FROM START TO FINISH WITH LIAM BECKETT
The good, the bad and the ugly will all feature in an exciting new autobiography due it later this year, writes Gillian Anderson.
Packed with stories, it will cover Ballymoney personality, Liam Beckett’s career as a footballer, manager, bike mechanic and sports pundit, and LB promises ‘he won’t hold back’!
“I have been asked by a number of people over the years to write my autobiography and I’ve always said no,” explained Liam. Eventually I thought the time was right to do it because of the number of people who kept saying to me and I thought to myself that I suppose there are some very good stories to be told.”
Liam’s autobiography is almost complete thanks to the help of his ghostwriter, local journalist Kyle White.
“There’s about 80,000 words in a book and at the moment I am at 70,000 odd so I’m nearly there. I am being guided quite a lot by Derek Henderson, the former head of the Press Association and a very good friend of mine.
“The book will be split between football and motor bikes. I’ve been very very lucky because I’ve had a great life in sport and I’ve been very lucky because many of the teams I played for were good sides and I won all the major medals I could have, so there are an awful lot of stories which goes along with that.
“Then there’s the motor bikes and having been with Robert Dunlop for 20 years from the start to the finish, there’s obviously a lot of stories to be told about that. Most of the time its been success and most of the time its been fun as well but obviously there have been sad times too and a roller coaster of emotion.
“All my years being involved in sport I’ve met some amazing people and I’m very fortunate that I’ve become friends with lots of people from different sports like the Framptons. You meet some incredible people but I’ve also met some less savoury characters as well and I’ll be telling that in the book and I’ll be naming them including some teammates over the years in successful teams I’ve played in. You’re not always a big fan of everyone you play football with. You play the game with them but you certainly wouldn’t want to socialise with them for any great length of time. Thankfully the vast majority of them have all been good people and would make very good company. There are some who aren’t and they are in every sport and I’ll tell those stories in the book.”
Unlike many sports men and women who fade from view once they retire, Liam’s career has gone from strength to strength.
“The media work has been interesting,” added Liam “I get to be involved with lots of different sports and unlike some people when they retire they are finished. I’ve been lucky to be able to continue through the media work and I’ve never been busier.”
Looking back over his colourful sporting past has proved to be a great experience for LB.
“There are times when we’ve been writing the book I’ve found myself laughing at some of the stories myself,” said Liam. “You also find yourself being reminded of facts and things that happened in the past too.
“I’m at that stage of the book and I’m coming to the end of it and obviously my last thoughts were Coleraine there’s a great statistician and a great Northern Ireland man called Marshall Gillespie and he was doing some research for me recently and said: ‘Liam don’t forget you played in that team which still holds the record for 36 games without defeat in Irish League football and that still stands from 1975. I had totally forgotten about that until Marshall reminded me.”
With the book nearing it’s final stages Liam is looking forward to seeing it in print
“The compilation of all the raw material should be completed within the next few weeks then some of it will need to be checked legally because I don’t hold back. I dont have a problem saying who I didn’t like when I played or when I was involved in motorbikes, it will all come out in the book. We are hoping it will be out in September and I’m being guided by good people and I’m looking forward to seeing the response to it.” As for the name of the book...well that’s a closely guarded secret.