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Two Brothers: the Life and Times of Bobby and Jackie Charlton

Photo of two brothers book on grass with a ball and football boots
Book cover of 'Two Brothers'

LAST FEW TICKETS REMAINING! Sold out online, please contact the library desk to check availability.

Wednesday 24th August 6pm

Jonathan Wilson in conversation with Dan Jackson

A FREE Lit & Phil Live Event 

Two Brothers tells the story of a great sporting family. This is a book about two English footballers - but also about English football and England itself.

Although in later life Jack and Bobby Charlton didn't get on and barely spoke, the lives of these very different brothers from the coalfield tell the story of late twentieth-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 and pig-headed; Bobby was guarded, 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. Both enjoyed great success as players: Jack won a league, a Cup and two Fairs Cups with Leeds; with Manchester United,

Bobby won a league title and then, at enormous emotional cost following the Munich air disaster, won a Cup and two more league titles before capping it off with the European Cup. Together, for England, they won the World Cup. Jack proved an innovative if controversial manager of Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday and then Ireland, while Bobby took Preston to relegation and ended his footballing life in the Old Trafford boardroom.

They stand as representatives of the competing forces that shaped English and Irish football and society between the end of the War and the turn of the Millennium, from the birth of a celebrity culture to the coming of the Celtic Tiger. This, for the first time, is the inside story that places these two complex figures in their true historical context.

Two Brothers tells the tale of two of the most famous football players of their generation.

Jonathan Wilson is the editor of the Blizzard and a freelance writer for the Guardian, World Soccer and Sports Illustrated. He is the author of eleven books, including Inverting the Pyramid: The History of Football Tactics, Behind the Curtain: Football in Eastern Europe, Angels with Dirty Faces: The Footballing History of Argentina, The Barcelona Legacy and The Names Heard Long Ago.

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