The Manchester United Opus made the headlines once again this month when an exclusive copy of the acclaimed history of the club was snapped up at a charity auction in Dubai.
A mystery bidder bought the Opus at the charity gala for a staggering £758,000, which is a new world record price for a sporting publication.
The Opus was signed by the Prime Minister of Dubai, HRH Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on a specially created signature page that had the family coat of arms on it. The number 777 - the Sheikh’s favourite number, and viewed as extremely lucky in Arabic culture - was also sewn into the inside of the Opus.
“We were delighted to donate the Opus but I think it’s safe to say the final price exceeded everyone’s wildest expectations,” admitted Opus CEO Karl Fowler.
“The signature page means it is a complete one-off that will never be replicated and it is a truly unique work. We hope the new owner enjoys the Opus.”
Originally published in November 2006, the Opus is 850 pages long and is strictly restricted to 9,500 copies worldwide. It features never-seen-before archive photographs, exclusive interviews with Old Trafford legends such as Sir Bobby Charlton and Eric Cantona and is written by the finest football journalists in the country, including Jim White, Hugh McIlvanney and James Lawton.