From selling fruit and veg out of his car boot after training, to life under lower division eccentrics such as John Beck and Barry Fry, TALES FROM THE BOOT CAMPS was Steve Claridge's hugely entertaining and successful autobiography of life outside the Premiership. After more than a thousand appearances with twenty-two clubs, Steve Claridge finally hung up his boots at the age of 41. By retirement, he'd experienced a vivid and varied footballing life, both on and off the field. BEYOND THE BOOT CAMPS picks up where TALES left off, in the summer of 2000 at Portsmouth FC where he started, and hoped to end, his career. But best laid plans often go awry - there were plenty more highs, lows and controversies to come: disastrous player-manager roles; public break-ups with club authorities; the briefest of managerial spells; reality TV fame; and a prestigious media career. BEYOND THE BOOT CAMPS is a fascinating and frank insight into the game, and the life of one of its most colourful characters.
Steve Claridge has turned out for an astonishing 21 clubs. His heyday was in the mid-1990s at the likes of Birmingham City, Crystal Palace and Leicester City, but more recently he scored on his debut for Ryman league side Harrow Borough (a 4-4 draw with Margate). He broadcasts regularly on Sky, Radio 5 and Channel 5. He writes for the GUARDIAN.