Ronald Reng is the highly-acclaimed author of The Keeper of Dreams: One Man's Controversial Story of Life in the English Premiership (Yellow Jersey Press), which won Biography of the Year at the 2004 British Sports Book Awards
Winner of the Best Football Book at the British Sports Book Awards 2012. Why does an international footballer with the World at his feet decide to take his own life? On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty two years old. Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. Here was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe's top clubs including Jose Mourinho's Benfica and Louis Van Gaal's Barcelona. Enke was destined to be his country's first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story. In A Life Too Short , award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend's life. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport.
The enormous success of German football is envied around the world. The national team won the 2014 World Cup in style, while the Bundesliga offers an alternative model through its fan-friendly set-up, terraces and low ticket prices. In Matchdays: The Hidden Story of the Bundesliga, award-winning author Ronald Reng takes a unique approach to explain the history and peculiarities of German football. He follows the tracks of a journeyman footballer, Heinz Hoher, who has been in the Bundesliga all his life, from the first day of its existence in 1963 until now, as a player, manager, sports director and youth coach. We see through Hoher's story the wider picture of how German football, and even German society, developed from the ruins of the Nazi era to become the football and economic powerhouse of today. Born in 1939, Hoher became the small-town hero of Bayer 04 Leverkusen, a stylish winger and the first to let his hair grow like the Beatles. He witnessed the big match-fixing affairs of the seventies, fought in vain the temptations of so many managers - alcohol and gambling - and realised that, even at 75, his real addiction is still the game. Matchdays does for German football what David Winner's Brilliant Orangedid for Dutch football.
WINNER OF THE 2011 WILLIAM HILL SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER OF THE BRITISH SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2012 FOOTBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR Why does an international footballer with the world at his feet decide to take his own life? On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty-two years old and a devoted husband and father. Enke had played for a string of Europe's top clubs, including Barcelona and Jose Mourinho's Benfica and was destined to become his country's first choice in goal for years to come. But beneath the veneer of success, Enke battled with crippling depression. Award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his friend's life, shedding valuable light on the crushing pressures endured by professional sportsmen and on life at the top clubs. At its heart, Enke's tragedy is a universal story of a man struggling against his demons.
John Hendrie, Barnsley's ex-manager, on Lars Leese: 'Lars Leese is a shambles. He's a loser who never achieved anything.'Dave Hill, in the Guardian, on The Keeper of Dreams: 'Leese's outsider story takes us - to the true heartbeat of our national game'At the age of 28, German goalkeeper Lars Leese was catapulted from a minor league football field somewhere near Cologne to a small industrial town in the north of England. Something of a culture shock, certainly, but nothing compared to finding himself in goal for Barnsley playing the mighty Liverpool at Anfield in front of over 45,000 spectators. Plucked from obscurity and playing in one of the most important leagues in the world, Leese experienced in real life what thousands of boys - and men - can only dream of: stepping out of the crowd and onto a Premiership pitch. Lars Leese's foray into the wild world of professional football lasted only three years, but his journey from computer software salesman to Premiership goalie is a remarkable story. Here, Ronald Reng traces his stratospheric rise and equally alarming descent: the resulting narrative is an indispensable antidote to the traditional footballing briography and a unique - and at times shocking - outsider's view of English life. Not since you last read the back pages of the News of the World will you have seen such an accurate picture of life as a Premiership footballer.'Remarkable- Provides an extraordinary snap-shot of English behaviour in a professional football dressing-room and in a Yorkshire town.' Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph
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