Michael Owen reveals the highlights and pitfalls of being a professional footballer in his first official autobiography, which contains his personal reflections on seven years in the game, including two World Cups, two European Championships and goal scoring records for club and country.
After his famous goal against Argentina in France 98, Michael Owen was forced to grow up almost overnight, his sudden fame propelling him to stardom to the extent that the hopes of a football nation now rest on the slender frame of this 24-year-old.
In his autobiography, Owen is forthright in his views on the game: he reacts to the accusations of diving, his susceptibility to injury, and his alleged gambling addiction; he reveals his frustrations with the current Liverpool team and the surprising reasons behind his fluctuating form in 2003/04; and he tackles his ambitions for a possible future career abroad.
He is also candid about his England striking partnership with Wayne Rooney; his role in the players' strike threat in support of Rio Ferdinand, and his complex and at times difficult relationship with coaches such as Glenn Hoddle, Kevin Keegan and Sven-Goran Eriksson; and he has strong views on the thug culture still rife in English football.
Outside of the game, he talks openly for the first time about the recent death threats to him and his family, his relationship with childhood sweetheart Louise Bonsall – including her serious injury from a riding accident – and their baby Gemma, and his aspirations to be a horse owner and breeder when he gives up the game.
For a person who rarely opens up to the press about his private life and his true thoughts on the game, Owen shows remarkable clarity of mind and purpose in this eye-opening story of a footballer never far from the headlines and a role model to a whole generation of youngsters.