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Back from the Brink: The Autobiography

Paul McGrath

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From the publisher:

Paul McGrath is Ireland's best loved sportsman and also its least understood. An iconic football presence during a professional career stretching over 14 years, he played for his country in the European Championship finals of 1988 and the World Cup finals of 1990 and 1994. But, behind the implied glamour of life in the employ of great English clubs like Manchester United and Aston Villa, McGrath wrestled with a range of destructive emotions that made his success in the game little short of miraculous.

That story has until now never been told. It is a story that runs from a hard, hidden childhood spent in Dublin's orphanages all the way to the pain of two marriage break-ups and the struggle to cope with life after football. Quite apart from his all too public struggle with alcoholism, the story runs through the surreal highs and calamitous lows of a life lived habitually on the edge of chaos.

It is not just a football story. It is an extraordinary human story that is certain to surprise with its candour. Here, for the first time, read about the father he never met; the mother whose love never died; the routine loneliness and ritual bullying endured by a black kid growing up behind closed doors in 1960s Dublin; the emotional breakdown suffered on leaving that institution; the recovery that - remarkably - brought him all the way to Old Trafford; the rollercoaster ride that followed.

Here, the guilt, fear, self-loathing are all laid bare in a story fired with hope and determination for the future. It may well be the most candid sports book ever written.

The author:

Paul McGrath was born on December 4, 1959. He joined St Patricks Athletic, Dublin, as a teenager before joining Manchester United in 1982. He won the FA Cup with United and was twice voted Player of the Year before being sold to Aston Villa for GBP400,000 in 1989, where he was voted Player of the Year four times. He was also PFA Player of the Year in 1993. He also played for Derby and Sheffield United, before retiring in 1998. McGrath also won 83 caps for the Republic of Ireland, appeared at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and was Ireland's first black captain.

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Arrow Books
18 x 11 cm
Paperback
432 pages
May 2007
English
9780099499558