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Publisher Description

Paddy Crerand's eagerly-awaited autobiography recounts the previously untold story of one of post-war football's fieriest characters. As a defensive midfielder, famed for his tough tackling, for Scotland, Celtic and Manchester United from 1957 to 1972, he was the Roy Keane of his day and this book holds nothing back on or off the field.

As a Catholic born in the then infamous Gorbals area of Glasgow, Crerand was determined to escape from an extraordinarily tough background of family tragedy, religious bigotry and working in the Clyde shipyard, to become a professional footballer.

As a Celtic player in the early years of Jock Stein's management, Paddy Crerand was forced to play in the shadow of the then dominant Rangers team. At Manchester United, however, he enjoyed great success in Sir Matt Busby's post-Munich Air Disaster team, winning two league titles, the FA Cup and the European Cup, and playing alongside the likes of George Best, Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Nobby Stiles.

In his own distinctively punchy style, Crerand reveals the full truth about his controversial friendship with the hard-drinking Protestant Rangers star 'Slim' Jim Baxter and the legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly; what it was like to be George Best's minder and Matt Busby's confidant; and his passionate involvement in Irish nationalist politics.

Crerand’s life story is a genuine triumph over adversity told by someone whose informed opinion on Manchester United and football in general is as respected today as it was forty years ago.


Book of the week in the Independent.

'An insightful portrayal of life at Old Trafford…Crerand deserves enormous credit for being so candid throughout much of his book.' 442 Magazine

About the author

Paddy Crerand was born in Glasgow in February 1939. A tenacious midfielder, Crerand spent six years at Celtic before signing for Manchester United in 1963. He helped United to two league championships, the FA Cup, and the European Cup in 1968, and became a legend at the club before retiring in 1972. He was manager of Northampton Town in 1976-77. Today, he appears regularly on MUTV as a co-commentator and football pundit.

Andy Mitten started the Manchester United fanzine 'United We Stand' when he was 15, in 1989. He writes for The Independent, FourFourTwo and GQ . His previous books include The Rough Guide to Manchester United and We're The Famous Man United. He has known Crerand for 15 years.

Biographies & Memoirs
27 March
HarperCollins Australia Pty Limited