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Author Colin Blaney has been interviewing prominent sons and daughters (and adopted sons and daughters) of Manchester for the past 20 years. From authors and musicians to hotel porters and reformed criminals, Colin has quizzed a broad cross-section of Mancunian society. Some of the interviewees are no longer with us while others are Manc born and bred but have since moved overseas. More still were born outside Greater Manchester yet have become adopted Mancs

What emerges is an entertaining look at the past century in the city through the eyes of citizens from all walks of life all of whom have adopted the world renowned Manc attitude.



A Tale Of Two Cities by John Ludden

Be a Football Artist by Paul Trevillion

BRIAN CLOUGH by Steve Brookes

Centurions by Harry Harris

Flyin High by Mike Whittaker

Football Wizard - The Billy Meredith Story by John Harding

From The Stars
by John Ludden

In My Blood by Gerry Blayney

In Search Of The Double - Sunderland AFC 1912-13
by Mark Metcalfe

Kicking Through The Troubles
by John White

Manchester United '19'
by Harry Harris

Old Trafford by Iain McCartney

Red, White & Blackmore by Clayton Blackmore
& Wayne Barton

Teenage Kicks by Phill Gatenby

The Complete Eric Cantona
by Darren Phillips

The Forgotten Legends
by Charbel Boujaoude,
Iain Mccartney & Frank Colbert

The Red Eye by David Blatt

The Roman Conquest - Chelsea FC Champions of Europe 2012 by Harry Harris

When Football Was Fun
by Derek Potter

The Young Guvnors
by Rodney Rhoden

You Can't Win Anything With Kids by Wayne Barton


Atkinson for England
by Gary James & Mark Brown

One More Time
by Mick Dilworth

Osprey by Matthew Corrigan

The Carpet King of Texas
by Paul Kennedy

The Devil's Dust
by Brendan Yates



Black Tears

Broken Youth

Covering Up

Grow Wars

Northern Girls Love Gravy

Riding Solo

Sleepless in Manchester

Teabags & Tears

Team Handed

The Lane

The Pudding Club

The Square

The Visitors

You can download all Karen's novels for Ipad here


A Life of Inquiry
by Malcolm Norcliffe Jones

Blazing Squad by Carl Moran

Don't Look Back in Anger
by Cafrl Spiers

by Mick Middles

George Best & Me
by Malcolm Wagner

Manchester Musical History Tour by Craig Gill & Phill Gatenby

Morrissey's Manchester
by Phill Gatenby

Pieces of Morrissey by Matt Jacobson

The Man Who Said 'No' to The Beatles by Pete Maclaine

S-172: Lee Harvey Oswald's Links to Intelligence Agencies
by Glenn B Fleming

Sit Down! Listen To This!
by Bill Sykes

The Diary of a Mother...
by Caroline Burch

The Two Faces of Lee Harvey Oswald by Glenn Fleming




Foreword by MICK MIDDLES

"When forced to choose between truth and legend - print the legend" TONY WILSON

"A much needed corrective"

Many myths surround the explosion of punk in Manchester and its repercussions. The central fable being of how a city was re-born by the seminal act of one gig and one band attended by many of the people who would go on to play a major part in the transformation of the city from post-industrial wasteland into multi-cultural hub.

Martin Ryan caught the punk bug in 1976 just like everybody else, it's just that his memory is not clouded by apocrypha. He was there, or not there, and can recall dates, times, gigs and the growth of the nascent Manchester scene. He and Mick Middles even put a lot of it down in print in Ghast Up, one of a rash of fanzines to emerge in punk's wake.

Concentrating on the years 1976, 1977 and 1978 'Friends of Mine' is a blow by blow account of how punk really happened in Manchester. A much needed corrective.





When Manchester United were relegated in 1974, just six years after winning the European Cup, it was front page news. How could such a thing happen to the biggest club in Britain? Such a scenario would be even more unthinkable today than Leicester City winning the league.

The story is one of the most dramatic in football history and, yet, still, largely unexplored. Based on a BT Sport film being developed alongside the book, TOO GOOD TO GO DOWN examines the demise of Manchester United, from the moment Bobby Charlton described the club not winning Division One in 1968 as ‘the best thing that could have happened’, through the turbulent reigns of Sir Matt Busby’s successors, to the crushing blow of relegation; which, ironically, came at a time when the club’s young team were just about to bloom and win over a whole new generation.

With brand new, in-depth and exclusive interviews with Tommy Doherty, Sammy McIlroy, Alex Stepney, Stuart Pearson, Lou Macari, Pat Crerand, Willie Morgan, Gordon Hill, Martin Edwards and Paddy Barclay, the most controversial story in the history of football’s biggest institution is finally told in full detail.

TOO GOOD TO GO DOWN is the latest in BT Sport Films’ critically acclaimed documentary series following Golazzo: The Football Italia Story, No Hunger In Paradise and Rocky & Wrighty: From Brockley to the Big Time. It is directed by Tom Boswell and written and produced by Tom Boswell and Wayne Barton.





Most Manchester United fans know one of the founding fables of the club... of how Harry Stafford and his Saint Bernard dog helped save the club's forerunner, Newton Heath, and pave the way for the formation of the new club. But what became of United's saviour?

When Stafford met millionaire John Henry Davies and traded his dog for the financial backing of his beloved club, he was the man of the hour, feted wherever he went. He became the only player/director in the club’s history, was handed a role as chief scout and landed a plum job as landlord of the Imperial Hotel in central Manchester. By recruiting the likes of Harry Moger and Dick Duckworth, his influence on the club’s great Edwardian era to come was huge.

