I'm Not Really Here: A Life of Two Halves

I'm Not Really Here: A Life of Two Halves

by Paul Lake


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Paul Lake was Manchester born, a City fan from birth. His footballing talent was spotted at a young age and, in 1983, he signed coveted schoolboy forms for City. Only a short time later he was handed the team captaincy. An international career soon beckoned and, after turning out for the England under-21 and B teams, he received a call-up to the England training camp for Italia ’90. Despite missing out on a place in the final squad he suitably impressed the management, with Bobby Robson earmarking him as an England captain in the making. As a rising star Paul became a target for top clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, Spurs and Liverpool, but he always stayed loyal to his beloved club, deeming Maine Road the spiritual home at which his destiny lay. But then, In September 1990, disaster struck. Paul ruptured his cruciate ligament and sustained the worst possible injury that a footballer can suffer. And so began his nightmare. Neglected, ignored and misunderstood by his club after a career-saving operation was irreversibly botched, Paul’s career began to fall apart. Watching from the sidelines as similarly injured players regained their fitness, he spiralled into a prolonged bout of severe depression. With an enforced retirement from the game he adored, the death of his father and the collapse of his marriage, Paul was left a broken man. Set against a turning point in English football, I’m Not Really Here is the powerful story of love and loss and the cruel, irreparable damage of injury; of determination, spirit, and resilience, and of unfulfilled potential and broken dreams.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780099553250
Publisher: Random House UK
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Paul Lake was born in Denton, Greater Manchester, and was first spotted at just ten years old. Determined to play for his beloved blues he joined the City Youth Training Scheme in July 1985. A year later, he was in the team that won the FA Youth cup and the following season, made his first team debut. In the third game of the 1990/91 season, after a challenge by Tony Cascarino Lake ruptured his cruciate ligaments, an injury which would rule him out for two years. After four years and 14 operations, Lake called it a day and retired from football. He later studied at Salford University and qualified as a physiotherapist.

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