The Fleeting Fraternity

Co-written with Matt Gault and Jon Townsend, we featured 12 careers that were cruelly cut short by alcohol, depression, injury or worse. These tales are filled with success and failure, glory and shadows, and while some you will know all about, there are some that you won’t. Some wonderful writing by Matt and Jon in here, some their finest – and that’s saying something.

Click on the title below for the complete series.

The Fleeting Fraternity

Eric Cantona: A Life of Loneliness and Love

cantonaMy hero. How one man could so completely transform the fortunes of a club like he did for Manchester united in the 1990s will in some ways remain a mystery, which is how the great man would like it. There was always an attraction to what cannot be explained for Cantona, and only those who understood this truly connected to him. I look into the personal side of the most enigmatic and brilliant ‘flashy foreigner’ to grace these shores.

Duncan Edwards: The Original Boy Wonder

duncan-edwardsThe ultimate ‘what could have been’ tale in football. Edwards was said to have been a colossus who defied all logic, and nearly the tragic injuries that ended up claiming his life in Munich 1958. His sad story is one all football fans should know, whatever one’s allegiance – the only man to make Bobby Charlton feel inferior, while still remaining a shy Black Country boy.

Robin Friday: The Greatest Player You Never Saw [link coming soon]

robin fridayHow could a player who never graced the top flight have received such cult following? Only a man of the incalculable raw thirst for life and all its pleasures could manage it. The anecdotes that inevitably followed his nomadic career tend to paper over his true character – which, while hardly angelic, contined a gentler side than most people realised.

Ronaldo: In Touching Distance of Being the Greatest

ronaldoThe original Ronaldo could have been the best Ronaldo, and for some he always will be. El Fenomeno was a perfect nickname for the bucktoothed wonder, ‘a good chico’ as Bobby Robson called him. His record alone is astonishing, and it becomes more so when one realises the intensity of pressure he was subjected to at such a young age which unquestionably sped up his demise.