The Official United Opus
Justyn is a former Editor for United, the official magazine of Manchester United FC, and has also edited, written and/or ghostwritten more than 20 books on a wide range of subjects. In the course of his work he has interviewed countless United legends including Sir Alex Ferguson, George Best, David Beckham, Sir Bobby Charlton, Roy Keane, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Wayne Rooney.
Patrick Barclay is the football columnist for the Sunday Telegraph. A former Sports Journalist of the Year who has covered Sir Alex Ferguson’s career since his days as Aberdeen manager, Barclay joined the Sunday Telegraph in 1996 after stints on The Observer, The Independent and The Guardian.
Matt Dickinson has worked for The Times since 1997 and is now its chief football correspondent. His awards include Sports Reporter of the Year in 2001, which he won after his famous interview with Glenn Hoddle, the former England manager. He worked with David Beckham on My World, the player’s autobiography, and has acted as ghostwriter for various England internationals, including Gary Neville and Michael Owen.
Alex Fynn was employed as a specialist writer on the ‘Brand’ chapter. As a director of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, he created the first advertising campaign for a football club for Tottenham Hotspur back in the 1980s. He subsequently advised the Football League and a number of clubs, including United, on media and marketing. As a consultant to the Football Association he is regarded as one of the architects of the Premier League and the BSkyB television contract.
James Lawton is the chief sportswriter on The Independent, having previously held the same post on the Daily Express. He is a past winner of the British Sports Journalist of the Year award – for his coverage of the Ben Johnson drugs affair at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul – and in 2006 was voted British Sports Columnist of the Year. He has written 10 books, including a critically-acclaimed collaboration with United legend Nobby Stiles.
Hugh McIIvanney, OBE
Hugh McIIvanney is widely regarded as the outstanding sportswriter of his generation. Winner of both main British Sports Journalist of the Year awards a combined total of a dozen times. He is the only sports specialist to have been voted Journalist of the Year and the first foreign writer to be honoured by the Boxing Writers Association of America. After a 30-year association with The Observer, Hugh joined The Sunday Times as chief sportswriter. Having stepped down in 2002, he now writes a weekly column for the paper.
Andy Mitten, the great-nephew of 1940s United star Charlie Mitten, set up the independent fanzine United We Stand (which he still edits) in 1989, aged 15. He has written or co-written five books about the club, including the bestselling The Rough Guide to Manchester United, and was ideally placed to write the ‘Religion’ chapter on fan culture.
Jonathan has been Northern Football Correspondent at the Sunday Times, with particular responsibility for covering United, since 2001. An authority on Sir Alex Ferguson, Jonathan has followed the manager’s career closely for nearly 30 years both as a journalist and a fan. In 2006, he was short-listed for Sports Interviewer of the Year by the Sports Journalists’ Association of Great Britain.
Sam Pilger is a freelance writer who interviews the great and the good of the sporting world for The Times magazine, FourFourTwo, Esquire, The Guardian, Champions and Inside Sport. He was previously the deputy editor of both United magazine and then Britain’s biggest-selling football magazine, FourFourTwo. He is also the author of several books including The Treasures of Manchester United, For Club and Country and Manchester United: The Insider Guide.
Jim White has been obsessed by all things United ever since, as a 12-year-old, he first stood on the terraces of the Stretford End paddock. A columnist at the Daily Telegraph, he has been a staff writer at The Guardian and The Independent, as well as working for BBC Radio, for whom he has won a Sony Gold Award. He has written and presented a number of television documentaries on sport and has published six books on the Reds, one of which, Are You Watching, Liverpool? was short-listed for Sports Book of the Year in 1994.
One of France’s finest photographers, Richard Aujard’s pictures have graced the covers of GQ, Esquire, Maxim, Premier, Paris Match and Men’s Health and been published in various books. A longstanding friend and collaborator on numerous photographic projects, Aujard was Eric Cantona’s natural choice to help him realise his extraordinary vision for his photos in the Opus.
Mathias Braschler & Monika Fischer
Mathias Braschler worked as a freelancer for various newspapers and magazines in Switzerland before moving to New York in 1998, where he published his first book, Madison Avenue. For the next few years he lived and worked in New York.
Mathias began an intensive collaboration with fellow photographer Monika Fischer in 2003.They photographed Sir Bobby Charlton and Denis Law for the ‘Destiny’ section, and also took the portraits of United staff members that appear in ‘Infantry’.
Jay Brooks shoots music and celebrity portraiture, as well as energetic reportage-style work for a variety of fashion and advertising clients. Jay works for the likes of GQ, Sunday Times Style and Esquire, plus commercial clients such as T-Mobile, the BBC and Island Records.
Andy Cantillon has been working for a variety of magazines for the past five years. Now concentrating mainly on portrait photography, he also shoots vivid, colourful travel images. Personalities he has shot include Gael García Bernal, Obie Trice, Athlete and Eric Schlosser. His images have appeared in Q, International DJ and Touch, among other magazines, as well as advertising campaigns for the likes of Overboard and Vodafone.
London-based photographer Suki Dhanda has been a regular contributor to publications such as The Observer, the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. Suki Dhanda photographed Gary Neville and Giuseppe Rossi for the Opus.
Los Angeles-based Swede Patrik Giardino is widely regarded as the finest motion photographer in the world. His work has appeared on ESPN and in Rolling Stone, Arena, GQ, Esquire and Men’s Health, among other publications. Patrik Giardino took the incredible pictures of Cristiano Ronaldo juggling the ball that form a two-metre gatefold in the Opus.
