The Game Of My Life
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GARY ABLETT was an ordinary boy whose football dream came true.
He was talent spotted, given an apprenticeship and graduated to the first team of Liverpool Football Club. Others fell by the wayside but he survived. He had ability and gave everything to make his childhood fantasy a reality.
It was a golden era. The Anfield dressing room was packed with legends in the 1980s. Dalglish, Hansen, Nicol, Rush, Barnes. But no sooner had he established himself than Ablett realised that the real fight had only just begun.
He struggled to make his voice heard in a club full of strong personalities. Despite winning two league titles and an FA Cup, his performances eventually started to slip. The fans turned on him. He shunned trips to town for fear of getting stick from people who had grown up on the same streets as him.
When he was effectively told he could leave Anfield, he did the unthinkable in many Merseyside fans’ eyes. He crossed Stanley Park and joined Everton.
There he fought another battle to win over the supporters and ended up making history. When the Blues overturned the odds to lift the FA Cup in 1995, Ablett became the only man to win the famous trophy with both Merseyside clubs.
Other career moves followed but the biggest challenge lay ahead of him. When he was told he was suffering from an aggressive form of cancer he vowed that he would not give in to the illness. It was then that Ablett saw the other side of the game. The football family pulled together to look after one of their own.
This is a touching story that Gary Ablett wanted to tell with a powerful message about the choices we make in football – and life itself.