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A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke
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.
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Football matters – of course it does. But reading “A Life Too Short” might just change the way you watch the game - Journal
An intensely moving book that transcends football - Raphael Honigstein, Guardian
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
This is a powerful book which transcends football. - Sport Magazine
Deeply affecting - The Times
Moving...after reading it, I felt I not only understood depression a little better but also determined never again to believe the myth of the sporting superman, impervious to criticism or pressure. - Daily Telegraph
A Life Too Short is a sports biography about as much as BS Johnson's classic The Unfortunates is a sports novel. Both are books about grief. But football runs through the heart of Enke's story and this book belongs to the first rank of publications on the game of minds and souls that exists behind the beautiful game that is seen on the field. It is both a fitting tribute to a lost friend but it is also a salutary warning to the great football clubs of the world. - Irish Times
Enlightening and visceral...An indispensable insight into a man and an illness, Reng's book is a sobering yet brilliant account and may yet restore faith for the disenchanted man in the street. - Sabotage Times
Enke had often talked to his friend Reng, a journalist-cum-novelist, about writing a book together. Now Reng has done it alone, beautifully... this is the mature work of a writer who has gone far beyond sensationalism. It allows you to turn back and read football differently. - New Statesman
It should be on every British football fan's reading list. - Metro
Moving - Independent
This isn't really a sports book; its story is universal. - i
In a sport that often dismisses depression, this tragic yet sensitively written book might just help sufferers find sympathy. - Four Four Two
A salutary read that puts the tantrums of Premier League millionaires into perspective. - Belfast Telegraph
This biography...skewers the pressurised existence of the lionised sporting professional. - Metro
Excellent - Metro
Absolutely superb. Incredibly harrowing. - Sunday Times
If you haven't read it yet, do so. Right now. Really spectacular (and harrowing) piece of writing - Football365
By this author
About the Author
Ronald Reng is the highly-acclaimed author of The Keeper of Dreams:One Man's Controversial Story of Life in the English Premiership (Yellow Jersey Press), which won Biography of the Year at the 2004 British Sports Book Awards