Sadlier's unflinchingly honest memoir on way

Story by John Donohoe

Thursday, 11th July, 2019 4:09pm

Sadlier's unflinchingly honest memoir on way

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 4th 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 (

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