Sitting on an ice-bound plane in Munich with his Manchester United teammates on February 6, 1958, Duncan Edwards had the world at his feet. At the age of 21, he’d already played 151 matches for his club and had 18 caps for his country. Tragically, the player Sir Bobby Charlton called the best he’d ever seen never made it home from that trip, dying as one of the fabled Busby Babes.
Fast forward to modern day and a middle-aged British expat living in America who has lost his way in life but still gets a kick out of playing football with his friends. Back home in Dudley in the West Midlands for the funeral of his father, Jimmy Keen finds an ancient pair of boots in the attic that he is told once belonged to Duncan, the pride of Dudley and an old school teammate of his dad.
The find allows Jimmy a glimpse into the human side of his cold, distant father through his special relationship with the legendary footballer. Much later, back at home in California, Jimmy tries on the crumbling boots and wears them for his weekly pick-up game.
Suddenly he turns into a player capable of unbelievable skills. His extraordinary abilities propell the protagonist all the way to the Major League Soccer Cup Final in the US at the age of 47, but is his late blooming success down to finally fulfilling his potential...or is it just the boots?
The novel is about the enduring wonder of playing football, but it also examines the issues we all face dealing with the demons in our past and remaining relevant as we grow older.