Mick Duxbury’s autobiography was definitely one that I really looked forward to reading. I started supporting Manchester United in the mid 1980s, when Mick was one of the first team regulars and I’ve still got lots of good memories of watching him play. However, despite seeing him play a lot and also briefly meeting him outside Old Trafford as a child, he was a player that I knew very little about off the pitch. Back in the 1980s there was nothing like the television coverage there is today, there was no internet and no MUTV to give you access to players like Duxbury. Since retiring not that much had been heard about him either, apart from occasional interviews he would give and odd appearances for the United Veterans side. So, by doing his autobiography, Duxbury would finally be able to open up about his life as a whole, especially his Manchester United years.
From what I knew about Duxbury, I always thought he seemed like a genuinely nice guy and a family man. Reading his book, this was definitely proven to be the case. Sometimes with nice people like Duxbury, when they tell their stories, they can often hold back their opinions, usually to avoid offending people in anyway. Duxbury’s book is full of honesty from start to finish and that made for a great book to read. There was no nastiness or score settling in the book, unlike with some other recent football autobiographies, just Duxbury’s honest opinion on his career and the people he played with and against.
Mick Duxbury played the most matches during the 1980s for Manchester United. Duxbury is therefore probably the most ideal person to tell the inside story on this decade. There hasn’t been a huge amount written on Manchester United during this decade, compared to other decades in the last 60 years. Having played for Dave Sexton, Ron Atkinson and Alex Ferguson during this time, the chapters on his time playing under these managers is really interesting to read, especially Ron Atkinson. Duxbury is also very honest about his team mates throughout the book too. His huge respect for team mates like Robson, Whiteside and Remi Moses was nice to read about as well.
The book covers Mick’s early life and especially his time working his way up through the ranks at United. Anyone with any interest in the history of the Youth, Junior and Reserve sides will enjoy this part of his book. It also covers his time playing for his country at Under 21 and International Level too.
At the time, back in 1990 I can remember that I was sad to hear about Duxbury leaving United. After United, Duxbury went on to play for Blackburn Rovers and Bradford City, before spending 2 years playing in Hong Kong. All of this is covered well in the book and I especially enjoyed reading about Hong Kong. Since retiring from playing in 1996 Duxbury has kept busy with teaching, his family and his hobbies. Unlike many players who have struggled with leading a normal life after finishing playing, Duxbury thankfully did not appear to face those same problems.
Duxbury’s book is one of the better player autobiographies that I’ve read and was worth the nearly twenty year wait for it, since he retired from playing. I would definitely recommend reading this book.
‘It’s Mick, not Mike’ was published by Pitch Publishing. Pitch Publishing’s Twitter Account – @PitchPublishing and their website www.pitchpublishing.co.uk
Mick Duxbury’s Twitter Account – @MickDuxbury2