The day had gone badly: Celtic had just lost to their Old Firm rivals Rangers in the 1999 Scottish Cup final, and now Alan Stubbs had to provide a sample for a random drugs test. Little did he know, but it would help save his life...
The results of the test showed he had testicular cancer, and suddenly, at the age of 27 and at the peak of fitness, he realised that he had the biggest battle of his life in front of him. In this compelling and moving memoir, Stubbs recalls his despair at the time and explains how, with the support of family, friends and fans as well as terrific doctors, he pulled through to resume his career at the top.
And what a career it was. First he helped Bolton Wanderers climb up two divisions to reach the Premier League in 1995. The following season, he moved to Celtic for a record fee, helping them to break the stranglehold on the league title held by Rangers. After recovering from cancer, he moved to Everton, his hometown club, where he would spend most of the rest of his playing career, lining up alongside (among others) an ageing Paul Gascoigne and an emerging Wayne Rooney. A knee injury forced him to retire in 2008, but he is now on the coaching staff at Everton. A player who has seen the game at all levels, he has also had to contend with the most shocking challenges in life, which makes his story an unmissable read.
Alan Stubbs was born on Merseyside in 1971 and played the majority of his career for Bolton Wanderers, Celtic and Everton. In 1999, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer but fought back to resume his playing career, eventually retiring in 2008. He now works on the coaching staff at Everton.
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