Back from the Brink: The Autobiography by Paul McGrath

By Paul McGrath

The autobiography of the best defender of the Nineteen Eighties and 90s.

"As survivor's stories cross, this can be brutalist epic...McGrath's narrative has a stark honesty." (Sean O'Hagan The Observer game Monthly)

"Continuing the fad of brutal honesty which was once popularised via Paul Gascoigne's autobiography, McGrath's e-book is tough to learn for someone with an oz of human kindness, particularly those that marvelled at his skill from the previous Trafford terraces... fantastically written." (Manchester night News)

"Laceratingly honest...remarkably unflinching" (Mail on Sunday)

"A startling, harrowing read... some distance faraway from the churn-em-out footballing autobiographies...This is an uncompromising story, splendidly informed, approximately one among our so much gifted and disturbed carrying heroes." (Hugh Farrelly Irish Independent)

"Heartbreaking...poingnant" (Robert Philip day-by-day Telegraph)

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The manager there, Peter Rouse, was ambitious and he already knew me as he'd remortgaged my house: he was ready to make the loan, but he had to get all the right boxes ticked on the form for his bosses to approve the loan. He helped me write a business plan and together we made adjustments to comply with the bank's lending criteria. Needless to say I'd never written a business plan before, but I didn't find it all that hard. It was easy to calculate the income, and the costs were fairly straightforward, too: if I had x residents, I'd need y staff and they'd get paid the going rate, a figure I found out by looking at the situations vacant in the paper.

That won't be necessary,' he told me in a particularly patronising way. ' He relented and asked his manager to join us. A few minutes later, a short, bald bloke walked in smoking a cigarette. He was the kind of middie-class snob I'd never had any respect for, and 1 knew he'd be a waste of space. He was a stroppy little berk who clearly 78 A N Y O N E C A N DO IT GOING IT ALONE 79 didn't rate an uneducated ice-cream vendor very highly. He told me that I didn't have any 'sector expertise' and without it he couldn't see how I was going to make any money.

They introduced a new policy that gave all unemployed people an entitlement to housing. And the best bit about this is that the government started paying £46 a week directly to landlords. Now a lot of people wouldn't want to rent to DSS tenants, but as far as I could see I was effectively renting to the government, so my rent was guaranteed. I started converting terraced houses into bedsits and renting them out. I picked up the houses for about £10,000 each and made a 30-50 per cent return on my capital each year in rent.

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