John Ingledew’s photographs have appeared in The Observer, The Times, the Sunday Times and the Mail on Sunday. He has worked for numerous magazines, newspapers, design groups and agencies and photographed everything from open-heart surgery to Oscar winners. John was one of the two photographers who created the ‘Matchday’ section.
Walter Iooss Jr
Walter Iooss Jr is one of the world’ foremost sports photographers whose photographs have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated more than 300 times. In the course of his illustrious career, Walter has photographed almost every major sporting personality of the past 40 years, from Muhammad Ali to Björn Borg to Pele. In 2004 he won a Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports Photography at the prestigious Lucie Awards.
Adam Lawrence photographed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Peter Schmeichel and Andy Cole with Dwight Yorke for the Opus. When he first went into the Opus offices, Adam was shown a prototype of the Opus and was amazed to see a photograph of his Uncle Dennis and five other Busby Babes. His aunt later told Adam that Dennis was the only person in that picture to have survived the ensuing plane crash, and Adam would like to dedicate all the pictures he took for this book to his late uncle, Dennis Viollet.
Richard shoots commissioned portrait photography for clients such as the Daily Telegraph, Vanity Fair, Blueprint, The Observer and The Big Issue. He produced a number of superb portraits for the United Opus including pictures of Ron Atkinson, Joe Jordan and David Gill.
Zed Nelson’s portraits appear regularly on the covers of the Sunday Times Magazine, The Guardian and GQ. He has won many of photography’s top awards, including a first prize in the World Press Photo Competition, the Visa d’Or in France and the Alfred Eisenstadt Award for photojournalism in the USA. Nelson’s work is in the private collections of the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
John & Matthew Peters
John and Matthew Peters are United’s official photographers and made available their entire archive of images for use in the Opus. John also photographed Rene Meulensteen for the Future section. He himself appears in Infantry.
Manchester-born Jon Shard is a well-respected photographer who splits his time between Manchester and London. As a lifelong United fan it was a dream come true for him to photograph three of the club’s 70s legends – Martin Buchan, Lou Macari and Jimmy Greenhoff – for the Opus. Jon has worked with the United players every season since 1996 and has worked his way through photographing most of the squad; his most memorable shoots include those with David Beckham and Eric Cantona.
Chris Steele-Perkins is responsible for many of the arresting images that appear in the ‘Matchday’ section. Since joining the Magnum photo agency in 1979, he has worked extensively in the third world, documenting trouble spots in places like Bangladesh, Beirut, Africa and Afghanistan and won several prestigious awards, including the Tom Hopkinson Prize for British Photojournalism (1988), the Oskar Barnack Prize (1988) and the Robert Capa Gold Medal (1989).
Russell Bell created the illustrated map of Manchester that features in the ‘Culture’ section. He was born just a stone’s throw from the Old Trafford ground in nearby Trafford Park. He spent many years as a graphic designer until he decided to specialise in technical illustration, which he has done for the past 10 years. He is always in demand from a variety of clients requiring a wide range of technical and map illustration, and has clients as far away as New York and Russia.
Mark Dickson created the illustrations of David Beckham that appear in the Opus. His work defies easy classification and his art often involves close attention to the human form and expression, resulting in striking imagery that invokes the complex textures and lines of natural and man-made forms. His recent clients include Penguin, Channel 5, The Guardian and Sainsbury’s.
Gez Fry is a half-British, half-Japanese illustrator and concept artist based in Tokyo who created the manga-style illustrations of Wayne Rooney that accompany his interview in the Opus. Born in Tokyo, he has since lived in several countries, and is fluent in French, Italian, Japanese, and English. This varied upbringing, and his Japanese/British nationality, are reflected in the multicultural nature of his work. His clients have included Nintendo, Adidas, Marvel, Sports Illustrated for Kids, Buena Vista International, Virgin Inflight and many more.
Toby Leigh is responsible for the multicoloured illustration of George Best that appears in the Opus. After graduating in 2000 from Manchester Metropolitan University with a degree in Illustration and Animation, he began working on music promos for the likes of Röyksopp, Del Amitri and Norman Cook (Fatboy Slim). Since then his clients have included The Guardian, The Independent, The Times, Men’s Health, FHM, PlayStation and Toyota. He works in two styles, often under his alter ego, Tobatron. He’s been a Red since the day he saw Norman Whiteside bend the ball past Neville Southall in the 1985 FA Cup final.
For this unique football club, Opus wanted to create a unique look – the font, which is used on the United Opus box and the chapter title pages, was born. Therefore, Dave Farey, one of the world’s foremost typographers, was commissioned to craft a unique bespoke typeface.
Fortunately, print and graphic design technologies have changed dramatically during Dave Farey’s working life and he has been able to design fonts and letterforms for metal typesetting, photosetting and now the digital era. Starting in the 1960s at Letraset, where he created new alphabets for transfer lettering, his experience led him to work on specialised fonts, ranging from film and TV titles (such as The Black Adder) to identities for financial institutions and hotel chains.Farey and Richard Dawson of HouseStyle Graphics have also concentrated on editorial design, creating mastheads for many magazines and newspapers, including The Herald (of Glasgow), the Belfast Telegraph and Le Temps. Among recent projects, there have been fonts designed exclusively for The Times and signage and interactive fonts for the University of Sheffield. Farey is the chairman of Letter Exchange, a society for the development of lettering arts, which includes stone carvers, calligraphers and font designers. He is also the UK representative for the New York-based Type Directors Club.