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The absence of larger than life characters is an accusation levelled regularly at Premier League football.

Former players and supporters of a certain age become misty-eyed when recalling colourful rogues from the past.

Figures like former Leicester City forward Frank Worthington, whose autobiography One Hump or Two set the benchmark for lurid kiss-and-tell exposes, set the agenda where the gender politics are inspired by Benny Hill rather than Germaine Greer.

Footballers’ life stories in recent years fall generally into two camps. Either a hurriedly-written hagiography designed to cash in on rising fame or a version of the ‘my booze hell’ tale where Tony Adams’ Addicted remains one of the better examples.

Few players are prepared to write a version of Worthington’s book for the Hello magazine generation.

Dwight Yorke has stepped into the breach with the release of his autobiography, Born to Score, published this month by Macmillan.

His story helps to quash the myth that today’s players are clean cut, stay-at-home, teetotalers.

Last month’s announcement that the former Sunderland, Manchester United and Aston Villa forward had decided to retire from the professional game ended the career of the keeper of the flame first lit by playboy footballers of whom George Best remains the prime example.

Yorke is one of those characters whose off-field exploits ensured his fame transcended the world of football. His relationship with the then Page Three model Jordan may have been brief but for non-football fans it became the defining image of his career.

But Yorke enjoyed an illustrious career on the pitch and among his many achievements he equalled the record by participating in six World Cup qualifying competitions.

Unlike Best and Paul Gascoigne, Yorke managed to enjoy a champagne lifestyle while playing past his 37th birthday.

Roy Keane, however, has accused Yorke of not pulling his weight in his last season at the Stadium of Light and Yorke’s book has sparked a public spat between the former Man United teammates.

“When you write these things you accept you are going to upset a few people.

The intention wasn’t to rattle Roy Keane or anything like that, I just tell it as I see it no more no less,” noted Yorke.

The book’s description of how Keane’s management began to unravel in his final days at Sunderland are compelling but they have prompted an angry response from the former Black Cats boss who said: “I’ll take on board comments from people I have respect for in the game, and Yorkie’s not someone I have respect for. I did have previously.”

Keane once respected Yorke enough to make him one of the first recruits of his management career. And the Trinidad and Tobago international was so entranced by the idea of linking up with Keane he gave up an idyllic lifestyle in Australia.

“No-one can accuse me of joining Sunderland for an easy life,’’ he insisted. “I was living in Australia, beautiful climate, beautiful women – life was good.

“So when I get the call from Roy to join Sunderland I am thinking ‘Sunderland, I’ve played there before and it’s bloody freezing!’ But while the people at Sydney FC were good to me, from a footballing perspective things weren’t perfect.

“The league over there doesn’t have the quality of the English Premier League or the Championship for that matter, at least not yet. So my move to Sunderland was motivated by two things – having one more crack at top class football and Roy Keane.

“I knew Roy from our time at United and we are very different people. You could say that were complete opposites. I am a laid back kind of guy, on the pitch I want to win as much as the next man but off it I like to enjoy myself – you know what I mean?

“Roy is intense. But that intensity became counterproductive.”

In his book, Yorke described Keane’s management style: “No-one knew Keano’s moods better than me and I sensed his regime was heading for a point of no return.’’ After dropping Yorke to the reserves and suffering a string of poor results, morale at the club began to plummet.

“For three, sometimes four days a week, we would see no sign of Keano and not too many players were disappointed when there was no sign of his car in the mornings.

“Paranoia rampaged through the club, players were at each other’s throats and fighting one another; it was disintegrating before our very eyes.”

When confirmation that Keane had left the club filtered through to the players, his response to a good luck text message from Yorke is unprintable here and unforgettable to Yorke who saved it on his phone.

His story is likely to leave an equally indelible impression on readers.