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Addicted [Hardcover]

Tony Adams , Ian Ridley
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

7 Sep 1998

Tony Adams is one of the legends of English football. Inspirational Arsenal captain and winner of a clutch of medals in English and European competitions, he has also nearly 50 England caps. All this despite his drinking problems which made him contemplate giving up the game altogether.

For the first time, Adams writes what it’s like playing with the best players in the game, from Gazza to Dennis Bergkamp, and working with some of the most successful managers, including George Graham, Terry Venables, Glenn Hoddle and Arsene Wenger.

But above all, his story is that of a winner, a man who has brought the intense determination he has shown on the field to his recovery from illnesses off it.

Adams recalls graphically and openly his descent into alcohol addiction, which at one point saw him jailed for drink-driving. Just as he was finding his feet again after the slow rehabilitation process, problems with his marriage surfaced and soon after Adams found himself heading for a divorce. He talks honestly about that traumatic period in his life and also about the pressures and demands of being a top-class footballer in the modern era.

This is a frank and challenging autobiography, a human interest story as well as a football story, of a player willing to go to any lengths to succeed.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Willow; 1st edition (7 Sep 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002187949
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002187947
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 230,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Arsenal and England stalwart Tony Adams combines two very '90s preoccupations in these memoirs: football and the confessional. Alongside the story of Adams' hugely successful career for Arsenal and England, Addicted also charts his decline into alcoholism and subsequent efforts at rehabilitation. The combination works surprisingly well with Adams new-found self-awareness enabling a far more thoughtful and mature insight into his footballing life than you suspect would otherwise have been the case.

Thrust into the Arsenal first team at 17, his tenacity and enthusiasm made up for initial technical shortcomings and his leadership ability inevitably saw him made captain. But off the pitch things were not so straightforward. His marriage was in disarray and his drinking out of control. After a particularly intense period of "research into the illness"--a day-long bender following England's defeat on penalties to Germany in Euro 96--Adams sought help and while his account of his ongoing AA-aided recovery occasionally lapses into clichéd therapy-speak, there is a raw honesty to it that makes it both moving and affecting. Much has been made of Adams' apparent criticism of Glen Hoddle's handling of England's 1998 World Cup bid, but in reality the strength of this book comes not from the spilling of dressing-room secrets, but from its powerful depiction of the price one man continues to pay for success. --Nick Wroe


‘The most successful captain in Arsenal’s history symbolises everything the club traditionally stands for in terms of resilience, professionalism, pride and attitude’
FourFourTwo magazine

