One of Cambridge United’s most popular players returned to the Abbey on Saturday, August 6 to tell of the challenges he faced in football and those he is dealing with now.
Tom Youngs, who joined the U’s as a ten-year-old in 1989 and appeared 180 times for the first team between 1997 and 2003, launched his book What Dreams Are (Not Quite) Made Of at a 100 Years of Coconuts Q&A session after the home game against Barnet.
Tom told a packed audience about his multiple sclerosis diagnosis in 2014, and gave an insight into what the future might hold for him. By way of contrast, he delighted his listeners with tales of his career at United, picking out some of his highlights and favourite teammates.
He finished by proclaiming United supporters to be the best he had ever encountered, and assured the audience that playing at the Abbey was an uplifting experience – except for visitors. The crowd could be incredibly loud, he said, and their support gave players an advantage over their opponents. Scoring at the Corona End (he scored 43 times for the U’s) was an incredible experience, he added.
After the Q&A Tom signed copies of his book for a queue that took nearly an hour to die down. Already benefiting from appreciative reviews, the hardcover book retails at £14.99 – watch out for a Coconuts review, coming soon, It can be bought through the usual channels, online and on the high street.
As can be gathered from its subtitle (No Fame, No Fortune, Just Football ... and Multiple Sclerosis), Tom deals with the experience of living with MS as well as the highs and lows of a life in football ("the best job in the world").
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