Have just finished this book by Richie Sadlier and found it an inspirational read, despite not being a fanatical football supporter! This autobiography describes the highs and lows of Sadlier’s life, from his football obsessed schooldays in Dublin , to achieving his dream of becoming a professional footballer, only for this dream to be dashed by a career-ending injury. He describes in detail, how unable to control his demons, he eventually hit rock bottom through alcoholism, addiction and other mental health issues, only to rebuild his life as a successful football pundit, psychotherapist and mental fitness teacher.
This book is not just a sports autobiography, although it does give great insight into the lives of professional footballers. It’s a story of resilience and hope, demonstrating how an individual, despite all the blows life has thrown at them, can not just rebuild their life, but develop as a person, and give back so much to society.
Issues such as addiction, alcoholism, abuse, trauma, relationships, family, sexuality, masculinity, self-sabotage, and low self-esteem are dealt with in a frank and open manner. There are lessons to be learned here for all types of reader , young and old, whether struggling with their mental health, an aspiring footballer, coach, parent, team-member, colleague, friend, or anyone just seeking inspiration and drive.
I have huge admiration for Richie Sadlier. Not only has he come back from the brink, but he is now giving so much back to society based on the lessons he has learnt from his earlier life.