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

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  19 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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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
Iain Nisbet
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
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
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
Simon Andrew
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
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
Colin Lowndes
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
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.

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.
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.
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
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
A very well written autobiography, with a compelling story of the highs and lows of Paul's career and life.
Kyle Lewis
I am a City fan so could connect with parts of this book really well, it had me addicted!
Colin Bardsley
Brilliantly candid autobiography. Heartbreaking to have such a bright career cut short by injury.
Steven Phillips
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
For once a brilliant football autobiography
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