Manchester United: The Biography

Author: Jim White | Buy from Amazon (UK)

One book can never cover the whole of Manchester United’s history and so this book skimps on much of the detail that some fans will crave, but it’s a great starting place and offers the best general overview on the history of Manchester United. A must-have for any United fan’s bookshelf.

A Strange Kind of Glory: A Sir Matt Busby & Manchester United

Author: Eamon Dunphy | Buy from Amazon (UK)

Written beautifully, Eamon Dunphy’s biographical account of Sir Matt Busby, his former manager, is not one to be missed. It is just objectively an excellent read and highly-recommended by United Through Time. You’ll have to settle for a used copy now, though, it was published in 2007.

The Promised Land: Manchester United’s Historic Treble

Author: Daniel Harris | Buy from Amazon (UK)

Guardian journalist Daniel Harris is a lifelong Manchester United fan who produced the recent film BUSBY. In this book, he tells the story of United’s 1999 Treble season which culminated in last-minute glory at the Nou Camp. You know the story. Well, this is it in its very best form: great writing.

Sir Matt Busby: The Definitive Biography

Author: Paddy Barclay | Buy from Amazon (UK)

A regular guest on United Through Time, Paddy’s knowledge of Manchester United is wide and he is the biographer of three of the club’s managers. But his work on Sir Matt Busby is probably the best and it is the definitive book on the great Scotsman which perfectly balances the enormous variety of emotions in Sir Matt’s career. This is a favourite line of mine:

A Tale of Two Cities: Manchester United & Real Madrid 1957-1968

Author: John Ludden | Buy from Amazon (UK)

Another wonderfully written book from John Ludden, a Mancunion writer, that covers the relationship, or at least the beginning of it, between the world’s two biggest football clubs. Ludden also manages to gather the emotions of this period while including some fascinating stories about Busby, Duncan Edwards, Alfredo di Stefano, Sir Bobby Charlton and Don Santiago Bernabeu. It’s an important part of the club’s history told well.

Cantona: The Rebel Who Would Be King

Author: Philippe Auclair | Buy from Amazon (UK)

The catalyst for United’s success under Sir Alex Ferguson, there is so much to Eric Cantona. Philippe Auclair, a French journalist, brings the enigmatic character’s life together without fear or favour.

The Lost Babes: Manchester United and the Forgotten Victims of Munich

Author: Jeff Connor | Buy from Amazon (UK)

An important part of United history to understand and this book may make you shed a tear, but it’s an excellent read. It hones in on the difficulties faced by the bereaved relatives of the Babes, the troubles felt by the survivors and the shameful fact that United turned their back on its ‘family’ for too long.

Duncan Edwards: The Greatest

Author: James Leighton | Buy from Amazon (UK)

One of the Busby Babes who perished in the Munich snow in February 1958, Duncan Edwards’ legacy has stretched into the 21st-century. The Dudley-born footballer’s story is a must-read. Another tearjerker, mind.

Harry Stafford: Manchester United’s First Captain Marvel

Author: Ean Gardiner | Buy from Amazon (UK)

After years of groundbreaking research, this book changed the history of Manchester United. The story of United’s first great captain had been lost and mistold for decades, but Ean Gardiner tells the real story of a hard-tackling, beer-drinking, womanizing Newton Heath man who saved the club from extinction in the early 1900s, was suspended by the Football Association and later took £50 from United’s owner, told him he was headed for Australia and then boarded a boat to the United States, never to be seen again. You’ve got to read it.

Manchester United 1907-11: The First Halcyon Years

Author: Mark Metcalf | Buy from Amazon (UK)

The story of Manchester United’s first two league titles and first FA Cup. The formative years. Charlie Roberts, Billy Meredith, Ernest Mangnall et al. Gives real detail into what kind of footballers these great names were and how they played the game.

Episode Five: Charlie Roberts

United Through Time looks at Charlie Roberts – the first Manchester United captain to lift a league title. Part One: June 2nd, 2020Part Two: June 9th, 2020Part Three: June 16th, 2020 You can listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, acast and all other good podcast providers The Darlington-born centre half-back was a footballing pioneer. His style … Continue reading Episode Five: Charlie Roberts

Five good books about Newton Heath – the early years of Manchester United

It’s a part of Manchester United’s history that is far too often left uncovered. Nevertheless, the nature of the club’s fame means that there is still plenty written about Newton Heath Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Football Club. Here’s five good books on the subject. Harry Stafford: Manchester United’s First Captain Marvel With some groundbreaking research … Continue reading Five good books about Newton Heath – the early years of Manchester United

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