Forever A Babe, A Review

Its a story about a boy and his football team.
And what a team it was. Tom Clare recalls his life in post-war Manchester and how he grew up along with the Busby Babes, as they were affectionately called.  Its much more than just a story about football.  We get a glimpse of life in post-war England.  Mr. Clare recalls the realities of life on a poor Manchester neighbourhood.  A different time when boys spent most of their waking free hours outside.  This is my first book review so not really sure what to write but I wont include any anecdotes from the book as I do not want to spoil it for someone.
I have known Mr. Clare’s writings before reading his book so I sort of knew what to expect from him about Manchester United.  The book however is much more than anything I read before.  It gives a comprehensive personal account of the pre-Munich years and tells of the great loss that he and the whole City of Manchester felt when those boys perished in the plane crash.  And it that sense the book is different from what I previously read about the Babes and the tragedy. Instead of monotonously recalling what happened on the Munich runway it goes beyond that.  It tells us how he, as a 13 year old, reacted and what it meant to him and the whole city.  We also see what football (soccer) meant to people 50 years ago.  A different time certainly.  When players were neighbours and friends, and part of a community and not just celebrities who happen to play a sport.  And I guess that is why they are missed so much.  Lost in their prime, the whole football world missed out and wonders what could have been.
I am a Manchester United fan so perhaps this book means more to me than it would to some who are not.  But I would recommend this to any football fan so they too can get a glimpse of football from a half century ago.  In there one can find some history of the club, great stories from a match going fan, and a intimate look at one of the most exciting teams that played the sport.  Finally there is a whole chapter on the author’s favourite player from that team, Duncan Edwards.  And in it we find why the 21 year old was so special and why he is still considered by many as the most complete player to have ever played the game.
I highly recommend this.

Forever A Babe by Tom Clare is available at amazon.

Published in: on September 25, 2009 at 3:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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