Published in hardback by Century, £14.99
I'm Not Really Here, by Paul Lake
Sunday 06 November 2011
Carlos Tevez's reluctance to take the pitch for Manchester City will not have impressed Paul Lake, who harboured that ambition since almost before he could walk.
He achieved it, too, progressing through the club's junior ranks to the first team and being talked of as a future England captain. And then it all went horribly wrong. In September 1990, aged 21, in only his third game as skipper, the versatile defender-cum-midfielder ruptured his cruciate ligament. What followed next was a catalogue of mismanagement, failed operations and unsuccessful comebacks until five long years later, after setting an unwanted record by spending more time in rehab at the FA's Lilleshall facility than any other player in history, he was forced to recognise that his footballing career was over. He plunged into a deep depression, and his unsparingly frank account of those dark days forms the core of this book.
He was bitter with City, who he felt had reneged on their commitments and lost interest in him, his marriage had collapsed, and he had no idea what to do next with his life. With the help of therapy, anti-depressive drugs and loyal friends such as Niall Quinn he battled back, becoming a qualified football physio. He says wistfully that his biggest regret is that his injuries don't allow him to play any form of sport, but being welcomed back to City in a new role as a community ambassador seems to have done much to ease the pain. Sadly, the German international goalkeeper Robert Enke found no such solace for his depression, ending his life at the age of 32 by stepping in front of a train in 2009. In A Life Too Short (Yellow Jersey, £16.99), Ronald Reng explores the demons that drove Enke to despair. Two outstanding, if harrowing, stories of what might have been.
Review: Of Mice and Men
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
Fans will be hoping the role finally wins him an Oscar
What do gigantic horse heads tell us about Falkirk?
Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The best movies on Netflix: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Game of Thrones season 4 episode 2 breaks torrent record as fans watch online
The original Breaking Bad ending saw every character die
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'
Paul Walker's brothers stand in for actor’s final scenes for Fast & Furious 7 movie
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
- 1 Poveglia: 'World's most haunted island' up for sale...is anyone brave enough to buy it?
- 2 Big Bang Theory to get special Star Wars episode with help from Lucasfilm
- 3 Babies cry at night to stop mothers procreating, scientists claim
- 4 Pharrell Williams 'Happy': British Muslims dance to song in video
- 5 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews