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Back from the Brink: The Autobiography Hardcover – 5 Oct 2006
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Paul McGrath is Ireland's best loved sportsman and also its least understood. An iconic football presence during a professional career stretching over 14 years, he played for his country in the European Championship finals of 1988 and the World Cup finals of 1990 and 1994. But, behind the implied glamour of life in the employ of great English clubs like Manchester United and Aston Villa, McGrath wrestled with a range of destructive emotions that made his success in the game little short of miraculous. That story has until now never been told. It is a story that runs from a hard, hidden childhood spent in Dublin's orphanages all the way to the pain of two marriage break-ups and the struggle to cope with life after football. Quite apart from his all too public struggle with alcoholism, the story runs through the surreal highs and calamitous lows of a life lived habitually on the edge of chaos. It is not just a football story. It is an extraordinary human story that is certain to surprise with its candour.Here, for the first time, read about the father he never met; the mother whose love never died; the routine loneliness and ritual bullying endured by a black kid growing up behind closed doors in 1960s Dublin; the emotional breakdown suffered on leaving that institution; the recovery that - remarkably - brought him all the way to Old Trafford; the rollercoaster ride that followed. Here, the guilt, fear, self-loathing are all laid bare in a story fired with hope and determination for the future. It may well be the most candid sports book ever written.
From the Publisher
The compelling story of the boy orphan from Dublin who went on
to become a football legend.
WINNER William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year Award 2006.
WINNER Boylesports Sports Book of the Year Award 2006.
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This is full and frank account of Paul’s hectic and chaotic life with football being the sideshow.
When you read the adversity he went through from birth until retirement it’s a wonder he is still here to tell the tale never mind being one of the best players of his generation.
You can not read this book and be unmoved by the heart wrenching incidents Paul and others describe.
I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
Hopefully Paul has beaten his demons and maybe does a follow up soon because when you finish his book you really do hope and pray that he has found a calmness and normality in his life.
anybody but an alcoholic, defies logic. The spiritual awakening that is necessary for a complete psychic change will unfortunately only come with admittance of defeat. Ironic aly Paul is a born winner . I wish him happy and contented sobriety. God bless Paul !!
However I can't quite go the full 5 stars on the basis that some of the key times, relationships and footballing moments don't show. And I think perhaps some counter-opinion to the best footballer line etc etc would be welcome for balance.
Nevertheless a cracking read and I wish PM the very best in whatever he does in the future.