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

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  197 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
The extraordinary memoir of Paul Lake, the greatest English footballer to never make the national team
Paul Lake was Manchester born, a City fan from birth. Hissoccer talent was spotted at a young age and, in 1985, he signed with City. Just three years later he was handed the team captaincy, becoming the youngest ever City captain. An international career soon beckoned and,
Hardcover, 406 pages
Published August 25th 2011 by Random House UK (first published August 4th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Iain Nisbet
Sep 22, 2012 Iain Nisbet rated it really liked it
I've only ever read 2 other football autobios and they were both terrible, this however was very good. Not many people outside of Man City supporters I suspect will be too familiar with Paul Lake's story but it's very much worth a read dealing as it does with depression and a sense of loss when you lose something you've dedicated your life towards.

The prologue sets the tone as it's split in to 2 parts, one the highs of being successful at something you love followed by the lows of career and bod
Pete daPixie
Mar 11, 2016 Pete daPixie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: footie, autobiogs
Local BBC radio in Manchester tipped this book on one of their 'footie' forum broadcasts, when Paul Lake was a guest on the programme. The presenters echoed the Manchester Metro review that is shown on the book's cover, 'best football autobiography ever? Unquestionably.' On my very next library visit, there it was, so I had to read this. Being of the red side of Manchester and the blue of Oldham did not in any way hinder my enjoyment of Paul Lake's autobiography.
No glittering twenty year career
Jan 24, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: football, auto-bio
This book was brilliant. Arguably my favourite football book and by far the best auto-biography / bio I have read.
Following the life of a young prodigy that is hit with a career threatening injury, the author offers an insight into the unseen side of football, opening up on his emotions (positive and negative) and despite even entering depression shows wit and self-deprecation whilst describing his existence.

How he deals with it, both succumbing and overcoming is a truly great story & whilst
Mar 03, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it
This has to be the best football book I have ever read. The story is really one of loss and unfulfilled dreams and promise. You can feel the grief and pain caused by the injury that ended Paul's career and the impact this had on him as a person and on his self-worth. Having grown up in the area and knowing some of the people and places mentioned in the book it was very personal for me. I would recommend this book to anybody as a heart rending and moving story not just for those with an interest ...more
Callan Yates
Sep 23, 2014 Callan Yates rated it it was amazing
Very hard-hitting read, it's such a shame how shoddily Paul was treated back when Manchester City FC club were seemingly ran by a bunch of inept jokers. From what I've been told off fellow blues, without any bias whatsoever, he could have made it to the top of the footballing spectrum - however due to terrible injury sustained relatively early on in his career; unfortunately for him he never quite fulfilled that potential.

Not just your run of the mill footy autobiography...a must read for any t
Jun 22, 2016 Naoise rated it it was amazing
Great read, one of the best football autobiographies I've read(just behind Back from the Brink -Paul McGrath).

Excellent account of the joys of a young talented fotballer progression trhough youth football, then signing for the club he always supported and working his way into their first team. Touted by many to be the most talented English player of his generation he looked to have a bright future, then having the rug pulled from under his feet after a horrible injury. His struggle to regain ma
Simon Andrew
Sep 10, 2012 Simon Andrew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished this book after spending far too much of what should have been dissertation time reading it. This is up there with Reng's 'A Life Too Short' on the late Robert Enke and Marcus Trescothick's book in terms of sporting biographies. Paul Lake was a player who I honestly hadn't heard of before hearing about this book, having begun his downward injury spiral before I was old enough to take an interest.

Lake describes the darker side of football, that of the countless players who don't quite m
I'm not a City fan, but then I don't think you need to be to enjoy this book.

It details Paul Lake's rise from junior football to playing for his childhood club. This is from the days before multi million pound wages and pre Bosman ruling.

The (almost) side stories are fascinating in themselves: tales form England squad meets, the training conditions at Platt Lane and so on.

Overshadowing all this rags to riches story is the slight matter of a catalogue of knee injuries which blighted his promising
Keith Salmon
Sep 07, 2014 Keith Salmon rated it really liked it
A book of two halves.

I must admit the first part of the book read like it had been badly ghost written and was the normal footballers book, but the second half was brutally honest and felt more like Paul talking and baring his soul. His story is compelling nad hard not to be moved by.

I remember watching Paul Lake he was a great player and destined for bigger better things until he was struck by injury. I am a Liverpool fan but brought up to acknowledge class and he was calss. When people ask why
john braid
Jun 01, 2016 john braid rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite simply, the best footballer autobiography. Ups and downs all the way.

A fantastic view into a footballer's life,has you hooked from start to finish. Highly recommended to football fans up and down the country
Colin Lowndes
May 20, 2013 Colin Lowndes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: man-city
YOU DO NOT NEED TO BE A FOOTBALL FAN TO BE MOVED BY THIS STORY! Born and raised a City fan this is a story of Paul Lake who would go on to captain is hometown team only to have it all taken away by injury. This could easily been a bitter and twisted tale of what could have been but instead it's a heartfelt moving tale of one mans fight and ultimate triumph in overcoming cruel fate! Pal owl easily have been talked about in the same breath as Scholes and Giggs at United if he remained injury free ...more
Dave Larder
Aug 02, 2014 Dave Larder rated it really liked it
Brilliant book by a guy who has the right to be really be very jealous - but isn't. A great future as a footballer at manchester City, on the fringe of the England squad - one tackle ended it all.

It's a book that fans of all clubs will read from cover to cover - it's a book that modern footballers, with all their pomp and self selected grandiose celebrity status should read. This could happen to any one of them.

Oct 31, 2011 Ivor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best sports autobiographies have a subplot running alongside the main sporting theme e.g. Marcus Trescothick. I'm Not Really Here fits this scenario, the real story starts once Paul Lake suffers his injury and his efforts in battling back to fitness. There are many questions that are unanswered and sadly never will be.
Jun 25, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
My response is a little slanted as I love the bloke but a pretty good autobiography of the life of an injured footballer and some insight into how Man City was run in the bad old days. Worth a read if you like this genre whilst sjitting by the pool.
Oct 02, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing
What an inspirational read and a footballer with humility. Recommended for football fans and those interested in memoirs that show the good and the bad of being in the public eye.
Tom Bates
Dec 21, 2012 Tom Bates rated it it was amazing
Best sports book I've ever read, if a little on the sad side. From the era when I first started watching football, early 90's.
Nick Walker
Aug 13, 2015 Nick Walker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written autobiography, with a compelling story of the highs and lows of Paul's career and life.
Kyle Lewis
May 24, 2012 Kyle Lewis rated it it was amazing
I am a City fan so could connect with parts of this book really well, it had me addicted!
Colin Bardsley
Aug 27, 2014 Colin Bardsley rated it really liked it
Shelves: football
Brilliantly candid autobiography. Heartbreaking to have such a bright career cut short by injury.
Steven Phillips
Mar 06, 2013 Steven Phillips rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this book. A very moving and honest story,was sad to finish the book!
Oct 02, 2012 Daniel added it
Amazing book I have met Paul and he has Signed my book amazing guy CTID
Col Todd
Mar 04, 2012 Col Todd rated it it was amazing
For once a brilliant football autobiography
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