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Two Brothers

By: Jonathan Wilson
Narrated by: Paul Thornley
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Summary

Two Brothers tells the story of a great sporting family, uncovering new details, exposing myths and placing Jack and Bobby Charlton in their historical context. It's a book about two English footballers but also about English football and England itself.

In later life, Jack and Bobby didn't get on and barely spoke but the lives of these very different brothers from the coalfield tell the story of late 20th-century English football: the tensions between flair and industry, between individuality and the collective, between right and left, between middle- and working-classes, between exile and home.

Jack was open, charismatic, selfish and pig-headed; Bobby was guarded, shy, polite and reserved to the point of reclusiveness. They were very different footballers: Jack a gangling central defender who developed a profound tactical intelligence; Bobby an athletic attacking midfielder who disdained systems. They played for clubs who embodied two very different approaches, the familial closeness and tactical cohesion of Leeds on the one hand and the individualistic flair and clashing egos of Manchester United on the other.

Both enjoyed great success as players: Jack won a league, a Cup and two Fairs Cups with Leeds; Bobby won a league title, survived the terrible disaster of the plane crash in Munich, and then at enormous emotional cost, won a Cup and two more league titles before capping it off with the European Cup. Together, for England, they won the World Cup.

Their managerial careers followed predictably diverging paths, Bobby failing at Preston while Jack enjoyed success at Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday before leading Ireland to previously un-imagined heights. Both were financially very successful, but Jack remained staunchly left-wing while Bobby tended to conservatism. In the end, Jack returned to Northumberland; Bobby remained in the North-West.

Two Brothers tells a story of social history as well as two of the most famous football players of their generation. 

©2022 Jonathan Wilson (P)2022 Hachette Audio UK

What listeners say about Two Brothers

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Excellent book but with pronunciation issues

Well researched and told story let down by narrator not bothering to learn how to pronounce names, places etc (not difficult or time consuming) when it got to the Irish part of the story - in stark contrast to Wilson's usual throughness.

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Thoroughly enjoyable!

I know nothing about football but lived through these times. This book explained a lot re football and human nature. I'm educated and entertained. Brilliant.

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Well researched and enthralling.

A terrific read and really well written. A good performance and tells the story between the brothers as it was.

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Probably the most accessible Wilson book

I’ve read and enjoyed Wilson’s previous books which are expertly research and detailed. I really enjoyed this story of the two brothers and the many interesting and flawed characters they meet along the way.
One gripe, the reader is fine but I would have preferred to hear the story read by Wilson or someone from the north east, but not someone from Ashington; that would be too much.

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Brilliant read

Great book well researched brought back memories, loved going to football in the ‘60s and’70’s.

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Excellent

Really enjoyed the book, so many great stories, brilliant narration. Many thanks Jonathan and Paul