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When Football Was Football MANCHESTER UNITED

A Nostalgic Look at a Century of Football
2009
Andy Mitten
Out Now
£18.99
Hardcover
9781844258260

George Best, Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law, Duncan Edwards, Sir Matt Busby, Billy Meredith, Paddy Crerand, Alex Stepney, Nobby Stiles, Lou Macari, Bryan Robson and Stuart Pearson. These Manchester United greats set the standards for others to follow, their names forever etched into a glorious history which made United a world renowned institution long before Sir Alex Ferguson led success in the Premiership.

The modern Manchester United is virtually unrecognisable from the club that existed before the formation of the Premier League in 1991. United win league titles with a regularity unimaginable in the 1970s and '80s. There has been a transformation at Old Trafford, from the aesthetics of a virtually rebuilt and constantly expanded stadium, to the money earned by top players. In 1992, Manchester United's best-paid men took home £6,000 a week and Eric Cantona arrived on a basic wage of £5,400. In the years before the Frenchman's arrival, Old Trafford seldom sold out.

When Football Was Football Manchester United is a book packed with hundreds of evocative images from the Daily Mirror's extensive archive, many previously unpublished; capturing the most important events in United's history: the triumphs of the first trophies, the tragedy of the Munich disaster and the successes that followed. There are revealing, rarely seen shots of United icons such as Edwardian superstar Billy Meredith, Sir Matt Busby and his first captain, Johnny Carey, lost "Babes" Duncan Edwards and Tommy Taylor and the stars of United's first European Cup-winning side, George Best, Denis Law, Sir Bobby Charlton, Paddy Crerand and Nobby Stiles.

But Manchester United is not just about the players. Long before the Premiership, Sky TV and Saturday morning kick-offs football was the preserve of working-class people who flocked to matches in vast numbers. Those fans - whether queuing for tickets in the 1960s, as marauding hooligans in the '70s or dressed as bizarre mascots - are all portrayed in the book, as is the development of Old Trafford from a bomb-damaged stadium beside billowing factories to the Stretford End at its ear-splitting peak. When Football Was Football Manchester United takes you on an exciting journey through the gripping and inspiring first century of Manchester United - a time when football was football.

Author Andy Mitten - whose great uncle Charlie Mitten starred in Sir Matt Busby's first great side - started United We Stand in 1989 (aged 15) which he still edits. He is a regular contributor to FourFourTwo, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday, The Guardian and GQ and has visited 85 countries in every continent, covering derby games from Israel to the Faroes and interviewed players like Ronaldinho, Keane, Gerrard and Messi. He has written or co-written nine books including the critically acclaimed We're the Famous Man United, Paddy Crerand's autobiography Never Turn The Other Cheek and Mad For It - From Blackpool to Barcelona, Football's Greatest Rivalries. Manchester born and red, Andy divides his time between the M16 and Barcelona.

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