Frank Bruno is a former world heavyweight boxing champion and although from a fight he did not eventually win, even now I can see that punch which lifted the great Mike Tyson off the ground.
In his heyday, in many ways, Frank Bruno came across as a simple man who was equally devoted to both his sport and his family. His many interviews with the late (and already much missed!) Harry Carpenter became as much a part of the big event as the boxing itself. It was during these interviews that Frank's inimitable personal style shone through and his catchphrase "Know what I mean, `Arry" became so well known people all over the UK would say it in conversation - even when the person they were addressing was not called Harry. Such was the way this man endeared himself to a nation, he became a true National Treasure.
His background, his boxing career and his life after boxing were each personal roads full of hardships, distress and disappointments. At the age of 11 years he was sent to reform school. Twenty two years later he became the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Eight years after that he was committed into a psychiatric hospital.
This is the story of a tearaway child who fought authority as child and went on to prove himself as a man, a loving family man and as a champion of the world. It is a story which relives the youthful exuberance which caused him (and so many others) a great deal of pain and shame at the time. It is a story of a man - a very determined man, who turned his world around to reach the highest pinnacle of his chosen sport and of the anguish, disappointments, heartache, despondency and mental stress which came when it all fell apart.
As is stated in the book, this is Frank's story, it is a story he wants to tell - part biography and part therapy, because he believes we should all be aware that mental illness can strike down the strongest of people at any time.
There are passages which will shock those who thought they knew Frank Bruno, passages which will surprise all who read them because of the downright honesty revealed. Each part of the Frank Bruno story - from the very top of his Everest to the very bottom of the pit he has visited is equally a part of the man himself.
Mental illness is an illness - not a disease!, and for those who prefer to remember the champ and choose to ignore this book, you do neither Bruno nor your fellow man and favours by keeping your head in the sand.
We still love you Frank - Know what I mean `Arry!