Craig Bellamy – Autobiography Review

This summer as I prepared to move to Cardiff to study for a masters in Sports Broadcast. I thought I’d do some background reading on Welsh Football. As a West Ham fan, I chose to delve into the autobiography of former Hammer and Wales International Craig Bellamy.

Bellamy often gets a reputation of being a fiery character and recent reports of bullying whilst Cardiff City Academy coach have not helped. This book contains stories of his career where Bellamy shows his renowned brashness with stories that include run-ins with teammates and managers, incidents after drinking including the one involving a golf club with John Arne Riise.

There are episodes where we see a better side to the man, for example, the charity work in Sierra Leone that Bellamy did after visiting the country. The book is also a story of friendship particularly with Bellamy’s relationship with the late Gary Speed. The tributes given to Speed show how much the man meant to him and how difficult he found it dealing with the loss is.

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It is clear to see how driven and career-orientated Bellamy is and the sacrifices that he made to get over injuries and compete at the top in the Premier League. These sacrifices put a strain on family life which ends in divorce and puts a cloud over the story.

People often look at footballers as untouchables mainly due to the money they earn and how fans are distanced by watching from the stands and on the TV screen. Most relationships with players are predominantly one way. Through reading this book we get to see the player’s emotions during his career.

We see how the events in his life develop the man into becoming a lot more at peace with himself and others. These people skills are vital to Bellamy’s career since progressing into coaching. It will be interesting to see how far he can go in management after recently taking charge of Anderlecht’s U21 side. I wish him well.

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