ARTICLE: Man United-mad author recounts how he fed a soccer-starved soul in 1990s Detroit by Larry O’Connor, Detroit News
RADIO INTERVIEW: A Different Kind of Football Rivalry: Manchester United and Liverpool Face Off at the Big House in Ann Arbor, MI (Michigan Radio/NPR)
From the staff at “I Love Manchester”
“Meet the man who supports his team 3,000 miles from Manchester . . . and wrote a book about it!”
“THE BEAUTIFUL READ: Fourteen Must-Read Soccer Books” from the Toronto Globe & Mail
ISBN: 978-0-9899087-2-6. Paperback. 416 pages. $18.99.
978-0-9899087-3-3 (EPUB) and 978-1-947886-00-1 (Mobipocket). $9.99
“A football fanatic refusing to cut the umbilical cord between himself and his beloved Man United . . . no matter what!”
— Ray Hudson, beIN Sports commentator and host of The Football Show on SiriusXM FC
It is said that you don’t choose your team—your team chooses you. On April 5, 1975 Manchester United Football Club chooses a young football fanatic growing up on England’s North West coast. On this day Gary B. France becomes “United.”
Twenty years later, Gary relocates to the United States—destination Detroit. Blue collar. Motor City. Hockeytown. Where football means Detroit Lions—and soccer is virtually nonexistent.
Embarking on a journey thousands of miles from home, Gary is determined to reconnect with the team and the game he left behind. Before long, he is thrust into an early morning underground subculture of soccer fanatics.
Could America be waking up to soccer?
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of United isn’t simply about one man’s dedication to soccer and his team. It’s about fans and the lengths to which we go to remain connected; it’s about home, where it all starts, and remembering those roots no matter how far we wander; and it’s about community, characters, and—most importantly—the friendships that evolve through a shared passion for “the beautiful game.”
Full of warmth, and self-deprecating northern English humor, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of United” could very well be a long-lost relative to “Fever Pitch” — if Nick Hornby was from the North West of England, supported Manchester United, and had moved to the United States in the mid-1990s!
“About adapting to new environments and retaining time-honored rituals in a foreign land—and gracefully finding life-long bonds within the joyful rabble of trash talk . . . a story of resilience and sacrifice, and holding on to family from across a vast ocean . . . embodies the fanatic sports fan in all of us!” — Frank Morelli, Author, “No Sad Songs”
GARY B. FRANCE has been a Manchester United fanatic for over forty years.
He has worked as a medical healthcare professional since 1987. His career has provided him the opportunity to help thousands of patients recover from injury. As he states: “there has never been a dull moment.”
Gary has a passion for music, which led him to becoming a radio DJ in Ann Arbor, MI in the mid-90s, with his Saturday morning show “The British Invasion.”
An avid writer, Gary has always maintained a diary to reflect on his journey. He has turned many of these recollections into his first book “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of United,” a twenty-year labor of love.
Every journey has its own story . . .