Cathal McCarron is a Tyrone footballer, talented enough to be nominated for an All-Star twice in the last three years. However, he hid a dark secret for years, a gambling addiction which almost destroyed him. While effectively on the run in London in 2013, his life had spiralled so viciously out of control that he ended up having sex with a man for a gay porn website. After getting paid, he walked across the road and gambled half his earnings in a betting shop.
When footage subsequently leaked, McCarron could no longer hide his terrible secret, and keep running from his troubled past. He slowly began the long road back to rehabilitation. After a year out of the inter-county game with Tyrone in 2014, McCarron made a remarkable recovery in 2015, ending the season with an All-Star nomination.
His story is a remarkable tale of the hidden demons that often visit and terrorise inter-county players. It also underlines the pressures and expectations so often taken for granted with amateur players. McCarron recalls his journey with searing honesty, from the depths of depression and to the edge of suicide to path taken back to recovery and rehabilitation. He is now studying to be a counsellor, aiming to help people rid themselves of the demons that once almost destroyed his life.
The edge to the book is added with McCarron still an active inter-county player. His journey will also take you inside the dressing room of a team with serious ambitions of winning another All-Ireland title.
McCarron’s story is unlike any other written by a GAA player before.