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Catch a Falling Star: The Autobiography of Neil Young Hardcover – 4 Oct 2004
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One of the most perceptive descriptions of Manchester City's play during their glory years was made by Manchester Evening News reporter Peter Gardner who said that "When Youngy plays, City play". For all the talk in the intervening years of greats such as Summerbee, Bell and Lee, it was the local lad made good who made most impact when it mattered. A tall, leggy striker with a venomous left-foot shot, Young scored in every significant game for City in the late 60s. Scorer of two goals in the 1968 Championship win up at Newcastle, the scorer of the 1969 FA Cup Final winner and the first goal in the 1970 Cup Winners' Cup final, Neil Young played as significant a role in the success and style of the Mercer-Allison partnership as anyone. Yet by 1972 he was allowed to leave the club as City began their now familiar relationship with underachievement and mismanagement. In 'Catch a Falling Star', Neil Young explains what he has been up to in the years since his sizzling shots stung the hands of the country's finest goalkeepers.Here he frankly discusses the problem that faced footballers of the pre-Premiership era: "When I left Rochdale for the last time one Friday afternoon I had a week's wages...about GBP60. I drove home and sat in my lounge for about two hours, wondering what the hell I was going to do. I had a car on HP, a mortgage, a wife and three children to feed. I was the provider who could no longer provide. I had no savings whatsoever and my wife didn't work. I didn't see it coming. It was a calamity waiting to happen." Thus starts Neil's decline into illness and depression. During the next painful decade Neil suffered lost his family, his mother and survived a suicide attempt. Thankfully, he has emerged with his spirit intact thanks largely to the love of his third wife, Carmen. 'Catch a Falling Star' is the moving tale of a how a star on the wane managed to mount a personal comeback as impressive as any achieved on the pitch by City's star-studded squad of the late 60s.
From the Publisher
No one in the history of Manchester City will ever repeat the acheivements of Neil Young. Scoring goals to win three major trophies within three seasons remains an amazing acheivement, yet in the years since these highs Neil has suffered from illness and depression. Here he frankly discusses the problem faced by most footballers in the pre-premiership era - what to do once they have retired. A fascinating insight into adjusting to the real world, Catch a Falling Star is a new take on the traditional player biography.
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He was treated poorly in the end by the club and especially former chairman Peter Swales, he deserved more from the club and it is forever to our shame that he was treated with such disdain.
I give this book five stars, not for its literary merit but for the subject matter. It is only likely to be read by City fans and every City fan should know of Neil Young.
When City treat Neil Young decently and acknowledge his contribution to the club, then perhaps the footballing gods will shine on the City of Manchester Stadium.
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