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Summary

Today was his first climb to the top. He knew if he was there, watching, then she would never leave him. Her name was Bernadette, and he climbed the shed every day.

This is a not a football book, as such. Rather, it is a memoir by someone who happened to have superior ability at the sport during his formative years, which led him on a remarkable journey. Paul Ferris became a professional footballer and at the age of 16 was the youngest ever to play in Newcastle United's first team.

Coming from Northern Ireland and being a skilful winger with dancing feet, he was inevitably hailed as 'the new George Best'. But the story of his time in the game, particularly as a young player, is one of insecurity, injuries, uncertainty, fear and, ultimately, a failure to fulfil his hopes and dreams.

The book opens in Lisburn, near Belfast. The Ferris family are Catholics in a predominantly Protestant town at the height of The Troubles. Ferris relives his childhood and teens with brutal candour laced with black humour. The Boy on the Shed is a beautifully written account of a life, but it also lifts the lid on big personalities at Newcastle United.

©2018 Paul Ferris (P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Brilliant and funny book

Brilliant and funny book, Paul tells his honest story about growing up as a boy in Northern Ireland in the 70s and then going on to playing for Newcastle United. Such great stories from such an interesting man who has seen and battled adversity so many times. Listened to book and thought the accents were spot on and made me laugh, which really brought the book to life. Didn't know much about Paul - but he's now a legend. Best book I've read/listened to this year. Thanks

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Highly recommended

I've read a lot of autobiographies from arguably 'bigger' names, however this is one of the best.

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Brilliant

A non football football book. A wonderful story, narrated perfectly. You don’t have to be a football fan to read it. 10/10.

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Very Good

More than a football biography, as a young NUFC fan I knew of Paul and of his glimpses back with the club, however these are almost a footnote to his life story, very interesting, very well written, and emotional. Very much mirrored some of my own feelings growing up and today,

No doubt a good read

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Wonderful book an incredible life

I’ve read numerous books on or related to football - none come close to this - an inspiration

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Excellent book

So much more than a book about football. Whilst the information about his career as a player and physio in football was fascinating this book also eloquently describes Paul's life journey through troubled times in Ireland and how he overcame set backs to achieve his goals.

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  • MR
  • 05-04-18

More than any other football book

As a mad Newcastle fan born and raised in Ireland this book had an obvious appeal to me. However, describing it as just a football book is a serious injustice. This is simply the best book I have ever read. Packed with emotion and tales of a young boy growing up hoping to be a footballer faced with daunting challenges. Paul’s awesome ability to bring the pages to life means this book with stay with you long after you have finished it.

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Great Book

Superb book. This is the reason I like biographies. True stories from someone who has a story to tell. Well done Paul

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Excellently written story

If you could sum up The Boy on the Shed in three words, what would they be?

Wonderful, emotional and well-written

What did you like best about this story?

It was written from the heart

Any additional comments?

I expected this to be a sports book - but it wasn’t. It was a very emotional journey, including a touch of football at NUFC and life in the North East of England.

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Extraordinary

What an Interesting and honest account from the author.Highly recommend anyone to read or listen.