Matthew Siddle seemed destined to become a professional footballer.
His earliest memories were of practising with a ball outside his home, and by the age of eight he was moved up from a lower year at school to play for the senior team. Before long he was playing for amateur teams, with the ambition to one day play professionally for Liverpool.
However, Matthew's destiny took a different turn when he found himself at the heart of the Hillsborough disaster, struggling for his own survival and seeing the injuries and deaths of fellow football supporters first hand. The trauma of the event had severe consequences, turning Matthew's dream of becoming a professional footballer into a delusion. Soon he found himself in hospital, fighting for this emotional and physical freedom...
Matthew Siddle found himself at the heart of the Hillsborough disaster at the age of 17. Now aged 45 he has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals throughout his adult life. Matthew worked as a journalist in the 1990's and later as a mental health support worker at the same hospital he'd been a patient at many times. The success of the Hillsborough families' Justice campaign inspired him to write about his experiences and encourage others who feel like giving up on life.
This book relates such a frank and open account of a man who exposes his soul who finds a faith that has impacted on his and other's lives. Those close to him must be very proud of what he has achieved and how he uses his experiences to inspire others.
It is super stuff in every sense. You have to salute Matt's courage in baring his soul and demonstrating that life only makes sense for him - and the rest of us - with Jesus at the centre. It is also very well written and I found I could not put it down. It's definitely a book to read and to pass on to others - making sure you buy another copy each time!