A Life Too Short

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What to expect

Why does an international footballer with the World at his feet decide to take his own life?

On 10 November 2009 the German national goalkeeper, Robert Enke, stepped in front of a passing train. He was thirty two years old.

Viewed from the outside, Enke had it all. Here was a professional goalkeeper who had played for a string of Europe’s top clubs including Jose Mourinho’s Benfica and Louis Van Gaal’s Barcelona. Enke was destined to be his country’s first choice for years to come. But beneath the bright veneer of success lay a darker story.

In A Life Too Short, award-winning writer Ronald Reng pieces together the puzzle of his lost friend’s life. Reng brings into sharp relief the specific demands and fears faced by those who play top-level sport. Heartfelt, but never sentimental he tells the universal tragedy of a talented man’s struggles against his own demons.

Critics Review

  • One of the most remarkable sports books ever written… A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke… stands as the definite work on mental illness in football

    Daily Telegraph
  • Incredible… It’s a stunning, fascinating and ultimately heartbreaking piece of work that has done so much to further the understanding between mental illness and sport. It is also a reminder that, for all the status and all the luxury which come with being a professional footballer, those lucky enough to make a career from the game are still human beings, too

    People
  • Deeply affecting

    Sunday Times
  • A tragic book, but a brilliant one. Reng’s is one of the best sports books to have been published in years

    Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung
  • An intensely moving book that transcends football

    Raphael Honigstein, Guardian

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