Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bobby Charlton for Manchester United (v Benfica), 29 May 1968

I have just finished reading the club part of Sir Robert's autobiography, imaginatively titled My Manchester United Years.

Whilst he's never been the most controversial figure in the world, I found it a really interesting read - as you'd hope from one of the finest footballers these shores have ever produced. From his upbringing in the North East (saving his pocket money to go and watch Newcastle United with his elder brother) to captaining United to European Cup success it is an interesting tale as much for the inisght to football in the 1950s and 1960s as it is about his own life.

As expected, the chapters devoted to the disaster at Munich are moving and emotional as he tells the story through the eyes of a survivor, confused as to why he was spared when so many of his talented team-mates perished in the accident. He also shares his all-time Manchester United XI with us (which, to be fair, contains few surprises.)

It's not a controversy laden autobiography lifting the lid on the internal workings of United but it is a charmingly modest and interesting story of one of the game's most famous and well-respected characters.

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