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on 12 March 2017
Unquestionably one of the best footballing autobiographies that's been written.

As a Liverpool fan, I've heard of Paul Lake but didn't know much about the player who pretty much had it all in the palm of his hands - and then had what would have been an amazing footballing career cut cruelly short. This isn't your standard bull*h*t story - boy does well, earns hundreds of thousands of pounds a week, wins a few trophies and now wants to cash in even more.

This is an emotional rollercoaster of a story about a player who was Man City's captain and likely would have been England captain too - but for a knee injury that was misdiagnosed and then mistreated. Time after time after time again. You live and breathe Paul's career on every page - he doesn't hold back. His happiness and joy when it was going well, and then the depression and effects following years of rehabilitation, surgeries, comebacks (repeatedly) and, finally, the inevitable decision to hang up his boots.

Here's a player who genuinely wanted to play for his boyhood club, who wasn't motivated by money or the riches of the modern game. It's one hell of a book and you're left feeling that Paul hasn't come to terms with how his career ended - particularly as he's seen his friends and other players suffer similar injuries and gone on to be successful footballers. It makes for an emotional and riveting tale.
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on 26 June 2017
This is an emotional roller coaster ride, from the ecstacy of walking out to play for your boyhood team to the tears when that's no longer an option.

Paul was one of the greatest young talents in the country and his story is heart breaking.

The book itself is so well written you feel you are there with Paul and his family. Walking beside me him, feeling his pain and despair as he works so hard for everything.

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on 1 June 2017
A great read
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on 21 August 2011
I'm a United fan, and a good blue mate bought me this.
I owe him big time.

Red, blue or whatever team you support, you probably know about Paul Lake already "he did his cruciate didn't he?", but you might not know about the man who in his depths of despair admits to defacing and tearing to pieces a City programme, dissolves into tears after a chance meeting with a fan in a curry house and loses his father, is forced to retire from football and gets divorced within the space of months.

Lake's honesty about his struggles with his physical and mental health is brutal. Yet the writing style and the structure flows smoothly from first page to last.

The tragedy is that a talented young man with a treatable injury was let down by the Medical profession and sadly by his club - read the bit about his toe-to-toe with Peter Swales.

And still the physical pain goes on. Paul Lake will most likely be the youngest ex-pro to need a double-knee transplant, so buy this book right now and give him some support. Trust me, if you love football, you won't regret forking out for it, it's worth every penny. Hey, I can't believe I just wrote that about a City player, but it's true!
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on 18 August 2011
I read this book after stumbling across Paul Lake being interviewed on five 5. I grew up in Manchester in the 80's as a Liverpool fan, but as my brothers were big City fans, I was often in the Kippax watching City during the time Paul was on the rise. Along with likes White, and Brightwell; Paul Lake was something of a hero in our house. My brothers always felt more confident if his name was on the team sheet. He was a class act, and as my brothers Inspiral Carpets t-shirt read at the time `cool as f**k` I was still quite young when Paul got injured and must admit that I knew very little of what became of him after about 1991.
I have read many footballer autobiographies in recent years, non of which are a patch on this. His complete honesty to the reader of both the good times, and the bad was a very moving experience (I read the book in one sitting unable to put it down for longer than 5 minutes). At times it felt like I was intruding on very private and personal thoughts which must have been difficult to put out there, but give an excellent insight into the psychological processes attached to a serious football injury. This is not the norm of a footballer book but I felt very privileged to have heard Paul's story.
If Paul should ever read this review then I would like to wish him all the best, and thank him for some great memories.
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on 12 August 2011
Growing up as a city fans from Denton, Paul lake was our inspiration and local hero. Everyone I knew was so upset when Lakey had to retire due to injury at such a young age. I was 16 then and now I am a thirty something and thought I would buy the book to see just what did happen to my hero.
What a read !!!! The first 2 chapters set the tone for an emotional read. It progresses to give you an true account of how badly certain people at the club treated their brightest star. The physical pain of an injury that was never going to get better due to being badly diagnoised by people a young Paul Lake trusted. The years of physical and emotional pain clearly come through the words on each page,but there are also some light hearted funny moments that make you laugh out loud. The Final chapter sees Paul "returning Home" back to City in his new role as club ambassador, Well done the club for not forgetting the best young homegrown footballer ever to play for City. Writing this book must of taken a lot of courage and soul searching but you get the sense that writing this book has probalbly helped Paul in his recovery. A must read for any football fan especially fans who like to read books written by players who are still in touch with reality. Well done Paul and Good Luck... (your still my hero :)
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on 1 August 2011
Although Paul Lake's City career effectively ended at the age of 22, he is still revered as a City legend. Why?

Firstly, during his short career at City (truncated by a horrific knee inury) he had already proven to be a star. Captain at 21, often MOTM...he simply didn't do bad performances. He could play almost anywhere - and had all the attributes necessary to make it at the top level. England captain of the future? You can never say for sure, but the consensus was almost unanimous.
Secondly, he was a blue through and through - a fan wearing the shirt. You could see how much he wanted to play, and as fans we saw ourself in him.
Thirdly, he was something to cling onto when things started to turn sour in the early 90s. "It'll be ok when we get Lakey back", was something I heard often at Maine Road.

This book is a frank and thorough depiction of the nature of depression when something you love is taken from you. It's something most people can relate to, athlete or mere mortal. The fact that Lake is so up front about a subject that is still almost taboo can only be a good thing for mental health awareness too.
I really enjoyed the book: it was well written and produced both smiles and tears. It's a refreshing work, not the same old same old football biog.

Thanks for the memories Paul, and I wish you all the best for the future.
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on 8 August 2011
an honest and frank account of pauls fight to save his career,at times the book left me with a big lump in my throat,and as a city fan,a sour taste about the way my club treated him in the past,am glad to read they are now making amends,a fantastic read for all football fans and a definate inspiration to anybody fighting a long term injury.
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on 16 November 2011
Beautifully written - funny 'laugh- out- loud' moments ( eg mum running on the pitch) and moments of real heartfelt, sometimes gut wrenching emotion. The best book I have ever read. And my husband read it before me - first book he's read in 20-odd years. I cannot speak highly enough of this book or indeed of the very talented and ultimately very resilient Paul Lake himself. A credit to his club and his family. As blues, we're truly very proud of him.
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on 29 September 2013
Paul Lake was supposed to be the next big thing, but bad injuries and poor care from the football club spoiled a great career
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