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More England than Bobby,
This review is from: My England Years: The Autobiography (Hardcover)
This is the second part of Sir Bobby Charlton's fascinating autobiography. In the first, "My Manchester United Years", he provided a lot of moving personal insight into, for example, his trauma post-Munich air disaster, how the club dealt with the other surviving players and their families, and his, at times, difficult relationship with his mother and brother. In other words it was a personally revealing book. This second part, by comparison, is in many ways more typical of a footballer's autobiography, focusing on match details and brief, albeit personal, pen pictures of the characters involved. For regular consumers of books covering this era of football there is little new or surprising here.
Despite this, the book is well-written, thoughful and informative. Here this great footballer leaves aside the pain and angst of Munich and transmits something of the sheer quality and competitiveness of football at the highest level. His convictions about teamwork are clear and here you feel is where he was most comfortable, immersed in what he did best alongside others of the same kind, where the only questions were how to play and how to win.
Finally, there are some striking glances into just how accessible top footballers used to be. For example, this most famous of Englishmen popped out to do some shopping on the morning of playing in the World Cup Final, in the capital city of his own country. I can vouch for this as I once wandered up his front drive, after he was a World and European Cup winner, and while he was hoovering the inside of his car I had a chat and obtained an autograph. For anyone who grew up watching Sir Bobby and remembers the era when he was simply the best English player alive then this book is a must-buy complement to volume one.