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Tackling My Demons
is the account of how the career of one of Britain’s most promising footballers tapered out in a Spanish backwater in 2001. At 30 years old and besieged by mental illness Stan Collymore retired from professional football 3 games into a 3 year contract with Real Oviedo.

Having made a promising start to his career at Southend and Nottingham Forest, Collymore earned a move to Liverpool in 1995. However, it was after his British transfer record move to Aston Villa in 1997 that his career went into nosedive.

In the book Collymore talks at length about his battle with borderline personality disorder and how the resulting depression has affected his life, the lives of those around him and his footballing career.

He also explores in depth the two incidents that have painted a picture of him in the public's eye: punching Ulrika Johnson in 1998 and getting stung by the Sun for ‘Dogging’ in a Birmingham car park in 2003. His willingness to explore his own failings is a refreshing change from the usual self-congratulatory tone of player autobiographies.

Although mostly self-deprecating, Collymore does reel off a host of celebrity conquests including Davina McCall, Ulrika Johnson, Jenni Faulkner, Sophie Dahl, Kirstie Gallagher and Sara Cox. He also reveals he slept with former Liverpool manager Roy Evans’ daughter.

In spite of the fact Collymore spent his career as a professional footballer, slept with “four or five women a day, every day, every week” and earned a lot of money, reading Tackling My Demons doesn’t make you envious. It’s a cautionary tale of how poor upbringing, weak mental faculties and being able to have whatever you want, can combine to send some players to the brink.

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