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My Idea of Throwing it All Away!
on 23 September 2010
As a Utd fan, I snapped this book up in the sale for next to nothing and then discovered it was even autographed by the man himself - my first hint that this book was probably not a great seller. I have very fond memories of Sharpe scoring a skilful and very cheeky back flick against Barcelona - unfortunately, it appears it never got much better than this for Lee.
Lee Sharpe would probably like to compare himself to George Best & there are similarities, the boy wonder that joined Manchester United and went on to enjoy great success before throwing it all away on the good life - unfortunately, the comparables don't quite match up. George Best became one of the worlds greatest ever players, winning European Player of the Year by almost single-handedly winning the European Cup. The height of Lee Sharpe's success on the other hand appears to be scoring a hat-trick against Arsenal which is mentioned a few too many times in the book. George Best went out with some of the worlds most beautiful women including Miss World and Miss United Kingdom, Lee Sharpe's serious love affairs appear to amount to a childhood sweetheart & a young lady affectionately called "Jugs". This book also lacks many of the humorous "Where did it all go wrong Mr Best?" anecdotes George Best was famous for. Thou I must admit, I did find the "Why do they never put Vimto in the drinks machine" story pretty amusing.
As a consequence, we are left with a book immersed in self-pity, self-doubt and passing the blame. It does offer an insight into football management & the on goings of the football industry pre the glamour and fame of the Premiership but it is mostly Lee moaning about not being loved enough, being played out of position or not being played regularly enough and this is hard to take. At the end of the day, he was still wanted at Utd having received a huge pay rise and playing at the world's biggest club, something most kids can only dream of. It was his decision to leave and miss out on the immense success that was just around the corner. Instead, he is left to reflect on what may have been and past glories albeit too few for someone who was once undoubtedly an exciting young talent.