‘Do you miss it?’ is the title of the first chapter, and this question lies at the heart of Method In My Madness, Richard Dunwoody’s autobiography of a decade in retirement.
“All sportsmen fear retirement. Time is our great enemy,” 14 times Champion Jockey AP McCoy acknowledges in the foreword, and this thought-provoking and self-aware book reflects on what it is like to stare into the void left by a professional sports career and all consuming-life taken away by enforced early retirement.
As might be expected, for an adrenalin junkie nothing short of extreme adventure will come close to filling the gap and in a readable style with little room for emotion Richard’s stories flow full and fast to inspire adrenalin-lovers and Boy Scouts the world over.
But there is also food for thought for the racing world he has left behind. Sitting on the other side of the fence Richard reveals his thoughts on how racing has changed in the last ten years, how racing people behave and on the jockeys of today, paying particular attention to the question of who is the greatest of them all.
Method In My Madness confirms Richard remains a driven and focused individual. Whether he is flirting with polar bears in the Arctic, enduring dramatic human tensions on the Antarctic ice, taking tea and tips from the Queen, leading riding holidays in wartorn lands, walking 1000 miles in 1000 hours going nowhere in Newmarket or taking to the Strictly Come Dancing floor with Lilia Kopylova, his sense of adventure is combined with a keen sense of perspective and humour.
The story is told with the characteristic candour that defined his bestselling career autobiography Obsessed, and Method In My Madness is packed with opinion on well-known names from racing and sport but most tellingly on the people from all walks of life that have become his new role models.
In answering the questions he is asked most often, Richard poses a few of his own. Never again will people wonder why he “turned his back on racing”.
Richard Dunwoody is a man who has always done things his own way, inspiring some, irritating others. Method In My Madness continues this rich vein of form.
Method in My Madness: 10 Years Out of the Saddle , published in Hardback by Thomas Brightman on 12th November 2009 priced £18.99