One of the most perceptive descriptions of Manchester City's play during their glory years was made by Manchester Evening News reporter Peter Gardner who said that "When Youngy plays, City play". For all the talk in the intervening years of greats such as Summerbee, Bell and Lee, it was the local lad made good who made most impact when it mattered. A tall, leggy striker with a venomous left-foot shot, Young scored in every significant game for City in the late 60s. Scorer of two goals in the 1968 Championship win up at Newcastle, the scorer of the 1969 FA Cup Final winner and the first goal in the 1970 Cup Winners' Cup final, Neil Young played as significant a role in the success and style of the Mercer-Allison partnership as anyone. Yet by 1972 he was allowed to leave the club as City began their now familiar relationship with underachievement and mismanagement. In 'Catch a Falling Star', Neil Young explains what he has been up to in the years since his sizzling shots stung the hands of the country's finest goalkeepers.
Here he frankly discusses the problem that faced footballers of the pre-Premiership era: "When I left Rochdale for the last time one Friday afternoon I had a week's wages...about GBP60. I drove home and sat in my lounge for about two hours, wondering what the hell I was going to do. I had a car on HP, a mortgage, a wife and three children to feed. I was the provider who could no longer provide. I had no savings whatsoever and my wife didn't work. I didn't see it coming. It was a calamity waiting to happen." Thus starts Neil's decline into illness and depression. During the next painful decade Neil suffered numerous illnesses, lost his family, his mother and survived a suicide attempt. Thankfully, he has emerged with his spirit intact thanks largely to the love of his third wife, Carmen. 'Catch a Falling Star' is the moving tale of a how a star on the wane managed to mount a personal comeback as impressive as any achieved on the pitch by City's star-studded squad of the late 60s.
Buy Catch a Falling Star book by Neil Young from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(140mm x 225mm x 24mm)
Empire Publications Ltd
Publisher: Empire Publications Ltd
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Author Biography - Neil Young
Dante Friend is a freelance journalist who has worked for the Official City Magazine, This is Manchester, Front and SportFirst. He has also presented programmes on Channel M Television and Manchester Live TV. A lifelong City supporter, he is a regular face at home and away matches and a regular contributor to local and national radio bulletins and television broadcasts.