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Why We Write - Andrei Kanchelskis

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Russian Winters tells the story of Andrei Kanchelskis, the only man to have scored in a Manchester, Merseyside and Glasgow derby. Here Andrei describes what made him want to write his new autobiography. 

My new book, called Russian Winters, is my third and they were all done for different reasons.

When I was still a Manchester United player, I wrote a book with George Scanlan, who was my interpreter. It was the story of my first three years at Old Trafford. There was a lot about growing up in the Soviet Union and the enormous differences between my old and new homes. But I was only 25 when it came out; it wasn’t the story of my whole life. It wasn't even the story of my whole time at Manchester United.

After my playing career was over, I wrote a book in Russian. It was called ‘Returning to Russia’ and how I found a country that was very different from the one I had left in 1991.

This book is what you would call a proper autobiography. It takes you through the whole story of what I hope is an interesting life. It is about a boy, obsessed with football and ice hockey growing up in the Soviet Union, a nation that was soon to disappear completely.

In some ways I regretted its passing. People have much more freedom in Russia than they did then but it has come at a very high price. Very few people receive the kind of sporting education that I was given that allowed me to reach great heights in my chosen sport. It is the kind of education I think should be brought back.

I wanted to tell the whole story of my playing career, including why I left Manchester United and Everton but I also wanted to write about my experiences when I came back to Russia, to play and manage.

In the summer of 2018, when it stages the World Cup, Russia will be at the centre of the sporting universe. I am looking forward to it with a real sense of pride but I also wanted to write about the things in Russia that are not right, especially the way sporting standards have been allowed to slide since the break-up of the Soviet Union.

And I suppose like most people who write their autobiography I wanted a book to show my kids and other people who are interested in my life, so I could tell them exactly how it was.

Andrei's book is to be released 10th August and available to pre-order here. The first 250 orders will receive specially commissioned football stickers. 

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