Cricketer Paul Smith's life fell apart after he received a drugs ban in 1996, which effectively ended his career. He was made a scapegoat and still believes he was singled-out while several other, favoured players were allowed to continue their careers. Paul lost his house, his marriage, his children and, of course, his job. How does a man come back from that? In this extraordinary autobiography, Paul Smith tells the story of the rock star lifestyle of a top cricketer, who produced Man of the Match performances at Lord's to help Warwickshire to an unprecedented domestic treble of trophies, which set him on the slippery slope to oblivion. He then describes the torment of being an outcast, losing everything and facing the stark choice of how to go on. This is a modern morality tale with no holds barred and no quarters given as Paul reveals the incredible sexual attraction that goes with being a sports star, his descent into drug taking, the hero-worship that fans gave him after his match-winning performances made Warwickshire the 'Manchester United of Cricket' and how he struggled to cope with this heady and potent mix of adulation and demands on his time, body and emotional energy.
It tells the story of how, eventually, his life fell apart...but also how he rebuilt it, via work with the Prince's Trust in Britain and the USA.
All-rounder Paul Smith was part of the most successful domestic cricket team in the history of the English game. Warwickshire, under captain Dermot Reeve, won every trophy in sight and were known as 'the Manchester United of cricket.' Paul's contribution included a Man of the Match performance in the 1994 Benson and Hedges trophy victory, the year that Warwickshire won an unprecedented domestic treble of County Championship, One Day league and B&H Cup, while losing out agonisingly on the fourth and final prize, the NatWest trophy in the final. His world crashed around him after his hedonisitic lifestyle saw him banned from playing cricket for admitting taking drugs, which while not performance enhancing were illegal. Paul rebuilt his life by using his own experiences to inspire inner city kids in both the UK and the USA to reject modern temptations such as drugs, violence and guns. He now works for the Prince's Trust in Britain and with downtown youths in LA in tough, violent districts, where he is the only non-black allowed. His work is bearing fruit. Around half of those he spends time with in LA carry guns.