In review: featured book

Our featured book 'The Boy on the Shed is a story of love and fate, yet this autobiography is more than a tale of the vagaries of sporting fortune... read on...


Featured book 

The Boy on the Shed: Paul Ferris Hodder & Stoughton ISBN 1473666708

I know what you’re thinking, sporting autobiography – read one rags-to riches tale, with a few stories of taxi-stealing thrown in along the way, and you have read them all. But this is not a typical sporting tale and it had me right from the start.  An easy pick-up that is both very touching and darkly funny in places. 
The Boy on the Shed, set within a troubled Ireland, is the story of  Paul Ferris, who comes from a working-class Irish Catholic family living in a Protestant town. His is a childhood dominated by sectarian hatred and an all-consuming fear of losing his mother. Paul – shy, insecure and tipped to be the next George Best – signs for Newcastle United where the boy becomes a man and the youngest ever first-teamer. But the dream implodes before the ball really gets rolling. 
He gives a fascinating and very honest account of promise unfulfilled, the lure of the beautiful game and how quickly players are deemed surplus to need and discarded.  
His dreams in pieces due to injury, and no roof over his head, Paul sets his sights on a physiotherapy degree. This gives him his life back and a return to the game he loves so much. 
Back at Newcastle United, as the first team physiotherapist, Paul Ferris played a pivotal role in managing and nursing back to fitness some of the most important footballers of a generation, at a time when the medical departments and players were changing for better or worse. 
He describes the radical highs and lows within the game, and the increasing complexities and challenges faced by the team physio, and its political balancing act of managing players, managers, owners and numerous external pressures. 
Don’t be put off if you have no interest in football. This book is far more than that – the struggles of love, life and death, with something for everybody. It’s also the perfect holiday read.
  • Rob Hulse is a band 5 physiotherapist at the Dudley Group NHS Trust and a former professional footballer.
  • Nina Paterson is the CSP’s education adviser. 

Fighting Back: Kayla Harrison, Cynthia S Kaplan and Blaise Aguirre Guilford Press ISBN 9781462532971 

The subtitle, ‘What an Olympic champion’s story can teach us about recognising and preventing child sexual abuse’, lays it out. Gold-medallist Harrison was abused for years by her Judo coach. It comes with insight from her co-authors, two leading therapists.  

Yoga Therapy for Fear: Beth Spindler Singing Dragon ISBN 9781848193741

A guide to treating fear, anxiety, depression and rage through the vagus nerve by a yoga therapist who has taught for nearly 40 years, much of the time in hospitals and clinics, often working with people in recovery from addiction and trauma. Includes plenty of illustrations.

Fit in 50: Chris Packham and Daniel Gunning

A 32-page booklet designed to combat the ill-effects of sedentary jobs, by physiotherapist Chris Packham. It’s aimed at workers – in the NHS as well as private and public companies but would also be a useful resource for patients. Full of exercises and ways to boost health via small changes

Rebuilding your Life after Stroke: Reg Morris and others. Jessica Kingsley Publishers ISBN 9781785923562

An invaluable companion for anyone recovering from a stroke, written by psychologists who work with stroke survivors and their carers. Really well designed as an easy-to-handle spiral-bound ‘workbook’ and packed with information, tips and imaginative exercises.

Fascia in Motion: Elizabeth Larkam Handspring ISBN 9781909141285

Larkam is a highly respected Pilates instructor and movement pioneer, awarded the Medal of the Danish Society of Military Medicine in 2010, for her rehab work with wounded soldiers. She explains how the latest research into fascia can be incorporated into practice in therapeutic settings. 

Frontline and various

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