OUT NOW: Up Front by Kerry Dixon
At the peak of his powers he was one of the nation’s best strikers, netting 70 goals in his first two seasons at Chelsea and earning a call up from Sir Bobby Robson to join England’s illustrious Mexico 1986 World Cup squad.
The big, blonde, prolific goal-scoring machine went on to become Chelsea’s third highest goal scorer of all time with an impressive 193 goals across all competitions, just 18 behind Frank Lampard.
Fast forward 30 years and Dixon’s fall from grace has been truly catastrophic. He has been declared bankrupt twice, losing his entire fortune and career earnings in the process. He served a prison sentence for grievous bodily harm following a fight in a pub and has battled drug dependency and gambling addiction for decades. Striving to stay clean, turn his life around and pay back his debts, Dixon now works as a labourer in his native town Luton – a big contrast to the dizzy heights of top-flight football.
From nostalgic memories of a rough-and-ready era of football to amusing anecdotes from his playing days, including his account of the time he floored Vinnie Jones with a knock-out punch; from shocking stories from his spell behind bars to his account of being wrongly arrested for possession of drugs, Dixon’s candid and moving story is a must-read for any football fan.
Partnering with co-author Harry Harris, the two-time winner of the British Sports Journalist of the Year award, to write the book, Dixon’s Up Front tells the player’s harrowing life story, warts and all, for the very first time. It depicts a once talented marksman who had it all, and lost it all, constantly living life on the edge with a tendency to press the self-destruct button and then pick up the pieces, time and time again.
His sometimes painfully honest story is told in graphic detail, which will even shock readers accustomed to ‘fallen hero’ books. Penning the autobiography was Dixon’s therapy, as he strives to draw a line under his chequered past and re-establish himself as a Chelsea icon.
Up Front, the official autobiography of Kerry Dixon, the Chelsea and England football legend, is out now. Published in hardback by John Blake Publishing. Foreword by Frank Lampard