My Manchester United Years: The Autobiography Paperback – 29 May 2008
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'For anyone who loves football, this book cannot be ignored' (Leo McKinstry, The Times)
'beautifully crafted' (Daily Mail)
'It is the greatest story of British sport' (Sunday Express)
'With many autobiographies you wonder what the point was. Not this one. Not only is Bobby Charlton a figure whose life story should be told, but he has done so in a book of at times agonising honesty' (FourFourTwo)
'It's a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down. It has everything I would want a player of mine to know and feel about the game. Bobby Charlton is a great man and he has told a great story' (Sir Alex Ferguson)
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Top Customer Reviews
Not surprisingly it contains absolutely no scandal but instead it is full of stories that offer telling insights into not just Bobby Charlton but also Manchester United, football and life in general in the fifties, sixties and seventies.
One of the chapters, in which he writes about the days when as a boy he used to go to watch Sunderland or Newcastle United with his older brother Jack is particularly excellent. His description of how they used to stand in a particular part of the ground so they can watch the skills of a famous player close at hand is very evocative. Also excellent is the bitingly frank chapter in which he tells of the breakdown of his relationship with his mother following her rejection of his wife, Norma.
As you would expect though, it is the Munich airplane disaster that dominates this book, just as it as dominated Bobby Charltons life since that day. The events of that day are described wonderfully well, as are Bobbys feelings of bewilderment and guilt that he should survive the crash barely harmed whilst his beloved team mates and friends had perished.
An excellent book then, and I look forward greatly to the next of the proposed volumes, where I presume he will move onto his playing for England and the World Cup win in 1966.
It is one of the best autobiographies I have read and do hesitate in recommeding it to others. Well written, interesting and very honest.
Looming large of course over everything was the Munich air disaster. One couldn't help feeling that his rather dour, pre-occupied demeanour had emerged from that tragedy. It seems it was so. Here there are glimpses of the pre-Munich Charlton enjoying the company of his closest friends David Pegg, Eddie Colman and Tommy Taylor and his upward gaze to his hero Duncan Edwards. The world is truly at their feet. And then there is the crash. The heart is ripped out of the team but also the football heart to some degree silently seems to depart Bobby Charlton as well. He explains how he just can't understand how or why he survived, so unscathed, and his friends did not. It is something that will trouble him for a lifetime. The remainder of his life certainly however seems to have been driven by the need to bear witness to what was lost. Just one among many geniuses, Charlton bears testimony to the greatness of the others. "Here I am", he says, "see what I achieved and yet I was only ordinary among the Busby Babes."
Of course Bobby Charlton won the elusive European Cup with Busby at the helm, he won the World Cup with England and he played sublime football as one of the big three of Best, Charlton and Law. He deals in this book most passionately with Munich and with his family dispute with brother Jack and their mother - here one feels he is speaking from raw emotion.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was only 8 when Charlton retired so I just about remember the twilight of his career but nothing earlier. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Mr. D. R. Holding