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No Place to Hide: How I Put the Black in the Union Jack [Hardcover]

Errol Christie
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

25 Mar 2010
Seeing my future crumble before my eyes, I grasped for the rope. Before my eyes, I saw an eight year old kid at the Standard Triumph putting on gloves for the first time. A teenage schoolboy champion effortlessly destroying everything put before him. All that struggle and here, in front of all my enemies, it would come to this this ignominious end.' This is not the story of a celebrity sportsman. It's not the story of a life covered in glory with its attendant cavalcade of famous friends, easy wins and glamorous encounters. Errol Christie may have been one of the most promising British boxers of his generation a Fight Night poster boy, captain of the England boxing team, English and European champion, and a cocky, Ali-esque dancer with a reputation for devastating early knockouts but this is not that story. This is a story about fighting. Coventry in the dying days of the Seventies was a tough place to grow up especially if you were poor and black. At the same time as the young Errol Christie was raising the flag in the ring, his fists were seeing off skinhead tormentors and NF bootboys on the streets. Britain was sickening from a vicious racial divide, and even when the big time turned up Errol soon discovered that a black boxer who refused to play by the rules white rules would never be tolerated. In 1985, after a string of professional knockouts, Errol faced Mark Kaylor in a brutal bout that tore open the country's simmering racial enmities. In the eighth round he went down and stayed down, the roar of the hard right in his ears. But the years that followed would see Errol square up against a far tougher adversary as he found himself out in the cold, struggling to get by, and alone with only his own shattered confidence and no place to hide. Errol Christie is a former professional boxer and amateur champion. He has since become a trainer and is one of the country's leading coaches of white collar boxing', with students including Dermot O'Leary and Gianluca Vialli. He also works in inner city schools, using boxing and his experiences of racism to campaign against knife and gun crime. Tony McMahon is one of Errol's students. An online, TV and print journalist he is also the co-writer of Aurum's Original Rude Boy, the autobiography of Neville Staple.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Aurum Press Ltd (25 Mar 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184513513X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845135133
  • Product Dimensions: 14.9 x 21.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'His is a chilling read, every bit as engrossing as the underworld created by his old friend [Steve] Bunce.' -- The Observer, 11.04.2010

About the Author

Errol Christie is a former professional boxer and was a record-breaking amateur. In 1980 he was made captain of the England boxing team and in 1983 he became European champion. He has since built a career as a trainer and is one of the country's leading coaches of 'white-collar boxing', with students including Dermot O'Leary and Gianluca Vialli. He also works in inner-city schools, using boxing and his first-hand experiences of racism and street violence to campaign against knife and gun crime.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
If you like boxing at all, pick this book up & read it. Being in my mid-forties myself, I remember Errol Christie's fights well. Who can forget what happened with Mark Kaylor. Did everyone know how bad racisim was back then? This guy tried & tried, & I'm pleased to say, is still trying.

As I said in my title about this book, The only bad thing about this book is that it finishes. Well worth a read, its honest, vibrant & very much real.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By vlad
This is a fantastic real life story. It offers a vivid portrait of Mr. Christie's life; it is incredibly well written. It is hard to sum this book up in a few sentences because there's so much it covers, but like boxing at it's best, it captures many of the ups and downs of life in general. Mr. Christie describes in detail how he had to deal with daily racism and violence when he was growing up, including close shaves with the law (he had to jump over a balcony in a high rise block of flats to escape the police in one incident!). He also details his peerless achievements as an amateur boxer. It's also a story of what might have been; for example Mr. Christie reflects on how his professional boxing career might have turned out differently had he stayed under the tutelage of Emmanuel Steward at The Kronk. When I finished reading this book I felt nothing but admiration for Mr. Christie. To me, he comes across as a man full of principle, honesty and integrity. It is the most candid autobiography I have ever read; but this review only highlights a tiny fraction of it's content so I'll end by saying it's highly informative, entertaining, and well worth a read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A COMPELLING READ 28 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for fans of british boxing. It gives a detailed account of the life and background of Errol Christie one of the best british boxers of his generation. Christie gives a detailed account of his early life in 197o's coventry growing up as an ethnic minority. Christie is a fighting man no doubt inside and outside the ring - early chapters detailing these accounts was interesting if a little slightly one chapter too many on the streetfighting IMO. I was more interested in his boxing career , relationships with managers and other fighters and there was some there but felt there could have been more. Christie hints at the power relationships between fighters and manager but again here i felt there could have been more detail especially in the after math of the Kaylor fight and the poor management, preperation and guidance he received thereafter. The aftermath personally hit Errol but he's fighting back and winning. All the best Errol.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fists of fury 5 May 2010
Errol Christie and his fists of fury take the reader on a rollercoaster ride through 70/80s Britain in this entertaining tale of one mans struggle against racism and his own shortcomings as a fighter. Whilst never courting sympathy the reader's heart goes out to the likeable Christie and his indominatable spirit. No need to be a boxing fan to rate this a knockout!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No Place to Hide 3 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This autobiography was not as interesting as many other books of this genre on the market. Quite frankly, it was a little disappointing - especially as I remember how exciting Errol was as a fighter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 29 Sep 2012
I was lucky enough to get to know Errol a few years ago as I got involved in white collar boxing in London. What a lovely fella I thought at the time, he couldnt have been more helpful to weekend warriors like myself who would never half a tenth of his ability in the ring.

After reading this book I have even more respect for the man - his really was a hard life and the fact he is making the most of his experience by helping boxers and wayward youngsters is commendable.

Oh and by the way, an incredible book - I read it in 2 days as I couldnt put it down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing read about an amazing person 5 Feb 2012
As a big fan of boxing in the 80s I remember Errol Christie as an exciting and talented boxer. It's sad to read how a world professional championship belt eluded Errol but testament to Errol's strength as a human being how he overcame so many of life's challenges. I have no doubt that with the technology and financial support available to today's athletes, Errol would have won that belt. I never recaptured my love of boxing since those days, I don't know, it just doesn't interest me the way it did when we had fighters like Errol gracing the ring.

The book is an amazing read, especially for someone in their late forties like me; it is a real trip down memory lane, both the good and bad. I found it impossible to put down and almost missed my train stop a few times because I was so captivated by the book. I feel very lucky and honoured to have met Errol and to have had my copy signed by the man himself.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars could be the best biography I've ever read
I used to regularly chat to Errol years ago and I recognised him from TV when I was a child - he's a really good guy. Read more
Published 27 days ago by a reader
2.0 out of 5 stars Tragedy
This book is extremely well written. Errol Christie was a very promising prospect, stylish, and very talented, he looked certain to be world champion. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Chris George
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a Boxing book!
One of my earliest recollections of being a boxing fan was the build up to the Errol Christie versus Mark Kaylor contest. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2011 by Daniel Cann
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading!
I really enjoyed this book and I couldn't put it down once I started it. It was very moving and sad at the same time when reading about the violence which was dished out by the... Read more
Published on 26 Jun 2011 by :-)
4.0 out of 5 stars NO PLACE TO HIDE
I think this is a great book not that I read many books but I've wanted to get my hands on this book for some time as I meet the subject March 2010, it was to learn more about his... Read more
Published on 22 May 2011 by Mark Rule
4.0 out of 5 stars A challenging read about the bad old days
I grew up in Cov at this time and followed Errol's career as a fan. He was an angry young man on a mission. Read more
Published on 23 Jan 2011 by R. M. Carr
5.0 out of 5 stars The best book I have ever read
reading the rewievs on amazon i decided to buy this book. its the best think i ever did, if you are going to buy one book make it this one.
Published on 28 Dec 2010 by james lamb
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