On Days Like These: The Lost Memoir of a Goalkeeper
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For half a second, we stared at each other with a mutual recognition of how ridiculous this was, before our security guards swept me and my team-mates towards the exits.
Now, I’m a father to three kids myself and I like to think some of my dad’s traits come out in my parenting. Joe Sealey once dreamed of following in his father’s footsteps as a goalkeeper - now he fancies owning a football club. In them, Sealey frankly discusses his career, most notably his time working under Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford where he reveals much of what went on in the changing room. A London east end boy born into poverty, he was an unique character and a very talented goalkeeper, who coached at West Ham after his playing career was over.He used to like tinkering with cars – there was always a car out front that he was taking apart, or he’d be washing it.
He has read the book, however, and he leafs through the loose pages to the 1990 FA Cup final replay when Manchester United beat Crystal Palace. For a young keeper at the turn of the millennium, there were few better places to be playing and learning than West Ham. He made such a success of his business One to One Management he swiftly made his first million - before eventually selling the business three years ago after getting an “offer he couldn’t refuse”.Sealey soon began to bury his grief in piles of cocaine, but surprisingly says that in the short term at least, the drug was his salvation.
My first season as a goalkeeper would have been well underway by the time Luton and Sealey were important to me. Nowadays if you get a knock on the head you can’t play for two weeks, so it was a different era, different time. Joe Sealey suffered the loss of his goalkeeping legend dad Les Sealey aged just 43, as well as his own football career within the space of two traumatic weeks.
Nicole, Joe and his mother Elaine discussed the discovery of Les's autobiography in an emotional episode of The Real Housewives of Cheshire this week. There had been another row between Stiles and Kershaw, which ended with United sacking Nobby, who had been right about Galatasaray. Working on the book had been an eye-opening experience, teaching Sealey new things about his father, his enduring influence on others, and his relationship with West Ham. Frustratingly for West Ham fans, the tapes were recorded before Sealey had pitched up at Upton Park. It’s a nice thing that people remember him because you're going back 30 years ago or more to remember the games he played, but people still remember them like they were yesterday.