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I'm Not Really Here [Hardcover]

Paul Lake
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
Price: 12.16 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

4 Aug 2011

Paul Lake was Manchester born, a City fan from birth. His footballing talent was spotted at a young age and, in 1983, he signed coveted schoolboy forms for City. Only a short time later he was handed the team captaincy.

An international career soon beckoned and, after turning out for the England under-21 and B teams, he received a call-up to the England training camp for Italia '90. Despite missing out on a place in the final squad he suitably impressed the management, with Bobby Robson earmarking him as an England captain in the making. As a rising star Paul became a target for top clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool, but he always stayed loyal to his beloved club, deeming Maine Road the spiritual home at which his destiny lay.

But then, in September 1990, disaster struck. Paul ruptured his cruciate ligament and sustained the worst possible injury that a footballer can suffer. And so began his nightmare.

Neglected, ignored and misunderstood by his club after a succession of failed operations, Paul's career began to fall apart. Watching from the sidelines as similarly injured players regained their fitness, he spiralled into a prolonged bout of severe depression. With an enforced retirement from the game he adored, the death of his father and the collapse of his marriage, Paul was left a broken man.

Set against a turning point in English football, I'm Not Really Here is the powerful story of love and loss and the cruel, irreparable damage of injury; of determination, spirit and resilience and of unfulfilled potential and broken dreams.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Century (4 Aug 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846058244
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846058240
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 177,128 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Paul Lake could have been a world superstar but will forever be a legend at the club he loves" (Steve McManaman)

"Paul Lake was the most gifted in the group of young players who brightened Manchester City up for fans in the 1980s who were pining for the glory days to return...his is an inspirational human story" (David Conn The Guardian)

"I'd be frightened to put a price on his head these days ... Paul was as good a young player as I've ever worked with." (Howard Kendall)

"Without question, he is the best young player I have ever worked with" (Mel Machin)

"You would class Paul in the top bracket. I always likened him to Colin Bell - he had that great ability to get up and down the park." (Tony Book)

Book Description

The extraordinary memoir of Paul Lake, the greatest English footballer to never make the national team.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Although Paul Lake's City career effectively ended at the age of 22, he is still revered as a City legend. Why?

Firstly, during his short career at City (truncated by a horrific knee inury) he had already proven to be a star. Captain at 21, often MOTM...he simply didn't do bad performances. He could play almost anywhere - and had all the attributes necessary to make it at the top level. England captain of the future? You can never say for sure, but the consensus was almost unanimous.
Secondly, he was a blue through and through - a fan wearing the shirt. You could see how much he wanted to play, and as fans we saw ourself in him.
Thirdly, he was something to cling onto when things started to turn sour in the early 90s. "It'll be ok when we get Lakey back", was something I heard often at Maine Road.

This book is a frank and thorough depiction of the nature of depression when something you love is taken from you. It's something most people can relate to, athlete or mere mortal. The fact that Lake is so up front about a subject that is still almost taboo can only be a good thing for mental health awareness too.
I really enjoyed the book: it was well written and produced both smiles and tears. It's a refreshing work, not the same old same old football biog.

Thanks for the memories Paul, and I wish you all the best for the future.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wish all autobiographies were like this 12 Aug 2011
By Shempz
I'm not a Man City fan, and can't profess to knowing a huge amout about Paul Lake, in spite of being a big football fan all my life. This book however, is possibly the best autobiography I've ever read. It traces Paul's life from childhood to the success of being made Man City captain and part of the England World Cup Squad in 1990 to the lows of severe depression following long term injury and many botched operations.

It'll make you laugh, and cry (or at least get a lump in your throat!) in equal measures, and every page you read will just make you want to get to the next even faster.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply a great book. 21 Aug 2011
I'm a United fan, and a good blue mate bought me this.
I owe him big time.

Red, blue or whatever team you support, you probably know about Paul Lake already "he did his cruciate didn't he?", but you might not know about the man who in his depths of despair admits to defacing and tearing to pieces a City programme, dissolves into tears after a chance meeting with a fan in a curry house and loses his father, is forced to retire from football and gets divorced within the space of months.

Lake's honesty about his struggles with his physical and mental health is brutal. Yet the writing style and the structure flows smoothly from first page to last.

