“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 SonsOfUnited.com
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Made in Manchester is available for just £3. Some of the best football writers take a player each, from Sir Bobby Charlton to Ryan Giggs, George Best to David Beckham, Duncan Edwards to Paul Scholes, and many more, with 30 articles in total. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.