An Undividable Glow
I’ve unashamedly written a love story that has made me cry. It could be no other way. From 1878 the red thread has wrapped Mancunians in warmth. This is a very personal attempt to intertwine the precious love for Red family, Red friends, a Red city and for the football club that takes our bloodline back, on the unpaid for train, to those Newton Heath railway workers. I’ve even slung in some music. But not too much. I have this one head, and having one head, it is the only head that will let me write. When it comes out, it comes out. I always try to take you for a walk. Sometimes it might be a bit of a grueller where you’d wish you’d worn sturdier shoes instead of gollies, sometimes it might be a short nip to the paper shop in your slippers for a Crunchie, but I always try to bring you back. All walks should be worthwhile.
This time the love of our life has been aggravated burgle bummed by an American occupying force. The book tries to bring you back to hatred and anger, recognising the sullen and the shoulders down, but also the churning to resistance and organisation, and the inspiration that is pulling out a piece of three-by-two and twatting them back, and getting up and living. There is soul and there is northern soul, there is Manchester United Football Club, that we fell in love with as a child, and there is FC United of Manchester.
After May the 12th 2005 there were a number of ways to write that same love story. All of equal worth, all of equal value. The only decision that could ever be wrong was not fighting Glazer in however way you thought appropriate. The swirling majority of Reds are open and can see and respect all decisions that were made.
Mine was by doing twenty two chapters documenting the nativity of FC United of Manchester. A chapter is used on our FA Cup Final against Arsenal in 2005 and the weeks around it, when we took our good hiding, when the barricades were strewn down Warwick Road, but the message was still clearly sent to those that would seek to take away our love. The message was fuck you and fuck your family; two chapters document the inception of FC United of Manchester in that same summer; one chapter on the first ever home game and eighteen on each of the league away games in the North West Counties League division two. A league where it is considered a good day if a dog doesn’t turn out a mix in the centre circle. Where most away fans looks as if they thought they could get into Grammar school by taking their 11 plus twice, getting five and a half each time.
Twenty two chapters. One for each player of the two teams with one soul. Two lungs breathing, one heart beating. It is a unity offensive book mixed in with a hooterama of the happenings that have befallen the section of the resistance that chose to drop down 10 divisions. We entered a world containing puckery necked sweatshirts, owners of Parker Pen box sets still in their original box, Postal Chess Society members and people who have almost certainly painted ‘Gouranga’ across a motorway flyover. We’ve sang “Coz Darwen are a massive club. Foot” and “You’re once, twice an eleven fingered lady” at Nelson fans.
There was an MDF knocking together of a football club with curdled grease from the underside of our frying pans, with oxidised lost head nails that we retrieved from the skips that were sent to some takeover friendly businesses and a couple of pippy gonglers that we forgot to give David Gill. In the same tradition I am publishing the book myself. I wanted no toffee nosed get in their late twenties, who were at a diddy publishing company they didn’t want to be at, telling me what to write about my loss. I’m drinking water and eating ice cubes to pay for it. It is a love story though. That should never have a price. I’ve mugged myself that if the book doesn’t flow elegantly or if it is biz wax wet or kippery knickered uncouth, it is because it represents the level of football FC United of Manchester fans have been watching.
No one has gone away, no one ever could. The Manchester United Football Club, Mancunian embrace with the temperate, giving smile that says here it is, it’s yours. You came and found it and now it can no longer leave you. You were brought near by others love, but for your own love you had to go on your own shaping walk. Those who love you knew that. They knew it because they had done it before. You didn’t have to come back with anything. No one has ever asked you to. You saw. You didn’t have to see. Nothing would be ill of you if you hadn’t seen. But you did. There is an unshiftable, footballing belief that beauty will always remain to see its hopes cleared. This book might be shite but hopefully it can be considered as our shite. We won’t melt. We’ll do alright.
Stuart Brennan – Manchester Evening News Correspondent and winner of the Football Supporters Federation annual football writers award for the last two years
A hilarious and achingly sad trip through a remarkable 12 months in the history of Manchester United and its lively off spring FC United…a rough edged, funny and poignant slice of what makes Manchester great, and what makes it grate. It should become a Mancunian classic.
Martin Tarbuck – Co-Author of ’Pies and Prejudice.’
This book was published independently by two Wigan Athletic fans. It documents a ’beer-and-all’ acccount of the season where they finally won promotion to the highest league in English football:
You have undoubtedly written a masterpiece in my eyes as the over sleeping and pissed bed will testify. Getting those fickle cunts in the nationals to take it on might be harder though.
Two Mowers – UWS Coloumnist
An Undividable Glow is a work of art that takes you through the creation and first season of FC United of Manchester through the eyes of a Beswick mental case. Don’t fall into the trap that if you don’t agree with, or haven’t been to FC that this isn’t for you, this is a MUST read for all Reds.
Buy the book, read it, read it again, then find it a proud spot alongside your other United books cos this is about the fight to regain what is ours. No one’s gone away. No one could.
Adam Brown – Co-Author of Not for Sale
Rob has been, for years, the most original, funny, surreal, poignant and bizarre fanzine writer anywhere. He weaves stories from his east Manchester base into the fabric of the city, through characterisations, word play and humour, taking you on a journey that always brings you back to United.
Martin Morris – UWS Columnist
’An Undividable Glow’ reminds us who it is we should be fighting to recapture and keep what is rightfully ours.
Mike Duff – Author of ’Lowlife’ and ’Hat Check boy’
You have written a beautiful, fucking beautiful book there. I fucking loved it. You’ve put fucking everything of you into it and it fucking shows.
An Undividable Glow
£8.78 (plus postage)