A story of real life and the effects of hard work, talent and true family love which as someone who has lived with cardio problems for 17 years feels is far from the end there will be Shortlisted for theWilliam Hill Sports Book of the Year 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 ofwas 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 A revealing step into Ireland s troubled recent past along with a young footballers journey we all have dreamt of and then the reality of life kicks in.Paul Ferris then shows the strength of his past and upbringing to battle through with honesty ,realism and self effacing courage to keep his life and family together despite at times letting his obvious love for the game and Newcastle United come between him and an easier life choice.The footballing characters we all know of are treated in the same direct way and many ,although not all, come through unscathed in reputation but still enclosed in this myopic footballing world few of us ever get to see but perhaps now understand and view in a kinder light. I loved this story.it was so true to life and I couldn t put it down I admired The way Paul expressed all his thoughts and feelings and how he carried on despite the failures.it is an inspiration to all Young men trying to achieve their dream. This book is an excellent honest and very revealing account of the author s life experiences Where he has so much self doubt to overcome in all situations he places himself in, even when they are his choices Every chapter is a five star account of his life, his love for his family, his dedication to each and every job he works hard to succeed with, even when other agencies are working against him The level of home sickness on leaving home to follow a football career at such a young age really is incredible.and that he did overcome it with the assistance from the love of his life. A fascinating read about characters and events that I am so familiar with as a lover of the game of football but told from a different perspective The early years of Paul,s life during the troubles are chilling and his love for his sick mother is very moving I was unaware of the content when I purchased the book only that it featured Newcastle United and had a forward by Shearer but that only improved the pleasure Riveting. Easily the best autobiography by an ex football player No clich s No dull recollections.An honest look back at a life of setbacks Growing up in a world of hate filled bigotry in Lisburn, being Catholics in a predominantly Protestant town Being advised by a careers master whom Paul Ferris didn t know existed until the day he left school to forget about sitting O levels and sign for a football club Being crushingly shy for much of his early years.The intelligence of Paul Ferris shines through in this fascinating tale of a boy who became a man and he is wonderfully honest, erudite and incisive Not just a good lad as a certain ex player ex manager, turned football pundit, would say.Ray Smillie Great read Paul is a gifted writer, and has had a hell of a history, both inside and outside the game His insights are fascinating He has a very good eye for a description, and a better one for character judgement I knocked him down a star for not giving mention to his part in Barrow s 1990 FA Trophy victory, which as it happens was one of the best days of my life.