Stories from the heart of an incredible football club

Thursday 16 September 2021 05:00

In January 2019, we launched UTD Unscripted, a series of first-person long-reads aimed at shedding new light on the anthology of stories which have arisen from United’s long and illustrious history.

Inevitably, we covered off some of the headline acts – the United Trinity, the Treble, the epic rivalries and unforgettable goals – but we also delved into the deeply personal, emotive stories which had never seen the light of day.

Two-and-a-half years on, the best stories from the series have snowballed into a new book

Featuring over 40 captivating individual tales, Manchester United Unscripted stars household names and relatively unfamiliar figures alike. From Robin van Persie, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Darren Fletcher reliving a title-winning hat-trick, a stunning debut season and the Highbury tunnel fracas respectively, to tales from club photographer John Peters, kit man Alec Wylie and bagpiper Terry Carr sharing their unique slants on their boyhood club.

There are forensic accounts of historic, often record-breaking moments, such as David Gaskell explaining how he was literally pulled from the stands to become United’s youngest-ever debutant just a few weeks after his 16th birthday, and goalkeeper Nick Culkin reflecting on a first-team career so brief that it has become an historic piece of Premier League trivia. 

Events aren’t confined to the pitch, either. Albert Morgan and Ji-sung Park shares tales of their friendship with Sir Alex Ferguson and Patrice Evra respectively, Tom Cleverley and Eddie Johnson journey into mental health issues, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ruud van Nistelrooy chart the long road to recovery from injury and there are unbelievable backstories from Dimitar Berbatov and Nemanja Matic which look back on their formative years in Eastern Europe.

Serbian midfielder Matic isn’t the only member of the current squad to feature. Edinson Cavani surveys the legacy he hopes to leave at Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes explains his winning mentality, Fred charts his journey to Manchester from Brazil and Dean Henderson ponders the reasons behind his unshakeable self-confidence.

A vast range of stories twist and turn in a variety of ways. Some read as near-fiction, some tug at the heart strings, some inspire with their rousing messages.

As Bryan Robson writes in his foreword: “Everywhere you look, be it Old Trafford, Carrington, The Cliff, Littleton Road or at stadia around the globe, Manchester United has an unbelievable amount of history. The club has provided many memories to many people.”

In Manchester United Unscripted, some of the most exhilarating memories are brought to life in unforgettable fashion.

Copies are available to buy now for £20.