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Proud: My Autobiography Hardcover – 11 Sep 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 225 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Press; First Edition edition (11 Sept. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0091958334
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091958336
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 99,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Astonishingly powerful" (The Times)

"Proud offers an enthralling insight into a world and a struggle to which we are rarely given access… Thomas’ story is a harrowing reminder that sportsmen are as vulnerable as the rest of us… The honesty with which Thomas presents his many dark moments makes this an absolute must-read. An eye-opening glimpse into the inner turmoil of a national hero" (Sport Magazine)

"Inspiring and moving" (Daily Telegraph)

"Sensational" (Rugby World)

"Achingly honest" (Guardian)

Book Description

The inspiring true story of the first professional sportsman to come out while still playing

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am 29 and a Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Even though DADT was kicked in 2010 it just means you won't get fired for being gay. It doesn't mean you won't get your ass handed to you or wont lose the respect of your friends, subordinates or superiors or peers. My job is to be in command of 30 men. Being open would put that in jeopardy which is sad to say after working hard to gain respect. I guess you have to weight up the options. What else would I do for work if I did not have this! That's probably what Mr. Thomas had to confront.

This was a powerful book, thank god for Kindle, I could read without fear, yeah I know coward huh?

I am not an English scholar so give me a free pass for any grammar errors or spelling mistake. Five stars.

I am familiar with the inner turmoil Mr Thomas experienced and I hope those who are straight and read his autobiography understand how spot on he was with what its like, well for me anyways.I think I am about 10 years behind Mr. Thomas and as yet cannot see myself taking the steps out he has. Although his story did instill that feeling being gay does not make you less of a man. It seems stupid but that is one of the barriers I had stuck in my head. I'm gay so I have to be twice the man in aggression, in blood and in no BS just to feel equal to straight men. Its just how I feel even now at times, where does that come from? After reading Proud I walk just a little taller and feel a little lighter in the dark times in my mind. I don't feel so heavy with the secret.

I've been watching some Rugby on youtube since reading Proud all I can say is F**** now THAT is a crazy game! No pads! In the NFL you bleed a little you are off, in Rugby it seems you bleed and keep going. Much respect for the guys in that game.
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Not many have lived with quite the combination of supreme sporting ability, public fame and a terrible secret that characterised Gareth Thomas's life. But any gay man who has faced the fear of coming out will find something in Gareth Thomas's experience which resonates, especially the sense of holding within you something at once too important to be hidden and too shameful to be revealed. In Thomas's case, all this was magnified by marriage, huge international success and fame and a secret double life, always at risk of exposure. Gareth Thomas had to reach for levels of courage which took him to the brink of suicide. As for most of us who are gay, the relief and empowerment of coming out were far better than the previous fear and concealment. But he came out, not just to family and friends, but to the world and, especially, the macho world of rugby. This is a powerful, raw and emotional book. It is no surprise that, with characteristic modesty, Thomas reveals something of the important mentoring role he plays for other sportsmen as well as for young, aspiring players. The book is 'ghosted' and I sometimes felt that its literary qualities were an obstacle to feeling the real personality of Thomas himself. If so, it is a price worth paying for a remarkable, brave and inspiring story.
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Gareth Thomas is a brave man on and off the field. This book recounts an inner struggle that would have done for many lesser men, and by his account, almost did for him. What is remarkable in these days of sports psychology and 'incremental percentage gains' is that a man who was clearly at war within himself still managed to achieve so much in an environment that was in many ways hostile. Where most of us dream of one cap he has 100 for his country, and captained the Lions.
This is not a book about rugby (no boring accounts of games and great tries, which can all be seen online anyway), but the game's values do shine through. What I found most interesting is the apparent contradiction between the homophobic machismo of the herd of his youth, that caused him to hide behind the 'Alfie' persona, and the genuine concern and acceptance from individual friends and players when he comes out, which shows all the values that make you proud of the game. We are all better people as individuals than when we feel compelled to be part of some group mentality; the rugby community thankfully seems way ahead of games like football in its acceptance of personal issues like sexuality and mental health.
Michael Calvin has done a good job here and this is very readable. Best of all is seeing Gareth conquer his demons, realise the value of truth and come out a much happier man. Sounds simple but it takes guts.
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I wanted to read this book as I to am from Bryncethin not that far from Sarn. I found the book very interesting to start with but found he went on to long about all his rugby , could have sumed it up a few pages sooner. As for him coming out I applaud him for that he is very brave . I hope he has a good life .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An honest account of 'Alfie' as he grows up, achieves initial success and builds on this to attain international status. Also, one of only a very few accounts of how a famous sportsman struggled with his homosexuality and of how, in this case, his inner conflicts affected his family and drove him to the brink before he decided, courageously, to be honest with himself and to others.

Like the autobiography of Nigel Owens, 'Proud' is an inspirational account of how one's sexuality should be no barrier to success in sport nor, indeed, in any career.
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