What constitute as a good Sunday morning read? Just now, I came across an Observer piece, which was adapted from ‘The Team That Wouldn’t Die – The Story of the Busby Babes’ by John Roberts. Add Mariane Pearl’s A Mighty Heart, I think I’m all set for a depressing but well-read Sunday.
The newspaper article described how Jimmy Murphy, Manchester United’s deputy manager in 1958, had to put a team together just 13 days after the Munich air disaster to play Sheffield Wednesday in an FA Cup tie.
‘How can I describe what it was like? I was completely alone, isolated. There was no Matt Busby, no Bert Whalley. No one I could talk with on my level as far as the team was concerned.
‘People wanted to help but they could not give me the help I wanted. I didn’t need people to open letters and help in ways like that. I needed players. Liverpool and Nottingham Forest offered to do what they could, but I was left trying to sort out what I had, what was needed and what I could get. And the relatives kept coming to the ground, naturally, anxious for the latest news.
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I’ve only got up to chapter five of Pearl’s book, which told the events 24 hours after Daniel Pearl was abducted. In between the narration of what happened leading to the abduction, there were anecdotes about the couple’s relationship that were really touching I had to stop a few times.
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It sucks to be the one having to pull things together, kan?