At 390 pages, with 106 colour photographs this is a very comprehensive read. It covers Shay’s life & passion for a game he clearly loves. The book takes us from his humble beginnings in Ireland where he and his siblings helped their single parent father in the fields, right through his English Premier League career & his distinguished service for the Republic of Ireland national team, for which he was capped no less than 134 times. The descriptions of his humble early life are touching, particularly the tragic loss of his mum to cancer when he was only four years old, and she was forty-one. This clearly had a huge influence on the young Shay, and indeed he postulates the probable certainty this event influenced his entire life, even to this day. He’s not afraid to admit he sought psychiatric help more than once during his career, aware of the stigma still sadly attached to mental health issues, and very prescient when it comes to today’s world of sport science and motivation. Well done for that. The book contains the usual descriptions of dressing room antics, off duty drinking, famous names, and an inside look at the style of various great managers - and some who were not so great - often with hilarious results. Coaching is mentioned a lot; how, who, where, and what style, which is interesting for any perspective goalkeeper. The book is necessarily quite long because it takes in the international career and English Premier League career of a fine, world class goalkeeper, but it maintains interest throughout. Shay Given comes across as a lovely chap, fair, tough, talented, with a great deal of modesty & humility. A great read, well done, and credit also to Chris Brereton.
Best football book I’ve read. Tells a good story from early years in Ireland and through professional career. Particularly interesting insights through his career at Newcastle and with the Ireland international team. Recommended.
Bought this for my elderly mother who had asked for it for Christmas. She loved it-couldn't put it down. She says it made her laugh and cry& in some cases at the same time. She's told everyone who will listen about it and has a list ready to 'loan it to'