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Featured Publisher: John Blake
Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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Sir Alex Ferguson: My autobiography By Sir Alex Ferguson

Release date: 20th October, 2013
Publisher: Hodder & Staughton

List Price: £25.00
Our Price: £12.00
You Save: £13 (52%)
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In late September, following another disappointing defeat for a lacklustre Manchester United, this time by West Brom at Old Trafford, BBC football pundit and eight-time league title winner Alan Hansen said that two of United’s last three championship successes were attributable solely to Sir Alex Ferguson’s “sheer force of personality.”

It’s an assessment with which few observers would disagree. While United manager, Sir Alex never stopped urging his players on and motivating them, even when they had won everything in sight. He was probably the greatest man-manager the English game has ever seen.

The inside cover to his eagerly-awaited autobiography declares that: “Sir Alex created a purposeful, but welcoming, and much envied culture at the club which lasted (sic) the test of time.” Yet this conclusion may need revising because with Sir Alex ‘moving upstairs’, his successor, David Moyes, has found it extremely difficult to carry on where the master left off.

Perhaps it’s only with hindsight that we can appreciate how good someone really was at their job and even though just a few months have elapsed since Sir Alex announced his retirement, it’s already apparent that Alan Hansen’s words ring true – alarmingly so for United fans.

Sir Alex Ferguson may be portrayed as a teeth-gnashing, argumentative character, but as this fine book reveals, he’s a man of surprising contrasts. Sure, he’s outspoken, but he’s also engaging company; a piano-playing raconteur with a lightning-fast temper; a man with a house at St Jean Cap Ferrat who was equally at home on the touchline in a League Cup tie, torrential rain hammering down, encouraging his charges to give a little more.

Inevitably, during the course of such a successful career, there have been many biographies which means that much of Sir Alex’s story is already known.

His record may never be surpassed, but he also deserves great credit for regularly making a number of shrewd signings. Capturing Cantona for the footballing equivalent of loose change proved pivotal, but apart from the high-profile buys, he persuaded equally important players such as Steve Bruce and Peter Schmeichel to move to Old Trafford long before the mountain of silverware began to build.

More than 400 pages of well-written prose will not stop Sir Alex’s life in football being regularly revisited, but for now, this book represents his definitive story – and you don’t need to be a United fan to enjoy it either.


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