery why thousands of football fans travel up and down the country in pursuit of their favoured club. To those legions of travelling fans it's equally baffling why football isn't the centre of everyone's life, or possibly even worse, why anyone could sit on the sofa to watch football, and how some even 'support' 'their' club whilst wallowing in an armchair.
Reading Pete Molyneux's Ta Ra Fergie will help enlighten those masses how sport can ignite such passions. Written by a true football supporter - one who knows you are cursed or blessed with supporting one team from childhood to deathbed, whatever their successes or failures - it charts the highs and lows of faithfully following one team for over 50 years and 2,000 matches. It does help that the team happens to be Manchester United, always the glamour boys, and now the most successful team in British football. But put aside the fact that Pete has seen less bittersweet and more silver moments that the average fan, this IS the story of the Average Fan - the dream that every fan, regardless of club, embarks on at the start of every season; the triumph of deluded hope over bitter experience.
The book charts both the author's and the club's fortunes from childhood to the present day, with a fair helping of social history to add some spice. Along the way there's pain, despair, true tragedy, fashion disasters and plenty of joy. You'll also get the author's opinions on, amongst other things, stewarding, football chants, seafood, Liverpool, parenting, all-seater stadia, part-time (and God forbid, dual-team) supporters, team selections and Liverpool (again!). Molyneux isn't ashamed to hide his feelings - no more so than in December 1989, when he famously held up the banner at Old Trafford criticising manager Alex Ferguson- the incident that went down in United history and around which this book is written. And you even get a pop quiz thrown in for free!
This is essential reading for anyone who considers themselves a true Manchester United fan; but if you can put away your prejudices, it's a rollicking great rollercoaster ride of a book for any football fan - even those in the corporate hospitality boxes and from Merseyside.
on 8 October 2014
This is one of the best books I have ever read and a must for all Mancheter United fans of any age. It's written by a true fan, (not an ex player/manager, but someone like me who has followed his team for half a century). I literally could not put it down and will read it again when I can get it back from my mate who is of the same mind! The author's knowledge of United's past is truly encyclopedic and stirred many long forgotten memories. The lengths he went to support his team through the good, mundane and great times are truly remarkable.
I would encourage all Manchester United fans to buy this book to re-live the hard times as well as the many glory years from someone who has seen them all. Well Done and thanks Pete!
on 7 October 2013
I was, quite frankly, astonished how much I liked this book. It is not something I would usually read and was brought to my attention by a friend. I am not a football fan (at all) and challenged myself to read the book to see if it could offer any insight as to why tens of thousands watch football each week. What a pleasure it turned out to be! Mr Molyneux has an easy, accessible style mixing footy facts with personal insights and human interest. Clearly written by a true fan who successfully captures the emotion, compulsion and addiction of being an avid supporter and the way in which being part of the 'Stretford End' defines you as a person forever. A great read.
on 5 January 2015
An enthralling trawl through a half century of dedication to Manchester United. Not just the highs, but recalls a tragic low and is an honest recollection of the life of a fanatic (in the nicest meaning of the word)
As someone who knew Pete well in the early years of his journey, I can vouch for its accuracy & I'm not sure whether I'm envious or relieved that I hopped off the tour bus!!
A book you will find yourself immersed in if you have any interest in sport, excellent addition to anyone's sporting library. Top work Pete and look forward to the follow up, as no doubt more tales to tell!!
on 9 August 2013
If you are interested in football go out and buy this book now.
You don't need to be a United fan to enjoy this.
It tells a fascinating story of a young lad growing up in Manchester and being gripped by his love of a football club.
Something which seems to have taken over his life. All of his time seems to have been focused on his beloved team.
He said that he was employed by the local electricity company for most of his life - me thinks he was probably more interested in the fixtures and results rather than the tariffs and the bills!!
Treat yourself and buy a copy.
on 15 August 2013
I bought this book because I know the author and it seemed the right thing to do.
I knew he was a mad ManU fan (resisted the urge there to add some letters after the U) and had followed them here there and everywhere. But as an Evertonian, who was born not manufactured, what could I really enjoy about a book on ManU especially as I didn't know about the damned banner, why would I ? never mind who created it ?
So, I buy the Kindle version, I'm on holiday, in the US to see Everton pre-season, and well, why not I thought, I'll give it a go.
What a revelation, this isn't a book about ManU, well not really, it's not even a book about Fergie, come to think about it it's not even a book about the author.
It's a book about Passion, the Passion that gives you withdrawal symptoms if you miss a game, the Passion that makes you suffer all the agony for brief moments of glory (or not as the case may be).
It's about addiction, addiction to the cause, following your team to places near and far in short it's about fanaticism in its truest form.
ManU and Fergie are just the backdrop to an enthralling fan journey across decades that took Pete on a roller coaster ride to the promised land we all aspire to. As such you don't need to be a fan of ManU to enjoy this book you just need to be true fan of football and understand what that means, if you don't understand, you don't matter..
Once you pick this book up you won't put it down until you've finished it, it's that good - buy it, you won't regret it (Liverpool fans excluded!)