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best football autobiography I've read 7 May 2006
By Matty
Someone bought me a copy of this for Christmas, and although I'm not an Arsenal fan I've always admired Tony Adams so I was happy to read it. It's as brutal and frank as everyone says, and it also made me look at myself and some of my friends in terms of the way we act with sport, competition and alcohol. Details of how TA found any excuse to drink alcohol, be it celebrating, drowning sorrows or whatever, made me realise how close many of us are to slipping down the same route. After reading this and being totally blown away by it, I picked up autobiographys by Dennis Wise, Harry Redknapp, Chris Waddle, Ian Wright, Paolo DiCanio and Bobby Robson. All interesting in their own way, but in comparison to this they fell way short. Wright, DiCanio and Wise in particular just prattle on about how great they are, and how everyone else had it in for them for no reason. Unlike TA they are unable to accept that they have any flaws. It's that brutal honesty and self assessment that makes this book rise above the rest. I'll be reading it again for sure.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Tony Adams 25 Mar 2002
By A Customer
...I myself however found the book a good read on two levels. Firstly the football 'gossip' that was of interest, but also, and this is what really kept me reading, the honesty displayed by Tony Adams.
He goes into great detail and explanation about the addictions he faced, how they all but destroyed everything he had, and how he turned it around. From a psychological point of view alone, this book warrants a 5 star rating. I began to understand how we get addicted and also how to beat that addiction. That something can take over your life to the detriment of everything else.
He showed himself to be an intelligent, articulate man, and I myself certainly have a completely different view of him that he once displayed through his own drunken antics and the media coverage that came from that.
Adams is well worthy of any praise he receives, given he now uses the knowledge illustrated in the book to help other sportsmen in similar situations.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addicted 5 Jan 2006
I believe this book led the way for autobiographies to be more open and honest about the writer themselves and Tony Adams certainly achieved that with his honest admission of being an alcholic made compelling reading
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brutally honest account of a life transformed 28 April 2003
By Mr. A. C. Gilbert VINE VOICE
Football fan or not, Arsenal fan or not, Addicted is worth reading for anyone who wishes to gain an insight into the world of addiction.
This book is like a punch in the solar plexus. Adams bares his soul through page after page, detailing the self-loathing of a man hooked on competing, but for whom life outside the game becomes a nightmare. Unable to cope with the boredom of days off, unable to face the real self which lay behind the public persona, and unable to find a way to live a stable, reasonable life when not on a pitch, Adams' descent into a shameless, alcohol-infused hell is spelt out in the starkest detail. It is gripping stuff, in the way that watching an accident happen before your eyes is gripping. You can't tear yourself away from the story, which unfolds quickly before your eyes.
Yet thankfully this is also a happy end book, in which the seeds of Adams' new life are sown and begin to grow. Talking through his experiences and sharing them with other alcoholics, Adams grows from the ugly, angry, competitive caterpillar into a cultured butterfly – university student, crtic; it's as if his life has opened up, from one facet to many.
This book can surely give hope to all those whose opinion of themselves is far too harsh and critical; it shows that we are never too young to learn, to turn away from the "dark" towards the light of human achievement, and that life is not about pursuing one or two obsessions to the detriment of everything else.
Adams has paid a heavy price for his addiction, losing a marriage and losing the memories of some fantastic sporting achievements along the way, but in this well-written book it is clear that he is far from finished. I predict him to manage Arsenal to a string of titles when Arsène hangs up his clipboard!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that puts things into perspective 10 Dec 1999
By A Customer
As an American and a Manchester United supporter (I've been to Old Trafford by the way) I was skeptical about wanting to read a book about any Arsenal player. However, I've always admired Tony Adams skill as a player and his presence as a leader so I took "a chance" on reading his story. This book allows the reader to gain insight into the very personal side of Tony Adams. His story is inspirational and perfect for helping to put things into perspective - especially as the Christmas holiday approaches. It took more courage for him to tell of his battle with alcoholism than it ever takes to succeed on the football pitch. He has done both superbly. Credit must also be given to Ian Ridley, who once again does a brilliant job. I can now understand why the book cover claims "Sports book of the year."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Call Him Donkey 12 Jan 2007
By zissou
'Addicted' is a thoroughly enjoyable read, Tony Adams delivers one of the most engaging and brutally honest autobiographies in print. In many autobiographies, particularly those of footballers, the subjects are often at pains to portray themselves in a good light, skirt over indefendable controversies and pass the blame for their failings, this is not the case with 'Addicted'. Charting his descent into alcoholism, detailing his beliefs and thought processes of the time, with somewhat staggering honesty. The book really allows the reader a sense of the man, then in his darkest days, and also of the recovering athlete re-enagaing with his first love. Some readers may feel there to be too much space and detail afforded to match descriptions and routine footballing information, however this serves to highlight the incredible acheivements and longevity of his career whilst all the while abusing his body to extreme levels. 'Addicted' is essential reading for football fans, and in fact anyone as it encourages self evaluation through its brutal honesty whilst charting the career of one of Englands finest defenders, which also consequently renders the subject, former England captain Tony Adams both intriguing and endearing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This book written by Tony Adams gives a good insight into the world of a professional footballer. Tony seems to be very honest in his accounts of various things that happened to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Geraldine A.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Fantastic insight into the life of a legend!! Has all the lows and highs of his pro career and his Personal life. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Edward Booth
3.0 out of 5 stars Condition
Former library book which was apparent from the remains of the insert inside the front cover and description of the type of book on its spine.
Published 11 months ago by Tim Inkson
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely read
Loved reading this book - although it is very emotional, some of the stories Tony mentions have been hilarious ... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this now!
This is an excellent book, which I read in one sitting! I'm not an Arsenal fan or a particular Tony Adams fan (although he is in my all time dream team). Read more
Published 18 months ago by wiggy8128
5.0 out of 5 stars Tony Adams Book
What a truely great book this is. I was not expecting it to be as truthfull and as in depth as it was. Such a great read. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Joe187
2.0 out of 5 stars Just about better than run of the mill
I've read a few football autobiographies in the past but have been put off by the fact that they've taught me very little and have left me cold. Read more
Published on 27 July 2011 by The_Man_The_Myth
3.0 out of 5 stars Slightly Disappointing
Poorly written and quite repetitive. However, still a quite a good read for die hard football fans especially Arsenal supporters. Won't win any awards!
Published on 28 Dec 2009 by R. Flexman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabtastic
I love autobiographies and this is as good as any. The most important thing for me is that an autobiography is revealing. This is life as a footballer warts and all.
Published on 9 Oct 2007 by Scooby Doo
4.0 out of 5 stars Adams lunges forward and turns the corner
I've always been a Tottenham fan and you can probably understand that i was a bit skeptical using up my quality time in reading the autobiography of an Arsenal player. Read more
Published on 23 Feb 2007 by Jay
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