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.
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.
Made in Manchester is available for just £5. It includes 30 articles from the country's best football writers about graduates from the Manchester United academy. Everyone who buys a copy enters a competition to win the new home shirt. All profit goes to Trafford Macmillan so please support this fantastic cause.