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Why You Should Read Daniel Harris’ Book

The ever-so-charming Daniel Harris sent me a copy of his book a few weeks ago as well as a copy to give away in a competition. How very nice. I was very busy for a few weeks though so in the end saved up reading it for my trip to France.

By the time the plane had landed I was about a third of the way through, having read it non-stop from Manchester. I paused momentarily for my apple juice and biscuits (something Air France passed off as ‘brunch’) but other than that, literally couldn’t put it down.

For those of you who read the blog regularly, you’ll understand why I got good vibes from the book when just a few pages in.

It’s a while since a player has so split opinion, the snobbery of a Berbaphile aesthetes such as myself winding up those ingrates irked with his languid style and vice-versa. Following his goal, a mate of mine in the latter category commented on the smug glances I was unwittingly shooting him, and he was right – along with a fair few others, I’ve staked my reputation on the indolent Bulgar, and each time he does something beautiful I find it impossible not to beam with vindication.

Sound familiar?

Daniel has written a book which documents his travel to all our away matches last season, as well as commentary on our home games and any news at the time. It’s sort of like a football diary which focuses on United but strays to anything topical at the time of writing.

And finally, just space for a quick snigger at John Terry. As part of ITV’s coverage of England and Croatia, the starting line-up was revealed via pre-recorded footage, in which each player introduces himself by name and position. Terry, it appears, doesn’t play centre-back but captain, once again showing the humility that has made him such a hero.

Then, after the game, he revealed that he’d been spat at by visiting substitute Ivan Klasnic, drawing attention to it for no discernable reason other than to reflect his own heroic stoicism.

“Their No17 spat at me. It’s not a nice reaction. He came on frustrated, but it’s not nice at all. He’s the first person who’s ever spat at me in my career. It’s disappointing to see, but let’s not let it ruin a massive night.”

Yes, John, without your little pep talk, everything would have been spoilt for everyone. Oh John, you are so big. So absolutely huge. You are just so strong and, well, just so super. That’s why you’re father of the year.

Harris is staunchly anti-Glazer and has given up attending matches at Old Trafford since the take over. To get his United fix, he has taken to attending just away games, which, whilst giving the Glazers a 3% booking fee, otherwise avoids putting money in their pockets.

There are loads of good United books out there that are worth a read and this is definitely one of them. Reading it is like having a conversation with your mate down the pub and I thoroughly recommend it.

The interview and competition to win a copy will follow this week. But you can buy it off Amazon.co.ukor Amazon.com.


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.

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37 Comments

  1. WatchMUFC says:

    Just bought it, it has been gettin great reviews everywhere a must read

  2. Tasty Geezer says:

    Yeah, will probably read it. But what I want to know is how does he get tickets for all the away games?

  3. portugueseprincess says:

    After reading your review and other reviews online I will buy it. It has been on my wishlist on Amazon for a couple months. Besides, I just finished reading Ryan Giggs: My Life, My Story and I need a new book. Thanks.

  4. Pedram says:

    Funny hearing Terry talking about footballers spitting. Seems like he’s forgotten the CL final when he spat at Tevez. Cunt. Tevez to though.

  5. utd4life says:

    @pat rice..

    What better way to get over their sorrows(loss to arsenal) than boozing..guess they will be attending a lot of parties this season..

  6. Callum says:

    yeah, how the hell do you get tickets for away games without attending any home fixtures?

  7. ahjs says:

    Decent read but readers beware! It’s hardly a good travelogue of what following United on the road is like. There’s more bitching about opposition players/managers than insight into what following United away is like. Shame.

    You’re right, it’s more like your blogger mate Kevin than Kerouac.

  8. indiandevil says:

    Some more good read on United :

    Man Utd’s Corner: Replacing The Irreplaceable Paul Scholes »

    http://www.thehardtackle.com/index.php/man-utd%e2%80%99s-corner-replacing-the-irreplaceable-paul-scholes/

  9. Kings says:

    pat rice – just goes to show what classless cunts they are. Obviously celebrating a handsome pay day, overlooking the fact that they got butchered in their own back yard. Money>Medals to them.

