Eamon Dunphy
“Sir Matt Busby and Manchester United: A Strange Kind of Glory”

Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd

It was never going to be a smooth ride succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson.

And already there are rumblings of discontent even if much of it is from those only to be pleased to stoke up things a little and create an impression things are already going wrong at OT.

Much has been made about the lack of activity in the transfer market until the last seconds. There was the always doomed chase of Fabregas, the Wayne Rooney saga and mutterings from RVP about changes on the training ground.

DunphybookMaybe to counter act some of the flak David Moyes has now said he needs to shake up the club’s scouting system.

The pressure on Moyes succeeding Fergie The Godfather draws obvious comparisons with how the club coped – or didn’t – when Matt Busby abdicated at the end of the Sixties.

A transition that was designed to be seamless was far from it as Manchester United unravelled from a club who had won the European Cup in 1968 to become one which was relegated from the top flight in 1974. Such a decline was unthinkable back then, but it happened.

Eamon Dunphy’s ‘Sir Matt Busby and Manchester United: A Strange Kind of Glory’ offers a fascinating insight into the club’s decline of the time and takes the reader through the seeds of recovery that Ferguson started to sew at the end of the Eighties.

And of course it examines just what made United the club it became, taking the reader from the very start of the Busby era in 1945; with authoritative detail of the Busby Babes, Munich Air disaster and the rise from the ashes to the height of the Swinging Sixties.

The book is further helped by the fact that Dunphy was a young player at the club at the end of the Fifties and start of the Sixties and so adds a fantastic personal touch and has unique access to some of the players of the time where he gets underneath the skin of the true relationships between Best, Charlton and Law.

It’s not just a book for United fans, but every football fan who wants to understand the roots of the club and what it was all about before the commercial era took hold. One thing is certain now, given how the landscape has changed and their financial muscle, United won’t go down the pan as dramatically as they did back then.

BB Rating: 9/10

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