From the publisher:
‘My identity is built on conflicts, and I’m proud of who I am … I can walk through the rest of my life with something to say.’
Nedum Onuoha was not a typical footballer. A young black Mancunian picked by the Manchester City Academy aged ten, he was determined to continue his education despite the lure of a career under the floodlights. Fiercely intelligent on and off the pitch, Onuoha developed into a talented defender and played his part in City’s meteoric rise. He was at the Etihad Stadium when they won their first Premier League title – as an opposition player for QPR, having left the Blues just four months earlier.
In this characteristically forthright book, Onuoha reveals what goes on behind the scenes at top-tier clubs. Stuffed with insights into household names like Stuart Pearce, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp, this is football and its most famous figures as you’ve never seen them before.
Kicking Back is also the story of one man’s search for identity: as a footballer, as a black man in England and as an outsider in the US during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. What is it like to receive horrific racist abuse while doing your job? And how has football utterly failed the black community? Onuoha provides a damning assessment of the sport’s authorities, finally claiming his voice as he dives deep into a life spent on the pitch.
Nedum Onuoha is a former professional footballer who made his debut for Manchester City at the age of seventeen. Having been the first player to sign for the club's academy, he went on to play nearly 450 games for City and three more teams before retiring in 2020. Born in Nigeria, he was raised in a deprived part of Manchester, where his parents were forced to make huge sacrifices to provide Nedum and his sisters with a good education; he completed his A-Levels while playing in the Premier League. He is now a sought-after pundit for a number of leading broadcasters for both his analysis of the game and the perspective that his life so far has given him.