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Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite
Red Card: A Bet You Can Win! documents the fascinating journey of a former professional football player, Tony Kelly, including his struggle with gambling and his experiences with racism. Kelly was born in 1966 and grew up in Coventry, UK. His family, especially his twin brother Mel, remains a constant source of support for him. At the time, he saw football not only as his ticket to a better life but as his escape from the streets of Coventry that were marked by frequent cases of racist attacks and violence. Unfortunately, these would not be his last encounters with racism. Kelly went on to achieve football stardom playing for clubs such as Stoke City, Leyton Orient, Bury FC, and Swedish club, Gimonais CK, even playing at Wembley Stadium in 1992. Despite his success in football, his career was marred by a costly addiction to gambling.
Red Card: A Bet You Can Win! by Tony Kelly is a story of hope and redemption. It paints a shocking but realistic picture of the cost of gambling. Kelly explains how he gradually got into overwhelming debt and how the problem cost him his football career and his long-term relationship. He later decided to get professional help and now assists others affected by gambling through his support project, Red Card. Other important topics arise in the book including the existence of racism in football and other areas. Without his twin brother playing alongside him, Kelly felt isolated. In school, he also faced racism from other students. The book shares important lessons for aspiring and professional players. Red Card: A Bet You Can Win! is a memoir that contains impactful lessons from a former professional footballer.