Kevin Phillips, Sunderland FC’s record-breaking goalscorer, writes this fly-on-the-wall account of two seasons at Roker Park – an incident-packed period in the history of the club featuring the heartbreak of missing out on promotion followed by the tumultuous 1998/99 championship winning season.
His rise to fame is a remarkable Roy of the Rovers fantasy story. Four years ago Phillips was stacking shelves in Dixons and playing for non-League Baldock Town.
Now, after only two full seasons with Sunderland, he has broken every club goalscoring record, scoring an amazing 22 goals in just 29 appearances and leading the Wearsiders to the First Division Championship. A first full England cap in the 1-1 draw with Hungary rounded off a memorable season.
Kevin Phillips’ book is an in-depth look into the lifestyle of a high-profile professional footballer at one of the biggest clubs in the country. Tales of chicanery in the dressing rooms with the likes of manager Peter Reid and fellow players Niall Quinn and Michael Gray are mixed with Phillips’ wry observations of life in the ‘fishbowl’ of a football-mad city and the pressure that comes with being a messiah to Roker fans.
He also writes openly about the anger and frustration surrounding his career-threatening injury and of the times he felt that he might never play professional football again.
It’s second time around for Sunderland FC, and second time around for Kevin Phillips.
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‘His progress in football is even more far-fetched than the plotline of the film When Saturday Comes’
‘He excites me… watching him in England training I thought: “This is where he belongs”’
Kevin Phillips was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire. He was voted the 1997/98 Nationwide League Footballer of the Year when, in his first season with the club, he top scored with 35 goals to break Brian Clough’s post-war record. Despite a toe-injury which kept him out for much of the 1998/99 season, the 25-year-old Phillips managed an amazing 22 goals.
Luke Nicoli is Features Editor for Shoot magazine. He covers football each week for the Sunday Mirror and Sunday World, and appears each week on Nickelodeon TV’s Friday football show. He was brought up together with Kevin Phillips in their home town of Stevenage, and the two have remained friends for almost 20 years.
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Book Description HarperCollinsWillow, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0002189518