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Richie Sadlier’s groundbreaking memoir Recovering is coming this October

Reality can sometimes be harder to understand. Reality can be painful, troubling and overwhelming, but ultimately the real world is more rewarding. Reality is where it begins and ends.


A former sports star turned pundit, psychotherapist, columnist, and now author, Richie Sadlier is one of Ireland’s most trusted voices in both the Irish sporting and mental-health arenas. Richie has spoken about his struggles with alcohol and mental health in the past. Now in Recovering – his insightful, new memoir to be published by Gill Books on 4 October – Richie reveals with unflinching honesty just what it took to face his demons and begin the road to recovery.


Richie grew up a sporting prodigy in Ballinteer, County Dublin, before being propelled into the party lifestyle that came with being a young, professional soccer player. When a career-ending injury saw the former Ireland and Millwall striker retire from football aged just 24, his life spiralled out of control. An unexpected lack of structure and purpose fuelled a dependency on drugs and alcohol, which Richie used to mask the dark feelings he had been running from for years.

Written in conjunction with Dion Fanning, in Recovering, Richie reflects on his childhood, the lifestyle of professional soccer players, what happens when it ends overnight and how he recovered from it all – told through the lens of the road he has taken since, pursuing a career in psychotherapy, and the insight this has brought him.


Of writing the book, Richie says: ‘I’ve written about parts of my life that I never thought I’d say out loud, let alone put in a book for the nation to read. It’s been an incredibly difficult experience revisiting some of my past difficulties, but I’ve spent a number of years promoting more openness and frankness in how we discuss various topics, so I figured the least I could do is be completely honest myself.’


Recovering is both an inspiring memoir of a life shaped by efforts to escape and an important reflection on Irish society. Ultimately, Recovering is a book about how it is possible to rebuild a life, piece by piece, with the right help.


Recovering will be published by Gill Books on Friday, 4 October 2019, priced €24.99. The book can be pre-ordered now from or


For further information, contact Ellen Monnelly, Senior Publicist, Gill Books, 086 838 9611 / 01 500 9506,


About the author

Richie Sadlier is a former professional footballer, currently working as a television pundit and psychotherapist. He is a regular contributor to RTÉ radio, and the Second Captains sports podcast, presenting The Player’s Chair. He also writes regularly for The Irish Times.


Dion Fanning is an award-winning journalist, who works for, where he presents the Ireland Unfiltered podcast and writes about politics and sport. Before joining in 2016, he was the London-based football correspondent for the Sunday Independent, reporting from five World Cups and covering the Premier League.

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