Richie Sadlier: Recovering – Far more than just another sports book

Book review: Former footballer’s deeply personal tale is storytelling of highest calibre

Richie Sadlier’s book is raw without ever being miserable. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

Richie Sadlier’s book is raw without ever being miserable. File photograph: Cyril Byrne

A handy way of judging sports autobiographies has always been to weigh the stories against the story. Without the story, it’s unlikely that any book of any genre will be that great but you can paper over plenty of cracks if the stories are good enough.

In reality, the majority of them are sold by the face and name on the cover and not a whole lot more. Their story is important to them, of course. When you come to the end of a sports career and a publisher reckons you are worth a book, then it is obviously tempting to embrace a narrative arc for yourself.

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