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Duncan Edwards: The Greatest (MUFC) Paperback – 31 Jan 2013
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About the Author
James Leighton lives in Cardiff. Following a legal career, he became a full-time writer. Having played football at a semi-professional level, followed by a spell coaching in America, he continues to watch sport at all levels. He is the author of several books on football, including Duncan Edwards: The Greatest
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"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.
I knew much about Duncan Edwards as I had sought out information on the almost mythological status of this particular Player who died along with many other talented Team-mates and Journalists that fateful, terrible snowy night in Munich - but even so James' book enlightened & informed me hugely - partly thru his obviously diligent & exhaustive research, but also through his very apparent talents as a Writer.
EVERY Manchester United Fan - from Manchester to Mandalay - should see it as their duty as well as a labour of love to read this Book and acquaint themselves with a Man and a truly gifted Football Player with the World quite literally at his feet and by global common consent at the time was destined to become one of the Greatest Football Players OF all-time.
Manchester United Football Club transcends Football - such is it's status inside & outside the game around the World. This is in no small part due to it's History, it's Achievements, the calibre and class of it's Players & Managers, the Munich Air Disaster, it's Footballing prowess ethos & values, it's innately Dramatic modus operandi almost - and Duncan Edwards is a key key figure in all these regards.
James Leighton's book captures & shares all of this brilliantly.
Duncan Edwards - The Greatest was recently shortlisted for 2012 William Hill Sports Book Of The Year.
In a thirst for knowledge, I decided to purchase this book to fill in the missing pieces.
A well researched book, and a fantastic read for any football fan!
RIP Big Dunc.
Having read this book and perhaps I'm tinged with a little bit of Black Country bias I believe "our Dunc" is probably the greatest player ever. Why?
1. Read the book!
2. Having read the book and digested the conclusions, could any other player past or present achieved what Edwards did in so many different positions, with such quality and with the praise that he did in such a short career. It's obvious he was a freak. That's a compliment.
3. Who could come close? In the modern game, for me it would be Gullit. Similar in stature, pace and if asked, could play anywhere. Rooney - if bigger would try and play any position. You have to admire him. Gullit for me is the closest.
Many clubs and countries have great players, Steve Bull, Jeff Astle, Nat Lofthouse, Stan Mathews, Pele, Eusabio, Beckenbauer, Colin Bell etc etc so many. For me having read the book, the newspaper articles, and watched the film available Duncan Edwards is the Greatest footballer ever
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