The tragedy is that a talented young man with a treatable injury was let down by the Medical profession and sadly by his club - read the bit about his toe-to-toe with Peter Swales.

And still the physical pain goes on. Paul Lake will most likely be the youngest ex-pro to need a double-knee transplant, so buy this book right now and give him some support. Trust me, if you love football, you won't regret forking out for it, it's worth every penny. Hey, I can't believe I just wrote that about a City player, but it's true!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm not really here 12 Aug 2011
Growing up as a city fans from Denton, Paul lake was our inspiration and local hero. Everyone I knew was so upset when Lakey had to retire due to injury at such a young age. I was 16 then and now I am a thirty something and thought I would buy the book to see just what did happen to my hero.
What a read !!!! The first 2 chapters set the tone for an emotional read. It progresses to give you an true account of how badly certain people at the club treated their brightest star. The physical pain of an injury that was never going to get better due to being badly diagnoised by people a young Paul Lake trusted. The years of physical and emotional pain clearly come through the words on each page,but there are also some light hearted funny moments that make you laugh out loud. The Final chapter sees Paul "returning Home" back to City in his new role as club ambassador, Well done the club for not forgetting the best young homegrown footballer ever to play for City. Writing this book must of taken a lot of courage and soul searching but you get the sense that writing this book has probalbly helped Paul in his recovery. A must read for any football fan especially fans who like to read books written by players who are still in touch with reality. Well done Paul and Good Luck... (your still my hero :)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars emotional rollercoaster! 8 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
an honest and frank account of pauls fight to save his career,at times the book left me with a big lump in my throat,and as a city fan,a sour taste about the way my club treated him in the past,am glad to read they are now making amends,a fantastic read for all football fans and a definate inspiration to anybody fighting a long term injury.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Footy Biography 9 Feb 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was lent this autobiography of Paul Lake off a blue mate who claimed that although was a Red i would enjoy the book. I have to say this by far one of the better football biography's i have read in a while. Paul is a similar age to me so i can relate to a lot of the stories he has of growing up in around 70-80's Manchester. I did remember him from the period but had forgotten how much potential he had and had shown and he would surely have gone on to become a much greater known player and England regular if a knee injury had not brought his career prematurely to an end. He comes across as a totally genuine nice lad and far more down to earth than the prima Donna's of today. A great read for any football fan.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Lakeys Honest Story.
One for those with fond memories of Lakey.

A really good book, very frank and to the point, about one of City's greatest players, cut down early in his prime. Read more
Published 29 days ago by K. McGowan
5.0 out of 5 stars The best autobiography I've ever read
I purchased this book as a City fan who was familiar with Lakey from the Bluetuesday podcast. As an American who's only been a fan of the club for 5 years I'm always looking for... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Russell Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars Paul Lake
Good read and as I lived just down the road from Paul a lot of familiar references, people I know etc. Would it have been so good otherwise? ..... not sure
Published 4 months ago by Steven Partington
5.0 out of 5 stars Best football book ever
This is an incredible story of a player that was destined to be England captain whose career was tragically cut short. All football supporters will enjoy reading this book.
Published 5 months ago by Jon London
5.0 out of 5 stars Paul Lake book review
Bought this for my husband for Christmas and he loved it and would agree its a fabulous read for all football fans
Published 6 months ago by Douglas , Chester
5.0 out of 5 stars One Paul Lake
Such a sad waste of a huge talent. Not just for us City fans though.Give it a try even if you don't like football.
Published 9 months ago by Steve Morris
4.0 out of 5 stars Extremely interesting.
As a City fan, I bought this book on my Kindle, because I remember seeing the author play. I live in the West Country, so I don't get the opportunity to attend City's home games... Read more
Published 9 months ago by xpc1479
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality
Obviously a book for blues and football fans alike but unlike most football books this had so much more due the unfortunate things lakey had to overcome.
Published 9 months ago by SD Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad story of what could have been.
Paul Lake was supposed to be the next big thing, but bad injuries and poor care from the football club spoiled a great career
Published 10 months ago by Jambro
5.0 out of 5 stars book
I was pleased with all aspects of this purchase: the product arrived promptly and was in excellent condition and met my expectations.
Published 11 months ago by Ms. S. J. Rolph
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