It is! I’m a bit of a football fan (Glasgow Celtic FC) but I live with a really obsessive one, and it was with his encouragement I chose to read this. (I suspect he also plans to read it himself now I’ve finished it!)
Full disclosure – I hadn’t heard of Troy Deeney when the Blog Tour invitation popped into my inbox, but when I asked Mr Crimeworm who he was, he immediately replied, “Course! Played for Watford, mainly. Very good player…great striker. Think he had a few demons, remember some scrapes being in the papers. But he’s a pundit now, so must be doing better…comes across as a nice guy. Like him as a pundit, actually. And he’s big in the Black Lives Matter movement.”
And I suspect that’s what the average football fan would say about Troy. But what does Troy have to say about himself in his book?
Well, he doesn’t sugar the pill – he takes full responsibility for all his actions, as the title of the book suggests, and that theme runs through all areas of his life. He grew up with a brother and a sister in the biggest council estate in Europe, with a mum who worked three jobs and held the family together. She comes across as a real heroine, as she’s frequently heading a one parent family, Troy’s father being “on holiday” – common code for dads in jail. She was a victim of domestic violence, but Troy never once saw her cry.
But Troy found success in football – that was his ticket away from all the bad things…
He did – he’s played in all four leagues, and in the top years of his career was English Premier League Watford’s captain and one of the country’s highest scoring striker, with the massive wage that goes with that.
So he had everything he’d ever wanted – what went wrong…?
Well, you’ll have to read the book for the full details of his fall from grace, but, unbelievably, he ended up in the same place his father spent so many years – prison.
The book details his rebuilding of his life and reputation, and I admired the way he takes ownership of everything that went wrong. He’s had a lot of therapy – that’s clear from the beginning of the book, and it’s been hugely helpful with dealing with his own children and not repeating the problems of the past.
Is it a good read, though?
Definitely, and not just for football fans. His personality and voice is clear. And it’s a likeable voice, a knowledgeable one – he has, unbelievably, become the sort of guy you might go to for advice! His involvement in the Black Lives Matter movement is really inspiring, too.
A guy you’d like to go for a coffee with, then.
100%. But no doubt Mr Crimeworm would have to gatecrash and talk football all day long!
My thanks to Anne Cater at Random Things Tours for inviting me on this blog tour, and Octopus Books for the ARC. My review is unbiased.
BLURB: Troy Deeney is best known as Watford FC’s former captain and a thorn in Arsenal’s side. But behind the successful and gritty football persona is a remarkable story of resilience.
In this brutally honest and inspirational memoir, Troy shares what it was like to grow up on Europe’s largest council estate, where his mum worked three jobs and his father, a notorious drug dealer, was frequently in and out of prison.
He shares stories of self-sabotage, from simply not turning up to Aston Villa’s football trials as a teenager, playing while drunk to being imprisoned for affray at the height of his career.
But Troy never gave up, even when it meant playing professional football with an ankle tag. He went on to score 20+ goals in three successive seasons and became the Club Captain, an FA Cup finalist, promotion winner and Watford’s record scorer. He also became an outspoken player advocate and – in an age of bland footballer interviews – is a sought after voice on football and footballers today.
Engaging, endearing and insightful, this book is where Troy comes to terms with his turbulent past.