By Sam Murphy
Dave Edwards, in his first book ‘Living My Dream’, writes a heart felt and compelling take on his career to date from a young kid in Shrewsbury to the semi-finals of the European Championships.
Living My Dream, is part memoir, part underdog story, as Edwards describes his childhood love for football playing for his school and county teams.
Edwards interweaves sections on his career up to the arrival of Nuno at the beginning of the 17/18 season, with chapters on the Euro 2016 build up and tournament.
Throughout the book, above all else Edwards articulates a deep connection with Wolves, Wales and his family.
Edwards, who wrote Living My Dream with Wolves former Head of Media Paul Berry, began his career in the Shrewsbury youth set up where he met Joe Hart, who writes a forward to the book, before playing for over ten years at Wolves via Luton.
In his Wolves career he has seen eight managers, two promotions, and a double relegation leaving earlier on in the season for Reading.
Edwards starts his story of the Euro’s campaign during his recovery from a broken foot sustained whilst playing for Wolves.
His likely recovery time would be around 10-12 weeks, giving Edwards very little time to play before the Wales squad would be named for the Euro’s.
Edwards set out to make the best recovery possible, doing everything he can to be in contention for Chris Coleman’s squad.
Edwards details the small but significant sacrifices that he made to ensure he would make the plane to France.
He describes everything from the small to the experimental interventions he makes such as forgoing a post match take-away, or finding a mysterious muscle specialist who later is willing to fly to France to help his recovery in the middle of the tournament.
Edwards writes of the camaraderie of a tournament team, with the intricate system of fines and punishments that was in place to build team spirit.
One of the funniest moments of the book sees Dangerous Dave performing the Macarena dance routine in front of the whole Wales squad as punishment for missing an afternoon meeting.
For most Wolves fans however it will be the chapters on his time at Wolves that intrigue the most.
Edwards is frank about the difficulties at Wolves and his sometimes strained relationship with fans but his commitment to the club oozes between each word.
Mick McCarthy was the manager that brought Edwards to Molineux, signing him from Luton when they went into administration.
He was a young, energetic but somewhat injury prone midfielder with several clubs interested in signing him along with Wolves.
Dave charts the double relegation and the fall out from that with his uneasiness with Stale Solbakken, and his love of Paul Lambert style of playing.
Edwards named the win at Anfield against Liverpool, when he was captain, as one of the most proud moments of his Wolves career.
One of the key moments of the book is when McCarthy came into the training ground following the 5-1 loss to West Brom which culminated in his sacking.
He recalls that McCarthy said: ‘Look lads.’ he began. ‘this is the end of the road for me.’ He said he was absolutely gutted and devastated, but retained a smile throughout.’
This was the beginning of a two year decline for Wolves from the Premier League to League One in consecutive seasons and Edwards saw it all first hand.
A ‘what-if’ moment came as David Edwards reveals he nearly signed for Bristol City writing: ‘Kenny had told me two days ago that two years was fine and the deal would be done but, here I am, the day before my wedding and seconds away from calling Bristol City’s manager to agree a move.’ only to become infuriated by Jez Moxey’s not returning his calls as promised.
Jez Moxey has a reputation for being a hard-nosed business man always with an eye for the bottom line, with this incident shows there is some truth to every football myth.
This is one of several key moments in the book where Edwards lifts the lid on the inner workings at Molineux.
Running through this book is Edwards professionalism and mental resilience in coming back from injury.
Following a book recommendation from the medical staff at Wolves, Edwards changed his mental approach in football to a more positive outlook. He attributes his success in the three seasons under Jackett to this change in mentality.
More recently Edwards has developed extensive outside business interest’s including a charity, Little Rascals Foundation, which supports children with disabilities to become increasingly independent.
All the proceeds from Living My Dream are going to this charity. This possibly offers a glimpse into a future career for Edwards, despite being only 31.
Living My Dream offers a fascinating insight into the life of an international footballer rarely seen by fans.
At the centre is Dave Edwards a professional to his core who at the same time offers intelligent insight into life as a footballer as well as his humble approach to football and life.
‘Living My Dream’ is available at all good retailers.