1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Ok but holds back....,
This review is from: It's in the Blood: My Life (Paperback)
I remember the 2003 World Cup campaign well and Lawrence Dallaglio was one of the English heroes who played a big part in it. He was (proudly) the only player to have played every minute of every match - although there were reasons for this. I enjoy biographies and have read several of sporting legends (Ali, Armstrong...er Tony Cascarino) but none has been that exceptional. Sadly, this is the case here too as while it has its moments, it quite workman-like although generally readable.
He came from a secure and loving family and is at pains to point this out. His parents were very supportive and they worked hard to give him the best education they could afford. He admits he did not give them a good return on their investment and cruised through school, only excelling on the rugby pitch. He tells us about the tragic loss of his sister in the Marchioness and the devastating effect it had on him then, and to this day. His mother's long and brave fight for a full public enquiry is an eye-opener in the face of indolence and opposition from the authorities, though Dallaglio admits he played little part in this.
His arrival at and career with his beloved Wasps club side is well documented and you have to admire the man for staying at the club he adored although there do not appear to have been many offers from other clubs. Sometimes, it can be a bit of a mates backslapping tome, as he tells of his love of a "pint and a yarn" with his friends but he seems to have made no enemies whatsoever on the way. If he did, he didn't tell us.....
I was also a bit disappointed in the way the News of the World "drug dealer" scandal was glossed over, Dallaglio blaming the drink entirely, however as one NOTW lawyer said being drunk does not give you an in-depth knowledge of the drugs world. If he had addressed specific allegations made in the papers, his explanations would have had more credibility. It cost him the England captaincy but he is one of those players who just wanted to play for the white shirt at all costs, and you get the impression he really meant that.
There are interesting passages on his relationship with Clive Woodward, an extremely clever and talented coach. It was a rocky ride at times but the mutual respect was there. Johnny Wilkinson comes across as a shy character who doesn't enjoy the limelight (shouldn't be such a good goal kicker then should he). Club fans will enjoy the accounts of battles against Leicester and the Toulouse etc, whilst international fans will enjoy the World Cup and Lions accounts equally as much.
A good read for the England and Wasps rugby fan though it could have been better had the surface been scratched a bit deeper.