  10. Giggsys chest wig says:

    Harris is no better than the Glazers. Cashing in on Utds name. His taking of an away ticket is denying a home season ticket holder an away ticket.
    Pity he doesn’t practise the morals he tries to teach.

  11. loughie21 says:

    Sounds like a good read, it’ll be on my birthday/christmas list for friends and family.

    Can anyone recommend any other good/great United books?

  12. Evra is God says:

    http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8750_6272378,00.html..
    I might read his book but Daniel Harris definitely comes across as a bitter twat…His Anti-Glazer stance is commendable,but he never loses an opoortunity to spew bile at Fergie in every interview…Maybe he wanted Fergie to go the Rafa way and destabilise the club and distract the players by constantly bickering with the owners…Plus he slates Mike Phelan, and several of our younger players…Also,on twitter a few days back,he claims that Gary Neville “has no idea about what United means” and cares only about himself and his family and that he isn’t a club legend…When a lifelong die-hard supporter of our club disrespects the club,our Great manager,our coaching staff,a club legend and our younger players blinded by his anger and hatred towards the Glazers,how the fuck can anyone expect a greedy,self obsessed Scouse twat to respect the club??

  13. bigphil2003 says:

    From reading the Berbatov paragraph it sounds a bit pretentious – “Berbaphile aesthetes”, “the indolent Bulgar” Yeah….em…. what?

    he does a good job of ripping Terry though.

  14. Callum says:

    The man’s a twat.

  15. Dilardo says:

    Goes to all away games without being a season ticket holder or having an executive box?

    How does he pay a 3% booking fee to Uncle Malcolm to get his away tickets? I know a fair number of Reds who would be interested in finding out including myself …

  16. Costas says:

    Terry is a down to earth fucker isn’t he? Why was he bitching about Klasnic spitting on him? He taught him how in the 2008 Ch.League final. Twat.

  17. King Eric says:

    Dilardo – Good point mate.

  18. ryan7 says:

    Off topic- I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Michael Owen is out for a few weeks with a. hamstring injury. Thank goodness the pea shooter is ready for the challenge.

  19. KING KNUT says:

    I fucking loved this book as has everyone I’ve recommended it to. To me, Harris definitely seems to ‘get’ what United are about. Yes, he’s got some strong opinions, and no, you may not agree with all of them, but you have to respect the logic at which Harris has arrived at those opinions, which aren’t gimmicky or fashionable or there just to shift copies. Whilst the parts of the book that are more controversial are interesting, don’t let it distract from the genuine love Harris has for United. One final thought, some people who’ve written above seem to think that if you are connected to the club (owner/manager/staff/captain etc) you are somehow immune from receiving legitimate criticism. That can’t be right.

  20. Arichticha Beitse says:

    Good book. Harris is a good writer with his own opinion on things. Some may be controversial but if you dont like it then go watch Paddy Crerand on MUTV where everything is seen through red tinted glasses. Too many dont tell it like it is these days but like him or hate him Harris has his own views and it makes for a good read in this book. Im not saying that i necessarily agree with everything he says but hes entitled to his opinion for which he puts across well.

  21. Top Beitse says:

    One of the best books I have come across for a long time. Harris demonstrates his great knowledge of football and tells it in his own witty and sarcastic way. A must read

  22. NotoriousRedDevil says:

    Agreed Dilarido. I’ve only ever been to one away game “officially.” The rest of them I’ve paid through the nose or friend of a friend of a friend of a friend.

  23. 0161-Jon says:

    unrelated but good on United for dipping their hands in the pocket to buy some of Nobby’s medals for the club to help out an old player and keep them where they belong.

    I didn’t expect they would for a second.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-11630764

  24. bettathedevilsweknow says:

    @0161Jon. Read Nobby Stiles book ‘after the ball’ a couple of years ago(a good read) and was lucky enough to meet him where i used to work (supermarket in salford). A really nice fella!

  25. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Well i couldnt possibly comment as to the nature how he gets away tickets but i would guess that he didnt want to give up his season ticket and purchased one like the rest ONLY selling on his home tickets so he can without contradicting himself say he hasnt put money in the Glazers pockets (the buyer of the home ticket has). What I dont understand is WHO IS HE. I have been away out of the country for a while and Ive never heard of him. I dont recognise his name from any boy bands or political news. Did he win Big Brother or something because I dont watch that crap.

