Top positive review
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A must-read for all sports fans
on 7 July 2012
As anyone with the fortune and privilege to witness "Nico" in action will confirm, there is a certain irony in the title.
Whenever he took to the field, before his playing career ended in 2011, he could never be described as a shy and retiring type. Indeed, he was one of the most vociferous English players of the modern era, perhaps of any era.
For one of the all-time cricket legends to pen a foreword to the book would be regarded as a great honour. The fact that TWO - Steve Waugh and Sir Vivian Richards - have chosen to do so is an indication of the respect with which Nixon is held throughout the world game.
Both of those giants recognised, from an early stage in their careers, the importance of mental fortitude at the highest levels and used this knowledge as a springboard for their achievements.
As Nixon acknowledges (and relates in some detail), he took somewhat longer to come to terms with such demands. However, once doing so, he was successful in prolonging his career well beyond the standard retirement age, and even earning international recognition at the age of 35. The pride he took in receiving his first England cap, on the troubled but ultimately triumphant 2006-07 tour of Australia, is particularly evident here.
Nixon was renowned as a cricketer with passion, commitment and honesty. It is a delight to report that this book bears the same positive traits.
Throughout his career, he played hard and by his own admission, partied even harder.
This led to many adventures, many of which may have seemed amusing at the time (and perhaps even more so in hindsight), but also others which were downright scary and led him to reflect on his good fortune.
While Nixon rightly revels in the role he has played in successes at county and England level, he also tackles some of the darker elements of the game, covering dressing-room divisions, international match-fixing, and undue media influence in a typically-direct style. He and his co-writer should be proud of their work, which deserves recognition when awards are being considered.
Paul Nixon has been, over many years, a credit to both his native Cumbria and his adopted city and county. Long may he continue to be so!