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The Bogey Man Unmasked
on 10 February 2011
The life and times of a Cockney/Belgian/Welsh football player: the long-awaited Pat Van Den Hauwe autobiography...and my God this fella's done some stuff..
From armed drug deals in black South African townships, to almost being killed in nightclubs; from marrying self-absorbed, stick-insect socialites (and, it appears, their loony mothers !), to outraging aeroplane staff by getting his diggler out - Van Den Hauwe's 'colourful' life-story reads like motley, salacious pulp fiction.
And there's football as well !
Touching tributes from Howard Kendall and Terry Venables pay warm testament to Van Den Hauwe the excellent player, but also reveal plenty about his loyalty and standing as a pro. And Pat's constant incredulity at the reaction he gets from adoring fans when making personal appearances tells much of his gratitude and humility as a man.
In 'PP - LoM' he is trying to play down his kick-em-in-the-nuts hard man persona...a bit. He prefers to reminisce, with considerable relish, his brazen bed-hopping antics.
Some will give him the benefit of the doubt - but not me. The image of Pat Van Den Hauwe I'll take to oblivion, is of him, eyes blazing with contempt, putting his foot through a terrified opposition winger - ball in the vicinty or not !
I've met the guy a couple of times and he's cool, polite and quietly amusing - but there's something in his eyes....something dark and sinister. He's the Event Horizon of ex-pros. He's been places and done things the rest of us would be in a cold sweat just thinking about.
And now he's written them in a book.
'Legend or Madman' ? It may be a cliché, but the answer's obvious ~ he's both. In the 1980's he was in the thick of Everton F.C's best ever domestic side, but the opportunity to kick some of the elitest foreigners up into the air on the greatest European stages was denied him by the wretched antics of the forlorn and ignominious herd accross the park.
Two Championships and a Cup Winners Cup ensure his legend status; and in these mad days when the likes of ludicrous Vinnie Jones are becoming actors - Pat would have a job for life in shady horror movies !
His book is like the man himself: lean, straight-forward - with plenty of bite.
Get it before it gets you !
#Note : I wisely purchased my copy from 2rivers Promotions, who have a limited number of ravishing and highly collectible signed editions. Pat won't be inscribing any more and South Africa's a long way away !
~ Un-Ban the Everton 1 !