Description

Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Awards 2023

Nooruddean Choudry was born in 1979 — the year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, Sid Vicious died of a heroin overdose, Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the last Shah of Iran, and Tim Martin opened his first Wetherspoons. Also that year, a local football club lost the Cup Final to Arsenal courtesy of a man named Sunderland. That club would become an all-consuming obsession for young Nooruddean, who would one day become a small brown man and, vitally, also a Red.

Inshallah United is the story of the first British-born son of a Pakistani family living in England’s second city. And geography is important, because if it wasn't for his mum and dad settling in Manchester rather than anywhere else in the world, so much of what makes up Nooruddean's identity could have been so different. As it was, he grew up as a Muslim, Manchester United supporting, Morrissey-loving, Maggie-hating, working-class Manc.

Inshallah United is about growing up as a strictly halal Stretford Ender; a devout Muslim and diehard Red. It’s about praying five times a day that United would sign Alan Shearer and knock the Scousers off their perch. And it’s a deeply personal account of life as a Muslim Asian Mancunian kid in the late 80s and 90s, bookmarked by the most successful period in Manchester United's history.

About the author(s)

Nooruddean Choudry, also known as Bearded Genius, has c. 170k Twitter followers and is one of the more prominent commentators on all things Manchester United, as well as a lot of other random things that interest him. He has worked for the Red Issue fanzine, and written for the Mirror, the Guardian and others about football. He was Creative Director at JOE, covering and writing about subjects away from football, like politics, culture, social issues, etc.

Reviews

A Telegraph Sports Book of the Year 2023

‘I read this lovely book in one session. Every page sparkles with warmth, wisdom and humour. The book is dressed in a football kit but underneath is a celebration of family, friendship and faith. Very uplifting and very funny. I can't wait to find out what happened next.’ Bob Mortimer

'A truly funny, spirited and original memoir – I loved it. Noz’s wonderful writing is totally transporting.' Marina Hyde

‘Very charming and very funny.’ Kathy Burke

‘Apart from all the bits about United, it's great!’ Jamie Carragher

‘It’s the way Choudry examines this idea of belonging to something bigger than himself that makes Inshallah United so thoughtful. It’s fun, too, as Choudry muses on growing up as a Muslim Asian Mancunian in late 20th-century Britain.’ The Observer

‘A funny, thoughtful account of not just the magically maddening life of a football supporter, but also a subtext that explores stereotypes in faith and football.’ Esquire

'The literary equivalent of scoring a hat-trick on your home debut.' Stanley Chow

‘Recognisable, evocative, moving and fun. Noz writes brilliantly. Get this read.’ Graham Hunter

‘A charming, witty and engaging memoir.’ Late Tackle

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