rss twitter facebook mobile

Sons of United

RoM has a copy of the excellent Sons of United eBook to give away. Tony Park, one of the authors of the book, has given some background to how the book came about.

“I met my friend Steve Hobin ten years ago at an Academy match and he was already working on a version of the book. We were both passionate about the youth team and so decided to pool resources and work together on something that has never been covered before by any other club or author. It really is a unique piece of history.

Sons of United is a chronicle of the Manchester United Youth Team. United were one of the first teams to develop a true youth policy before WW2 and it was continued by Matt Busby and Jimmy Murphy through the 1940’s and 1950’s leading to the birth of the Busby Babes. Even though we had poor results in the 1970’s and 1980’s, Alex Ferguson reintroduced the focus on youth leading to the development of the ‘Class Of ‘92’. The book is more like an encyclopaedia, as it covers the whole history of the youth team from 1932 to 2011 and uses the FA Youth Cup as its central theme. Every match has a dedicated page and every player is mentioned. The book explains why the youth culture is so prevalent at the club and why it is so important to our future.

We have focused more on the winning seasons as there is more to say so in that context the 1950’s, 1990’s and late 2000’s all have strong coverage. However, it all depended on what visual material we had at our disposal. So some seasons when we didn’t do that well are covered in some detail as we have some amazing photos, player quotes or historical context. In terms of players, we have included a biography on every player who played in the first five seasons, every captain, and then a handful of others which we think are interesting.

I think the book is unique in many ways. Firstly no-one has ever written in such detail about a clubs youth team. The book has 576 pages, it has colour throughout, with over 500 photos most of which have never been seen before. There are over 100 original match reports from the time, player quotes, 115 player biographies as well as the statistical history. It covers the development of players like Edwards, Charlton, Stiles, Giles, Best, Albiston, Whiteside, Hughes, Giggs, Beckham, Neville, O’Shea, Fletcher, Welbeck and Cleverley in a period before they became international stars.

The visual content really is outstanding and even on that alone would make the book worthwhile buying…

I think United has always been renowned for developing young talent…this book gives you the background on how all that happened and shaped the clubs culture into what it is today.”

The book can be downloaded for £19.99 via our website

To be in with a chance of winning a copy, simply retweet this on Twitter.

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. AlphaRS says:

    Nobody cryin about them calling United Man U..?! That’s a first.
    Stand up, if you love Man U…! A song I have heard sung at OT on many occasions.

  2. RedHound says:

    i hear you AlphaRS!

  3. WeAreUnited says:


    Yeah Nani is better suited in the attacking role, is it’s for example

    Rooney RVP Nani

    Kagawa Anderson
    Cleverley (Anderson and Cleverley could swap during the game)

    Evra Vidic Ferdinand Rafael

    This is if we want to play our strongest field, And if something then, Anderson off and Carrick to his place, but Carrick to be a DM and Cleverley up.

  4. wayne says:

    Unless Nani gets his shit together and turns his game around he’s best suited for the bench

  5. rohan_19 says:

    think if nani knuckles down, he can still turn it around.

    talent is not a problem.

  6. wayne says:

    Rohan_19 agreed mate talent’s never been a problem decision making and attitude is what needs to be sorted.I’m really under the belief he might have shot his load,when a player ends up on Sir Alex’s bad side it normally means curtains
    One thing though Utd shouldn’t sell him cheap,read today AC Milan want him for 15 mill euros which is a fucking joke

  7. samuel - united WE stand says:

    I think nani is too good to be sidelined. He’s a confidence player, he needs encouragement. If he has to leave united to become even better then i wouldn’t hold him back. He’s one of those players some will later regret seeing leave because i feel he still has more to offer and will.
    i’ve always said players of skill aren’t appreciated in the english league. They’ll chant for a player that makes a square pass or fly into a bad tackle, they’ll praise those that boot the ball down the wind and chase after it, they’d applaud the “big fella in the box” and mock those with imagination, guile and ability, they’ll accuse them of showboating. english game rolled into one.

  8. Marq says:

    After what happened to Vidic, and Hargreaves, and Saha, and more, the last thing we want is to rush back Smalling. Let him take his time to recover fully from whatever is keeping him out

  9. Ash says:

    rooney scores for england. He is in good form. Just come back fully fit.

  10. dannysoya LOVES USAIN BOLT says:

    Both Carrick and Rooney are giving the ball away like it’s no man’s business. Geez. Keep it for five minutes at least.

  11. Sushi says:

    Well said Samuel I totally agree I really think at the core Nani is an exceptional player and needs confidence and encouragement to bring that extra value to the team. He has imagination and that’s not something that should be punished. Yes he can be frustrating but in the end it’s worth it I see no reason to dump him. That achieves nothing who would we replace him with? I can’t think of any wingers that we could get at a reasonable price that would acclimate to the EPL as Nani has even its been a somewhat bumpy road. He has put all this work in as have united
    In developing him.

  12. Sushi says:

    Often a criticism levelled at Nani is he doesn’t track back as much as say Valencia but they are different players. Nani has been developed as an attacking player that should have the same freedom that Ronaldo enjoyed who often didn’t track either. I think if
    Fergie realizes that Nani isn’t really that great at defending and won’t be anytime and gives him more freedom in an attacking set up then he can really shine. In the end it comes down to our defence we need to shore it up with midfield doing the trackback .

  13. denton davey says:

    dannysoya @ 16:39: “Both Carrick and Rooney are giving the ball away like it’s no man’s business.”

    Young Tom wasn’t much better.

    On the other hand, taking off TheWayneBoy and bringing on Oxlade-Chamberlain ? No doubt, there were “football reasons” for Woy’s decision.

    Keeping DannyTheLad on the bench while playing Jermaine Defoe – more “footballing reasons” ?

  14. parryheid says:

    I’ve got a criticism of Nani,he is a quality player who’m I expect to do something special every game he plays.I don’t expect it all the game but I do expect it at some point in every game and he is not doing it so fuck im


You must be logged in to post a comment.