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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 !
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on 26 October 2013
I was brought up and Evertonian, it is in my blood, and to say it is part of my family is an understatement. Back in the 1980's Everton were on the up and up, I was a teenager, and after the city had struggled so much economically to see the team do so well was a dream come true, having lived in the shadow of the Reds that long! I enjoyed all of Pat's book, but especially his tales of his times in Liverpool. It was a different era then, and these lads were legendary in the city. Pat was infamous as being the handsome boy! he doesn't pull any punches in this book, and he admits that he didn't always treat people well (God bless his first wife!) but by the end of the book you can't help but like and respect him. He also brings to the fore the issue of mental health problems suffered by sports people. For me, as a bit of a celebrity-watcher, I was also interested in the chapter about his marriage to Mandy Smith. I think the saddest thing about the book, and for any Blue reading it, is that Everton never got to build on their European success in the 80s's through no fault of their own. There will always be that what if question, what could have happened to the club had they gone on to further European glories. From his humble beginnings, to his antics on and off the pitch, to his wild boy days and now finally his future in South Africa, there is one thing you can say about Pat, he has never been boring! In today's footballing world you just don't get characters like this any more, everything is so tightly controlled, and I think the English game misses managers like Kendall and Venables. They had the human touch. A great read for anyone who loves football. And Pat, you are welcome back any time!
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on 24 February 2014
I knew Pat's brother and mother when I worked with them in the early eighties and I knew a girl who went out with Pat at the same time. He often used to go for a beer with his brother and I came along quite often. He was good company and yet, you knew, he was always looking around on the off-chance. I enjoyed his book because he tells it as it was and, if you want to read the story of somebody who made the best of what he had, read this. Incidentally, his brother, Rudi, was a better player !
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on 10 August 2013
A good honest account from an icon in the eighties.
Saddened by the murky underbelly which seems to affect many stars in the limelight, relationships with so called 'friends' who are only seeking to take advantage and when their starlight fades the troubles it can often lead to.
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on 31 July 2013
A brilliant read, hard to put down. An honest account of rags to riches and back again. An honest man with only hands-on who were not there to support him when he needed it most - a lower profile Gazza. Great to read as a football fan and an Evertonian. What a life.
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on 13 April 2013
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on 13 June 2013
If you support Everton you need to read this book, if you support Everton and your over 30 you defo need to read this book, Pat seriously lived some life and its worth reading about, E f C Legend!!!
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on 1 March 2013
Firstly being an Everton fan that grew up in the 80's I was always going to be interested in this book. Often football autobiographies tend to be the same old thing but this book had me captivated right from the very start. Pat always had a reputation as being one of the real hard men of his day but it is his off the field antics that make this book a great read. From the sounds of it Pat has has had a real rough time of it in the last 10-15 years battling drink, drugs and depression and I hope this book sees him seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.

One of the best football autobiographies I have read.
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on 8 October 2012
I approached this book with a fair amount of foreboding. Would it be a kiss and tell and rubbishing of clubs, Everton?

No this is a warts and all tale of a footballing life. Well worth a read for any fan. But if you are an Evertonian you will love the book.

Pat tells it like it was, with no holds barred.

Gratifying to know the fans got it right about why he missed so many matches, in that season!!
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on 13 February 2013
A very good book that kept my interest, unlike many other football autobiographies. Pat tells many stories of his off the pitch activities rather than mundane match statistics, like so many other books. I would wholeheartedly recommend this boom to Everton supporters, which I am not, but I enjoyed the book as much as they will.
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