Misconceptions have stalked Andrew Cole like a hatchet-man defender determined to cut him down to size. In the world of modern-day football, his reserved demeanour was often interpreted as surly intransigence. Alongside an aptitude for goalscoring, it was widely believed, ran an attitude problem. In Fast Forward, a candid and inspirational autobiography, Cole finally puts his side of the story.
The son of a Windrush-generation Jamaican miner from a humble background in Nottingham, he was viewed as a one-man awkward squad by George Graham and Jimmy Hill before Kevin Keegan identified him as the man to bring goals to Newcastle.
However, only when Alex Ferguson, his ‘second father’, took him to Manchester United did Cole begin to belie his image, amassing goals, medals and England caps.
Two decades on from United’s historic Treble, he reveals the inside track on Eric Cantona and David Beckham, Roy Keane and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
After a career spent challenging assumptions and adversity, he had to summon fresh reserves of resilience to battle illness and depression.
Fast Forward is a thought-provoking and gripping autobiography about Andrew Cole’s determination to succeed against all the odds.