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Red: My Autobiography by Gary Neville

by Venky


There is a remarkable similarity between the manner in which this Manchester United and England great played his football and the contours his memoir confines. Gary Neville tackles each aspect of his personal and professional career the same way in which he tackled many an opponent during the course of his illustrious career. A multi talented sportsman, Neville Sr was adept at both football and cricket. In fact he distinguished himself at the latter sport as a young boy when in the company of a talented kid from Down Under named Matthew Hayden, he chalked up a formidable opening partnership for his club.

Forced to choose between football and cricket, Neville opted to ply his wares in the Theatre of Dreams where he went on to be a top draw. In his lively autobiography, Gary Neville reveals and relives his encounter with clubs in the English Premier League as well as his duels with various international footballers who were up against him when facing England. His emphasis on the legendary rivalry between Manchester United and Liverpool makes for some interesting reading. His act of deliberately rankling and riling up the fans at the cop by engaging in an extended bout of wild celebration did nothing to temper the deep rooted animosity nursed by Liverpudlians towards their Mancunian countrymen.

Gary Neville also clears the air about many a controversy that has racked English football at both club and country levels. The indignation and uproar evoked by Neville when he along with his English team mates launched a strike against the English Football Association protesting against what Neville at that time felt was a disproportionately harsh punishment imposed upon Rio Ferdinand for having inadvertently failed to appear for a scheduled drug test. This protest evoked intense recriminations and anger in the English public and Gary Neville was branded a renegade and a traitor. But true to his nature, Neville nurses neither remorse nor regret.

Neville also sets out interesting facts about the interpersonal relationships between Sir Alex Ferguson and some celebrity footballers such as David Beckham, the explosive Roy Keane and the phenomenal Eric Cantona.

All in all “Red” makes for a riveting read, especially if one happens to be a staunch Red Devils fan.

Red – Glory Glory Man United!

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