Words and Pictures
In order to make The Official United Opus the definitive publication on the club, we engaged the services of some of the finest British sportswriters. Together they contributed over 400,000 words and conducted well over 50 exclusive interviews with managers coaches and players, past and present, the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes at Old Trafford and United's legion of fans from Salford to Shanghai.
The legendary Hugh McIlvanney launches the Opus with 'Heart and Soul', his personal view of what makes United such a unique football club. Award-winning Independent writer James Lawton recalls United's golden era post-World War II; the numbing tragedy of Munich, the magic of United's own Holy Trinity and the European Cup triumph of 1968. The Daily Telegraph's acclaimed columnist Jim White sums up the qualities of our choice of the best 50 players ever to grace Old Trafford, cites the cultural significance of United to the city of Manchester; and charts the club's birth and the struggles of its formative years.
Jonathan Northcroft, football correspondent for The Sunday Times, completes our core writing team, with his take on the Ferguson era, including the remarkable Treble season. Former Sports Journalist Of the Year Patrick Barclay interviews Sir Alex Ferguson giving an incredible insight into the character of the club's most successful manager.
Completing the impressive line up are a range of writers chosen for their specialist knowledge, including media and marketing expert Alex Fynn who breaks down the Manchester United brand and fanzine editor Andy Mitten explaining why supporting the Reds is a religion for millions.
With over 2,000 images, many rare or previously unpublished, plus 50 specially commissioned shoots by some of the industry's most highly-regarded photographers, The Official United Opus brings the colourful history of Manchester United Football Club to vivid life
Our researchers scoured picture agency archives and private collections worldwide in search of photographs capturing iconic moments, insider shots of United stars through the ages and significant Red memorabilia dating back to the club's inception in the late nineteenth century. For every picture selected for inclusion, hundreds were discarded ensuring unparalleled quality throughout. Furthermore, we employed the latest reproduction techniques allowing us to display these images on an epic scale and create an unprecedented visual experience.
The Official United Opus also features photo shoots with a who's who of United legends including Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law, Bryan Robson, Mark Hughes, Peter Schmeichel, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Gary Neville, Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Ron Atkinson and many more. Pin-sharp portraits by top photographers such as Mathias Braschler, Walter Iooss Jr and Paul Stuart, the imaginative reportage photos of Zed Nelson, John Ingledew and Chris Steele-Perkins, the playful interactive shots of Adam Lawrence all contribute to a diverse array of imagery, topped off by a mind-blowing set of pictures of Eric Cantona art directed by the Gallic genius himself.
Beautiful original illustrations of 'the fifth Beatle' George Best by Toby Leigh and the dynamic Wayne Rooney by manga-style illustrator Gez Fry add a different flavour.