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4.4 out of 5 stars159
4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 October 2013
This book comes as a welcome antidote to the recent splurge of "celebrity" managers' accounts. It's not a hagiography, equally it's not one of those books that describes the roister doistering high jinks of a third division hard man. It is a tale of a young man who had it all, lost it, regrets it and is trying to get his life back on track. He's actually one of us, and perhaps the problems he faced at the height of his fame was this very fact. How many of us could cope with the riches and adulation that are thrust upon a young man away from home? This book goes some way to showing how it might go as Gillespie comes across as a very decent, if some times misled, young man. I'd happily buy him a pint becuase as he says himself early on, he can't afford a round himself.
One last point, whilst this is a 5 star story I'm afraid for me the "voice" of the ghost writer is all too apparent and some passages just don't flow as I'd like. Phrases such as "...raiding the left flank" reek too much of a Red Top's back pages but I appreciate this is a matter of personal taste so don't let this foible of mine put you off buying and enjoying this book.
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on 14 October 2013
Keith was my hero as an 8 year old boy after watching him train at Durham, and here 20 years later I'm reading about his "fall from grace" as they call it. But I think it's and excellent book and so refreshing to hear a story that isn't all self promotion and "oh look at me, look how well I did"

All you get here is the truth and despite all his faults and mistakes he's still my hero, for being himself and telling it how it is, when he could have hid like most people would.
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on 22 November 2013
I loved this book, you get a real feel of what Keith is all about and has been during his footballing career and beyond. It covers the early years right through to the troubled relationships, Newcastle, Blackburn and the latter years in NI. It has laugh out loud moments, ridiculous stories and crazy bookie anecdotes. It reads like a thriller, novel and autobiography all rolled up in one. Having read both this and Alex Ferguson's recent biography, whilst it's unfair to compare both books, Keith seems to have bared all in a cathartic manner, and Alex just gives shallow glimpses into his psyche and life story.

There's something heartwarming about this book, and sometimes you can almost compare some of his 'faults' with our own or people we know. A must read, for and about a seemingly top bloke.
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on 6 November 2013
A well written book. A fair amount is given to football, a balanced account of his family and of the women in his life and his children.He has no self pity but realises that a god given gift and the financial rewards it brings can be negated by an addictive personality. A sad,but certainly not maudlin, book.
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on 8 December 2013
Excellent read. Very open and honest insight into the highs and lows of a pro footballer. Some great stories and his love of playing for N.Ireland is obvious. Hope it works out well for Keith in the future.
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Oscar, right s usual, maintained that "It is not enough to have talent, you must have a talent to have talent" which might sound obvious but it is spot on: Gillespie was evidently a fine prospect at Man United, but never broke through like the Class of 92'ers and lack of ability is likely not the decisive reason he did not fulfill his potential. This book tells of a peripatetic life of some achievement but ultimately I guess I see it as a failure. Well wahat gives this book its interest is that the player himself feels that he has not made the most of his ability. Thus is a ghosted autobiography - sample abuse "Read KG' new autobiography?" "No." "Neither's he!" A joke =yes but not, you will agree, a very funny one. That was Henry Root being silly but this is not a classic like the Fergie books it is more like the great Andrea Pirlo's. A cautionary tale really. This the man who was laid out by Shearer when he misbehaved on a Newcastle United tour of, I thank, Ireland. Aside from a weakness for the bottle, this would suggest that he had a poor notion of responsibility and was plain daft, taking such a liberty. Like the Giant's Causeway as judged by Dr Johnson, "Worth seeing, not worth going to see." In other words, this not a great book but a perfectly readable one of limited but definite interest.
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on 19 February 2014
Very honest and sometimes very serious while amusing too,would recommend this book.
Hope everything works out for Keith. Good luck.
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on 19 March 2014
Like Gillespie's career, this has its moments, but overall it's of variable quality - some sloppy writing and lack of awareness and insight - but it does make you glad that you're not a professional footballer, whatever the rewards: it's not a normal life and it does have great pressure.
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on 13 August 2015
As a Newcastle fan, I'm probably a bit biased but I loved it. It's a warts and all account of his career and how it unravelled. Doesn't portray himself as a saint at all and Gillespie comes across well on account of that honesty.

More juicy gossip and behind the scenes details than the vast majority of football books you will come across - including lots of interesting anecdotes and tales from St James' Park in the Keegan era, details of his time in the youth team at Man United, open discussion of his gambling addiction (damn you, Darren Peacock!), the Leicester City incident that saw him sent to prison and much much more.

100% recommend to any football fan but it's a must read for anyone with a soft spot for Keegan's Newcastle.
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on 3 June 2014
This autobiography is searingly honest about his life as a footballer the temptations, follies, and mistakes he has made. It is not an enjoyable read but it is insightful especially when so many hold up footballers as role models.
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