…My life and 22 years as a pro footballer.
T&T football star Dwight Yorke officially launched his autobiography Born to Score at a news conference at the National Library on Abercromby Street, Port-of-Spain, on Thursday.
The book chronicles Yorke’s life from growing up in a family of nine in rural Tobago, coming through the ranks of local football as a youngster; being drafted by Aston Villa at age 17; helping Manchester United win a Treble in 1999 and leading T&T to its first World Cup appearance in Germany in 2006.
He speaks candidly also of his much-discussed personal life beginning with his sexual contact with an older woman on a beach at age 12; fathering a son with the English glamour model Katie ‘Jordan’ Price and about a rocky relationship with Naomi Smith, mother of his second son.
“It’s a real insight into my life and 22 years as a professional footballer,” he told the gathering. “There’s some of the good things, some of the bad things and some of the loneliness.
“It’s been a real tough ride. I’ve learned to understand a little bit about life and the discipline, dedication and self belief that it takes. I could have easily been one of the many talented sportsmen that slipped by the wayside but I was always determined to make something of myself.”
Yorke says his lifestyle may have negatively affected his career and he touched on that aspect in his presentation. “The glamour side of mansions and cars can be great but the real reward is being recognised for what you have accomplished.”
“I know my life has not always been a perfect scenario but we all make mistakes. I’ve learnt from them and moved on as an individual to become a better person.” He also writes that Russell Latapy is a better footballer than he and acknowledges that Brian Lara’s achievements outweigh his own.
In the book review, Dr Barry Ishmael applauds the 38-year-old for writing an honest, intriguing and often inspiring account of his life and career.
“The very human side of a star is revealed and the reader is left to weigh the pros and cons of stardom and to ponder how greatness, wealth and popularity are to be best managed,” he said. “By the end there is little doubt that “Yorkie” is easy-going, fun-loving and bears no malice towards anyone.
“At heart, this is a motivational story, not of perfect man, but of a man constantly striving for professional perfection. He is a flamboyant, talented and controversial individual and an elite athlete by any standard of any sport.”
Yorke will be signing copies of his book at the following locations today: Trincity Mall, Trincity, 11 am-12 pm; West Mall, Westmoorings, 12.30 pm-1.15 pm; Long Circular Mall, St James, 1.30 pm-2.30 pm. Yorke would like to advise the public that he would be doing just one signing session today at Long Circular Mall from 10 am to 11 am.