Cover 9781785908255

Nedum Onuoha was not a typical footballer. Picked by the Manchester City Academy aged ten, he was determined to continue his education despite the lure of a career under the floodlights. Fiercely intelligent on and off the pitch, Onuoha developed into a talented defender and played his part in City’s meteoric rise.

In this characteristically forthright book, Onuoha reveals what goes on behind the scenes at top-tier clubs. Stuffed with insights into household names like Stuart Pearce, Sven-Göran Eriksson, Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp, this is football and its most famous figures as you’ve never seen them before.

Kicking Back is also the story of one man’s search for identity: as a footballer, as a black man in England and as an outsider in the US during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. What is it like to receive horrific racist abuse while doing your job? And how has football failed the black community? Onuoha provides a damning assessment of the sport’s authorities as he dives deep into a life spent on the pitch.


“A frank, thought-provoking and compelling insight into one of football’s most articulate voices.”

Rory Smith, New York Times chief soccer correspondent

“A searingly honest account of a fascinating football story. Nedum tells it like he played, with nothing left out.” 

Guy Mowbray, Match of the Day

“This is a great account of the life and career of a man I respect immensely. A fascinating read.”

Ian Wright

“As an articulate and astute observer of the politics and prejudices in professional football, Nedum Onuoha’s autobiography is considerably more compelling than most of those by more decorated players … Kicking Back is a frank and fascinating insight … Always thoughtful, self-critical and honest, Onuoha isn’t a typical ex-player, and he’s written the sort of autobiography you hoped he would.”

When Saturday Comes

“A fascinating read.”

Mark Gallagher, Irish Mail on Sunday
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  • Paperback, 384 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785908255
  • 23 May 2023
  • £10.99

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  • ISBN: 9781785907470
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