  26. Gary says:

    The same John Terry that spat at Carlos Tevez in the 08 European cup final. What goes around comes around John.

  27. StatesideAussie says:

    Off topic, but I was delighted to see that the club have bought Nobby Stiles’ World Cup Winner’s Medal and will put it on display. Some of you may remember that Stiles decided to put the medal, and other items, up for auction recently so that he could distribute the funds to his kids. It seemed clear that he didn’t want to do it, but saw little choice in the matter. (He said he couldn’t divide the medals and other things between his three kids; but reading between the lines, I guess he just needed or wanted to leave the money to them. And yes, I hope Mr Ambition and others are reading this…)

    The full article is here:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/news-and-comment/stiles-world-cup-medal-bought-by-manchester-united-2118130.html

    But in a nutshell:

    Our club paid £188,200 for the medal at an auction in Edinburgh. It was a record fee (trumping the £165,000 for Alan Ball’s World Cup medal five years ago). Stiles, who is 68, made £424,438 from his collection at the sale. We bought several of the 45 lots, which a representative from Convery Auctions said would be displayed in the club’s museum.

    When the original story broke, I remember several regulars on this blog wondering if the club could buy these things, and I for one am delighted that we did. Cheers!

  28. bchilds says:

    Thanks for the recommendation Scott, not usually a book fan but may give it a go

  29. user404 says:

    http://football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_6471509,00.html

    delighted about this news. fantastic that the club bought it.

  30. bchilds says:

    @user404

    Far more worthy expenditure than one weeks worth of Rooney wages whilst he sips champagne in a pool in Dubai!

  31. GoatinaUnitedShirt says:

    Thank you to the Glazers for allowing the purchase of Norberts medal and other well deserved items of recognition. I know alot of you wouldnt thank them for anything and no doubt they may not have even known about the purchases and they probably wouldnt sanction the buy if it didnt come with a free frapachino or whatever. BUT as Gill has said they don’t put their noses into things they know F all about. Im a fair man, i dont mean that im a blond and my curly bits arent that wirey and curly and woffed about in the slightest of draughts. The police were quite understanding when i told them that i had bought new double glazing and wanted to do the feather test but hadnt a duck to pluck. So using my pubes that resemble fairy hair i checked for draughts and didnt mean to scare the children of a nearby kindergarten whilst on a wildlife trip out in the country. Anyway i digress, fairs fair when the glazers fuck up then we shout and have a go, but please everyone put your hands together atleast in private for the non interferance with the general running of the club and the return of a legends heart and passion to our great club. It puts a tear to my eye thinking of the great man, the original Scholes Priceless.

  32. Onside says:

    Has anyone read “The Story of the Green & Gold”?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Green-Newton-Heath-1878-1902/dp/1901746577

    Has so much detail about the start of United. No Glazers, no worldwide corporation, no multi-million pound contracts. Just the humble story of how the club came into being, how it struggled, and how it became Manchester United.

    If you think things are financially bad now, from this book you’ll know that no matter how difficult it gets, United will survive.

  33. StatesideAussie says:

    @Goat … er, that was quite some digression! hahaha!

  34. The Fly says:

    no cuz it’s not like Terry spat at Tevez in the final is it

    Fuck off terry

  35. Dave Mack says:

    Two things StatesideAussie ….

    As someone who, as a boy, watched the ugliest footballer with the biggest heart play at OT, I feared that when I heard he was auctioning his stuff that Nobby would just be the fogotten man. Sir Bobby may well have had a part in this but good for you and Goat for mentioning something that shows there still a heart and soul in MUFC.

    The other thing is to tell you that despite your username giving me two reasons to skip your posts (joke!) … the reverse is this case. Whether we agree on a topic or not your insightful posts are always worth a first read!!

  36. RedScot says:

    Cheers Scott the red, not i like that I like to read and digest information, and take self same on board.
    “Harris is staunchly anti Glazer and has given up attending matches at old trafford since the takeover.To get his united fix.!
    Its a book i will get my hands on, I suspect not from bargain books.
    Great information as normal on the best united blog on the net bye a country mile.

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