Red Card Roy

Red Card Roy

Sex, Booze and Sendings Off: The Life of Britain's Wildest Footballer


By Roy McDonough with Bernie Friend

RRP: £12.99
Online shop price: £8.44

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ISBN: 9781907637568

Format: Hardback

Pages: 320

Size: 216 x 135

Weight: 555grammes

Illustrations: 16 page colour section

Published: August 2012

'Red Card Roy' is the jaw-dropping story of terrace cult hero Roy McDonough - Britain's wildest ever footballer who was sent off a record 22 times in a career spanning seven clubs, more than 650 games, 100 goals, thousands of beers and, allegedly, 400 women.

From one of his first sendings off, aged 16, when he tried to strangle the referee in a school's cup final, 'Red Card Roy' is a rollercoaster ride of football, violence, sex and booze. Featuring a who's who cast from football in the 70s, 80s and 90s from his unlikely friendship with the late, great Bobby Moore to his run-ins with current Premier League managers David Moyes, Martin O'Neill and Tony Pulis (who he kung-fu kicked to the floor after five minutes of an FA Cup tie).

But beyond the elbows and the early baths, the booze, the birds and the brawls, there is a poignant human story, the ultra-competitive dad, the uncontrollable temper and the uncanny ability to make the wrong decision at the wrong time, all of which cost him the chance to play football at the highest level and sent Roy down a path of self-destruction... albeit one along which he had the time of his life!

"Roy McDonough would eat Vinnie Jones for breakfast!" The Daily Telegraph

About the author

Roy McDonough was born in Solihull in 1958. The striker signed schoolboy forms for Aston Villa, but made his debut in the First Division for Birmingham City at Sunderland in 1977, scoring his first, and only, top-flight goal against QPR in his second appearance. Despite a short spell at Chelsea, the rest of his Football League career was played in the bottom two divisions for Walsall, Cambridge United, Exeter City, Southend United and Colchester United, where he enjoyed a successful spell as player-manager. McDonough also turned out for a host of non-league clubs, including Dagenham & Redbridge, as he clocked up an English record 22 red cards during four decades of football.


Roy McDonough didn't pull any punches when he played - and certainly doesn't now in this roller coaster of an autobiography. He tells it how it was - one great adventure, in which Roy was the Ringmaster, Comedian and Grandmaster Barman. Fantastic memories - drunken or otherwise - in which there was a very good football player having the time of his life.
Terry Butcher, July 2012

A lower-league football legend, who was Premier League with a drink in his hand.
Paul Merson, July 2012

Roy was the George Best of the lower leagues.
Mick Rathbone, author of 'The Smell of Football', July 2012

The story of much-travelled and thoroughly incendiary former lower league player and manager Roy McDonough, Red Card Roy is a superb portrait of a fascinating character
Oliver Holt, chief sports writer, Daily Mirror, July 2012

The perfect antidote to anyone who believes football begins and ends with the Premier League. Red Card Roy is football in the raw and a brilliant read
Dave Kidd, chief sports writer, The People, July 2012



August 2012

'Defiant and a touch unhinged, 'Big Roy' has quite a claim, he's Britain's wildest footballer. Not for the faint hearted, it's an eye-opening journey deep into the dark reaches of football's lower levels' ★★★★

The Birmingham Post

August 2012

'A rip–roaring autobiography... It is an intriguing insight into a life lived at breakneck speed around English football’s less glamorous outposts where bungs, beer and one-night stands are de rigeur.'

East Anglian Daily Times

August 2012

‘A red hot read. If you buy one football book this year, make sure it’s this one.’

BBC Radio West Midlands

September 2012

'If you want to know what it was like to be a footballer in the good old days then this is a rollocking good read!'

Southend Echo

September 2012

‘A compelling and very honest read. A welcome change from the usual blandness of players’ memories – brilliantly written’

Colchester Gazette

September 2012

‘Raw, compelling and sometimes heart-rending. A far cry from the predictable, often banal ghost-written autobiographies produced by Premier League footballers’

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Roy McDonough

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