Yet by June 1909, just weeks after playing a prominent part in the club's FA Cup victory celebrations, Stafford had disappeared. The accepted tale is that Harry was later given £50 to emigrate to Australia 'for his health' and ended up owning a luxurious hotel in Canada where he died in 1940.

Only, despite a century’s worth of repetition, that isn't the real story...

In his ground-breaking biography of United's founding father, Ean Gardiner traces Harry's life from cradle to grave and discovers a world of blacklegs, brown envelopes and red herrings inhabiting a ripping yarn of bribery, bigamy, suicide, poisoned beer and a footballing elephant.



"Laced with plenty of Manc humour... this is not for the good and great, more for the bad and mad."
"With blistering Mancunian humour, Blaney explains everything from the sneak thieving and the women to the drugs, the jails and the mayhem... Amazing memories!"

Grafters: Mancs Abroad is the tale of Manc lads who lived high on the hog for a couple of decades across Europe robbing the natives blind. Like all rollercoaster rides, they knew it couldn't last - this is the tale of how they survived when so many others didn't make it...



If you ever see a man sketching unsuspecting members of the public, it might well be cartoonist Rob Martin.

An acute observer of British life, Rob has travelled the length and breadth of Britain capturing recognisable characters in bizarre, every day circumstances. What emerges is a land peopled by angry pensioners, phone obsessives and the massively obese.

Rob has selected 158 of his favourite drawings to capture Britain at a time of tedium, crisis and incredulity.

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‘All for one. One for all’

This has been the motto of Collyhurst & Moston Boxing Club for a century and it rings as true today as it did when Harry Fleming founded the club during The Great War. Across the decades the club has trained local tearaways, many of whomwent on to become champions, yet perhaps the greatest tribute to it is that it has remained at the centre of a community that has undergone huge changes in the last 100 years.

Heading into its second century, The Collyhurst & Moston Boxing Club continues to adapt with boxing training for boys and girls and a female champion in the ranks and it is through former pros such as Thomas McDonagh and Pat Barrett that the original ethos of Harry Fleming is kept alive - the beating heart of a tough but passionate community.




Manchester City fans are known for their loyalty, sense of humour and ingenuity; supporting the club through thick and thin down the years.
From a club teetering on the verge of extinction to the modern day superclub currently enjoying its greatest ever season, Blues have endured and enjoyed greater highs and lows than most.

Author Don Price, former chairman of the Prestwich and Whitefield City Supporters Club, traces these experiences from the 1950s to the present day, taking in ordinary supporters' tales of following their beloved club.



Manchester United have won every major honour available - yet for supporters of a certain vintage their favourite season of all was spent not battling for top honours but in the second flight of English football. Following a spectacular decline following the break-up of the 1968 European Cup winners, United were relegated in April 1974 and the following season was supposed to be a humiliation for the club. Instead, the reds responded by re-inventing themselves for a new era and attracting a whole new generation of supporters.

As Wayne Barton discovers, the modern day Manchester United was born during their sojourn in the second tier. From training pitch to boardroom and under the guidance of wise-cracking manager Tommy Docherty, the club moved on from a state of post-war stasis and shaped itself for the next quarter century. Without the pressure to maintain a place in the top flight, The Doc helped reinvigorate a club still struggling to come to terms with the modern era.



“Each one of the punches that landed put me in a different place; a club, a pub, a brothel -
scattered memories of crazy nights out,
flashing images; the whiskey, cocaine and the countless girls... What the hell was I thinking?”

Michael Gomez was a talented featherweight with the world at his feet but his meteoric rise through the world rankings was derailed by his activities outside the ring.

If his life had been fictionalised, people would believe it far-fetched; he was charged (and later acquitted) of murder, spent 48 seconds clinically dead after being stabbed, attempted suicide and saw his long-suffering wife finally give up the ghost and leave him.

Perhaps the question should be how he is still here at all...

Acclaimed sports writer John Ludden has brought to vivid life Gomez's dramatic life and ghost written one of the most compelling stories in British sporting history.





Harpur Murray is devastated when her heroin addict brother Brady commits suicide. But why can't her mother talk about the night her son died?

Meanwhile, an internet romance with an old fl ame makes her question if she ever really loved her husband, Neil. Was he just a safe rebound following a violent relationship?

In Karen Woods' labyrinthine Mancunian thriller, Harpur's family seem to hold the secrets to her son's death but will she ever learn the truth?





While Mikey Milne is locked up, his shoplifter mother Rachel is forced to fend for herself. Her life is soon in danger when menacing local gangster Davo fi nds out that Mikey ripped him off for £10,000 and gives her 48 hours to pay up.

Mikey's girlfriend Sarah is from a nicer part of town; as green as grass, she doesn't seem to realise the extent of her boyfriend's involvement with local gangsters or that her well-connected family have threatened to have him bumped off if he ever goes near her again. She's smitten with him and hopes he can change...

In Karen Woods 15th novel, prison walls can't keep the outside world at bay forever as dark family secrets come back to haunt fearless Mikey Milne.




Mother of four Karen Woods uses her experiences growing up on a Manchester council estate in her writing. Having left school with no qualifications, she spent her formative years raising children and suffering domestic abuse.

Karen has been snapped up by a leading literary agent and her first novel, Broken Youth, was staged at the Lowry Theatre, Salford in June 2013. She was recently awarded the Learning for Work Individual Award for 2013.


Empire Publications, 1 Newton Street, Manchester M1 1HW Tel: 0161 872 3319 Fax: 0161 872 4721 - email: