From Prison to the Premiership

By Jamie Lawrence

From Prison to the Premiership Look inside
  • Publication Date: 1 Feb 2006
  • Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
  • Imprint: John Blake Publishing Ltd
eBook (ePub/MOBI)
ISBN: 9781782199250
ISBN: 9781844542055



"This is my world, of growing up in the roughest parts of South London, where it pays to be quick-witted, handy with your fists and brave enough to use a tool if you have to." In "From Prison to the Premiership", Jamie Lawrence has one hell of a story to tell. Though a talented schoolboy footballer heading for a career with a top team, the combination of his parents returning to Jamaica and frustration at not getting the breaks with a pro club led him into crime. Trying to do the right thing in poorly paid jobs and living with his sister who was also struggling financially was not enough, and things went progressively downhill leading to a spell in youth custody and then prison. Incarceration proved to be his salvation. Whilst playing in an inter-prison match, Lawrence's talent was spotted and soon after release from a four-year stretch, he was playing for Sunderland and attracting plaudits. Winning over the many sceptics, he played at the highest level for Leicester and Bradford against the world's best and was even a regular in the Jamaican national side, featuring in a match against world champions Brazil. No other rise from obscurity to celebrity sportsman can compare. His story will inspire everyone who still has unfulfilled ambitions.

About the author

Born in Battersea, south London in 1970, Jamie Lawrence realised every aspiring schoolboy footballer's dream by playing in the Premiership against some of the world's best players including David Beckham. He also won a Coca-Cola Cup medal and represented Jamaica in World Cup qualifiers. Yet his route into the sport's elite was far from conventional because Lawrence began his adult life at a teenage inmate. His parents returned to Jamaica in 1987 and Lawrence, 17, finding it impossible to live on meager motor mechanic's wages - and living with his sister who was also struggling financially - turned to crime to supplement their income. The inevitable happened and he had two spells in jail. Football proved to be his salvation though and through his brilliance for Camp Hill prison team on the Isle of Wight, Lawrence attracted interest from professional clubs. Sunderland signed him first and he quickly ended up in the Premiership first with Leicester and then Bradford City before International honors with Jamaica.

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