Back from the Brink: The Autobiography

Back from the Brink: The Autobiography

Paul McGrath

Language: English

Pages: 221

ISBN: 1846051762

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The autobiography of the greatest defender of the 1980s and 90s.

"As survivor's tales go, this is brutalist epic...McGrath's narrative has a stark honesty." (Sean O'Hagan The Observer Sport Monthly)

"Continuing the trend of brutal honesty which was popularised by Paul Gascoigne's autobiography, McGrath's book is difficult to read for anyone with an ounce of human kindness, especially those who marvelled at his ability from the Old Trafford terraces... Beautifully written." (Manchester Evening News)

"Laceratingly honest...remarkably unflinching" (Mail on Sunday)

"A startling, harrowing read... far removed from the churn-em-out footballing autobiographies...This is an uncompromising tale, wonderfully told, about one of our most talented and disturbed sporting heroes." (Hugh Farrelly Irish Independent)

"Heartbreaking...poingnant" (Robert Philip Daily Telegraph)

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impress. For the first time in years, I participated fully. I knew I was on borrowed time and my plan was to give Villa a final, glorious season to be remembered by. And I surprised myself. I stopped drinking. I wasn’t taking sleeping tablets, painkillers or tranquillisers of any sort. My system was clean and it reflected in my performance. I did everything: cross-country runs, sit-ups, press-ups, sprints. For a month, I was a model pupil. I was to the front of every drill, I carried people up

At centre-back, he was incredible. Because he had all the play in front of him. ‘He was a great man at getting the ball and going forward with it. And he could mark three people at once. I mean no one could get by him. But Paul was very quiet at the time. He didn’t socialise, didn’t go out for a drink with us or anything like that. And, at the time, there was a big drinking scene in the League of Ireland. Especially the night after games, we’d all go for a few drinks. ‘Everybody did.’ I loved

attention from members of the opposite sex. Pretty quickly, Jacinta and I just drifted apart. In hindsight, with her still living in Dublin, the relationship never really stood a chance. My salary was reviewed after that first season, and with the offer of more money, I stupidly agreed to a long-term contract. My new wage was £500 a week. Decent money at the time, no question, but roughly just a quarter of what the likes of Bryan Robson were on. Worse, I was tied to it for seven years. For a

Majorca was when the lads came down for breakfast. It was the talk of the place. “Hey, McGrath cleaned out the American navy last night!”’ The night before we came home from that trip to Majorca, I met Claire. She had been staying in the hotel with one of her girlfriends. Gary Bailey and I were sitting at the bar in the disco this night when they walked in. I noticed her immediately. Now, I still had my black eye and didn’t exactly have the confidence to play Romeo. But Gary got talking to her

a tree stopped him ploughing into the house.’ Norman Whiteside: ‘Julie and I stopped for fish and chips on the way home. Almost as soon as we got into the house, the phone goes. It’s Claire, telling me he’s in hospital. So Julie drove me over straight away and I remember the police hanging around, waiting to interview him. ‘For some reason, the rumour actually got out that I had been in the passenger seat and had run away from the accident. You only had to see the car to know that, if I had

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