She’d done more to belittle, undermine and scar me, with her ten years of scorn and hatred, than Starling with his brutal physical batterings or any of the others with their attempts at forced sexual contact. But no-one gets jailed for what they say, even when it amounts to deliberate mental torture ’
As Paul Connolly struggled to leave behind his painful, humiliating childhood in the notorious St Leonard’s children’s home, the ghosts of his past would not let go. The paedophiles and sadists had damaged so many kids. Some had died, from suicide or heroin. Others, like Paul, had emerged, battered and illiterate, to try to find a place in the world. When a fall from a roof shattered his boxing ambitions, he survived in a brutal underworld of routine violence, before eventually building a career as a celebrity fitness trainer, working with the stars of fashion and film.
After Against All Odds became a surprise bestseller, everything changed for Paul. He found himself speaking at the House of Lords, appearing on TV and getting involved in projects with abused kids and illiterate adults. But a rare heart infection almost killed him, and the old demons still haunted him.
Four years later, Paul has made a new world for himself, centred on his young family and a successful training business that mends broken bodies, builds confidence and changes lives for the better. His story is a remarkable tale of endurance and survival vivid, disturbing, but ultimately uplifting, as the beaten child who was once told You’re rubbish; you’ll never be worth a thing’ becomes a man with the heart to love, live and embrace the future.