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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 1 May 2015
A brilliant autobiography of a top player. It is not your bog-standard list of mildly amusing football anecdotes but more a painful, touching account of a deeply troubled man who comes across with humility and modesty. It is not a light, fun read but is addictive nonetheless. Here's hoping Paul stays healthy and happy as long as possible.
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on 29 April 2017
Not just one of the best ever football autobiographies but sporting ones. You don't need much football or sporting knowledge to learn, appreciate, admire, understand & recognise, Paul's very personal achievements & continuing battles he has experienced. Recommended for any sports enthusiast who may not be aware of the name PAUL McGRATH.
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on 13 September 2017
Great,well written.
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on 27 April 2017
Great book found out a lot of things I didn't know about Paul McGrath,great man great player
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on 14 August 2017
excellent book.
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on 16 February 2010
this is a very good autobiography to read , paul had it rough from a very early age and how he became such a brilliant football player is amazing considering his troubles and addictions . the only drawback i had with the book was you would be reading the book through pauls words then suddenly the next paragrath would be an ex manager , player or partner speaking about him , this threw me on a few occasions because it happens so frequently . but when you get used to seeing the commers that's indicating it was being said about paul then it was very enjoyable.he could have easily been britains finest ever defender without doubt if he had the right attitude .fergie got rid of him because he could not get thru to him at all while mcgrath just got drunk and ignored him ,mcgrath now realise's he was wrong and fergie was right but if anything mcgrath got better once he left utd but was constantly plagued with his demons and still to this day i suppose.
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on 5 July 2017
Top read, top man
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on 26 May 2007
This is a story about a man wrestling with addiction while being blessed with great athleticism. Being autobiographical, Paul is more scathing about his lapses than a biographer would be, while underplaying his iconic football image. At times it's gut-wrenchingly honest as his constant submissions to the booze prevent him fully realising his athletic potential. You don't have to be a Man U fan, Villan or Republic of Ireland fan to read this. Paul's roots and upbringing alone are rivetting and scary.

Me, I'm a music fan really, and this life has parralels with Phil Lynott's tragic rise to fame and seduction by drugs. I just hope it doesn't end prematurely in the way Phil's did. A mixed race Irish man growing up in Dublin with no knowledge of his father but driven by a calling to excel. The troubled romances and the shadow of oblivion cast over even the most triumphal moments.

Paul's football carreer was dogged by dodgy knees, alcoholism and an amazing lack of self belief or confidence. A genius awarded countless accolades and many caps who feels unworthy of sharing the stage with his contemporaries. I was shocked by the extent of his problems and the lengths his friends had successfully gone to to prevent the truth being more widely publicised. I look forward to someone making this into a film.
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on 24 October 2006
Oooh Aaah Paul McGrath went the chants around Landsdowne Road, Old Trafford and Villa Park in the late '80s and early '90s when one of Ireland's truely outstanding sports personalities was at the peak of his career.

And what a brilliant career it was. Paul McGrath was a rock at the heart of United and Villa's defences and a collosus for Eire particularly in the 1990 and 1994 World Cups. And the amazing thing is that McGrath achieved all this whilst battling alcoholism and inner demons that would undoubtedly have destroyed a lesser man.

The book is a very candid account of McGrath's life, from his tough childhood in Dublin where he suffered because of his skin colour, to his rise to the summit of professional football where he often played whilst under the influence. The book gives an indication of what McGrath's mindset and mental state was like during these halcyon years, and includes some really interesting stories and insights into the some of the top personalities in English and Irish football at the time.

Legend is a word that is certainly used too lightly, but this is not the case with McGrath. He is a true legend and what's more he comes across as a very honest and likeable character. A great read.

Declan Mullan.
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on 17 November 2007
Paul McGrath tells a searingly honest story, although as you read your way through you realise McGrath himself couldn't possibly have written this alone, without a massive amount of help from his ghostwriter/co-author Vincent Horgan. McGrath describes his corrosive lack of confidence that is still in the process of destroying his life ("Back from the Brink"? Shouldn't the title be "Still on the Brink"? McGrath makes clear in the final chapter he is only beginning to acknowledge his problems, let alone address them.)
It's an interesting story of a flawed man who led a double life, thrilling millions with his football, while hurting many round about him. It's also a story of British society (and the football industry in particular) and its inability to cope with mental illness in general and especially addictive behaviour. The answer is always to cover up for McGrath, dry him out, get him fit enough to play; then dump him out of the game at 38, stuffed knees, screwed up head, and none of the skills to cope.
Having said this, the book is WAY too long at just over 400 pages. McGrath has very little to say in any detail about what went on when he was playing although more about his relationship with different managers and physios. That leaves a lot of time to talk his inner demons, drink, finding drink, evading friends guarding him, and what he did when he was drunk. Even with the best will in the world, when you are reading about him disappearing for the tenth time it is starting to get a bit dull.
He has interesting things to say about the managers but is so absorbed by drinking that he has very little to say about the game. He was hired as a panelist for Match of the Day for tyhe 2002 World Cup (he never made it as he turned up drunk) but on the evidence of the book he does not seem to have been a deep-thinker about the game anyway.
Paul McGrath the man - I really hope it works out for you. "Back from the Brink" the book - ok but no more than that.
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