IT IS ALWAYS AN EXCITING moment when the players enter the tunnel right before a soccer match. An almost eerie quiet settles over everyone. Few words are exchanged. The hustle and bustle of the dressing room - with all the last-minute instructions being given by the coaches, the jocular banter among the players, and the uniforms being donned - has given way to a moment of serious focus. It was a time of quiet reflection for me. I would retreat into my own thoughts and plans for the player I would be facing that day. I would then offer up a short prayer for protection. The clickety-click of soccer boots on the concrete was like music to my ears. I was exactly where I wanted to be - entering the great arena where the skills I had honed for years would be used, and where the chants of the fans would echo around the stadium. This was all part of my 21 years in the English Football League. Gradually, I allowed myself to become so programmed to the game that I became obsessed with it. My mind constantly dwelt on football. I thought of nothing else. My life was controlled by a sport demanding my all. We all travel through a tunnel of sorts, continually aiming for something intangible - perfection. I was searching for a better life. I played in exotic places, met many famous people, played for the most successful team of that era in Britain, but never found the elusive happiness I so desperately sought. Not until I was 40 years of age did I find the peace and happiness I was so hungry to capture. That's when I discovered what that light at the end of the tunnel really was.
Used availability for William Bell's The Light at the End of the Tunnel
July 2014 : USA Hardback
November 2016 : Paperback