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Red: My Autobiography By Gary Neville

Release date: 11th October, 2011
Publisher: Bantam Press

List Price: 18.99
Our Price: 9.49
You Save: 9.5 (50%)
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There is a school of thought which maintains that preparing an outline for the standard footballer's autobiography should take no more than five minutes.

In all probability, there's a template ghost writers use to tell the tale of their subject's career. Arranged in simple chronological order, this usually explains what an exceptional athlete he was at school, when he signed professional terms, how he broke into the youth team and then the first team, who were the greats he played with and how it felt to lift (or, more likely, miss out on) a handful of trophies.

Gary Neville was a very good player in an exceptional Manchester United team, a man who managed to lift more than just a few pieces of silverware while playing with several modern-day stars under the tutelage of one of this country's greatest football managers. If anyone could afford to break the conformist, autobiographical mould and come up with something a little different after twenty years at the top, it's the former England full back.

Yet what compelling, amusing stories of Beckham, Keane, Cantona, Giggs, Ferguson and a host of others have been left untold by Sky's latest football pundit.

This is an enormous shame because Neville can be persuasive, funny and controversial on the small screen, but his autobiography never moves beyond the 'ready for take off' stage. Astonishingly, in print, he's even respectful of Liverpool FC, a feature never overtly evident when he played against them.

Manchester United fans adored Neville for his passion and outspokenness, his 'will to win' and the way in which he apparently detested Liverpool. For them, Red is a must, a book likely to be presented as a Christmas gift to thousands of supporters from Surrey to Singapore, gift-wrapped in red, white and black. Anyone wanting to read an engaging, less predictable sporting tome, however, will be forced to look elsewhere.


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