Review: Paul Galvin – In My Own Words

In the opening page of his fresh, new autobiography, In My Own Words, Paul Galvin admits that one of the toughest questions he can be asked is: What are you doing with yourself? A simple question to us, but a complicated answer for the footballing legend. We already know a huge deal about the Kerry half-forward, but in his attempt at answering the question, we see a whole new side to the sports star.

In his book, Galvin not only tells, but shows us exactly what he has been doing, and what he shall continue to do with himself. The Lixnaw native illustrates his first appearance in Croke Park as a primary-school student while partaking in the Mini-7s Primary Game Initiative, as a hurler, to his final appearance, in the 2013 All-Ireland Semi Final against Dublin, as a footballer – and everything in between.

We see him growing up as a young boy on Penny Lane, witness him strive as a student in UCC and watch him battle and fight as a footballer throughout his footballing career for Kerry.

Admirably speaking of his friends, his family, his wife-to-be Louise, his classmates and his teammates, Galvin depicts the most memorable moments of his lifetime so far. We see his fondness for his local club, Finuge, and the men that helped him succeed at a county level. He speaks kindly of his Kerry teammates and the pivotal role they had in his career.

A page-turner full of unforgettable memories, the autobiography doesn’t completely concentrate on Paul Galvin himself. With a short chapter dedicated entirely to the late, inspirational Donal Walsh, it becomes very clear, very soon that Galvin isn’t one to concentrate on himself. In one short and poignant sentence, he captures the essence of the young man’s ambitions, saying “Donal Walsh didn’t defy death but maybe he defied life.”

An impressive sportsman, on a hurling and on a footballing level – with 45 full championship appearances, seven All Ireland final appearances, eight Munster final medals and four All Ireland medals – a three time All Star winner, Footballer of the Year title, a teacher, a fashion icon, an editor for Ireland’s biggest online men’s magazine and now an established writer. There should only be one question that should pose a difficulty for Paul Galvin: what can’t you do?

It is no surprise that In My Own Words was shortlisted for RTÉ Radio 1’s John Murray Show Listeners’ Choice Award, alongside fellow sporting hero Brian O’Driscoll and Late Late Show rival Graham Norton, to name but a few. The autobiography is a must-read for all football fans.

Emily Crowley

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