Julian Joachim has lifted the lid on his eventful football career in his eagerly awaited autobiography.
You Must Be Joachim, released on Friday, chronicles the amazing story of the Boston lad, who became one of football’s hottest prospects during the 1990s.
The lightning-fast striker was born in Peterborough but grew up in the town before making his name at Leicester City, remaining proud of his Boston roots.
“I moved to Boston when I just weeks old, so I regard myself as a Bostonian.
"It was tough growing up on a council estate with my mum and nan, and I was a bit of a handful at times,” recalls Joachim.
“As a kid, I often worked the land for my Uncle Charlie, who is sadly no longer with us.
"I did everything from Brussel sprout picking to chicken catching.
"Believe me, you have to be fast to catch chickens and that could be where I got my pace from.”
A 12-year-old Joachim turned out for Wyberton Colts, which is where he was spotted by Leicester City.
He became a teenage sensation during the 1992093 season: beginning the year playing for the City youth team and ending it by scoring at Wembley in the play-off final.
His sensational club form earned him a call up to the England squad for the 1993 under 18 European Championships.
A strong England team, featuring Robbie Fowler, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Sol Campbell, won the competition and Joachim was named Player of the Tournament.
“It was a dream start to my football career," he added.
"Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t really consider the enormity of what I was achieving, I was always focussed on the next game.”
After scoring Leicester City’s first ever Premier League goal, playing in an FA Cup final for Aston Villa and playing for Coventry City, Walsall and Leeds United, Joachim surprised the football world in 2005 when he dropped down two divisions to sign for home-town club Boston United.
He said: “It wasn’t a footballing decision as I was still only 30 and didn’t really want to drop down to League Two, but I was excited about the prospect of playing in front of my friends and family.
"It didn’t make sense financially either as I took a 50 per cent pay cut to join Boston – I followed my heart and chose to go home,” Joachim recalls.
Boston finished the 2005-06 season in 11th place, which is still the club’s highest ever league finish, and Joachim was The Pilgrims’ top scorer with 16 goals.
“We had a really strong team and I honestly believe that we were only a player or two away from achieving promotion.
"Unfortunately, the club were in a mess financially and I was sold to Darlington early the following season.
"I didn’t want to leave Boston, but I knew that the club needed the money.”
The Pilgrims were relegated to the Blue Square North in 2007 and faced a serious threat of liquidation.
“I have remained a Boston fan and I am gutted to see what has happened to the club after I left.
"They seem to have more stability now, and a new stadium, and I hope that they return to the football league soon,” Joachim added.
You Must Be Joachim, published by Morgan Lawrence Publishing Services, is available to order now online at www.morganlawrence.co.uk and at all major book retailers.
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