A Boy Called Arsenal is an honest and emotional true story about a man who, after a life-long battle with mental and physical problems, finally became diagnosed with autism at the age of forty-nine in 2011. The catalyst for his diagnosis was his daughter’s attempted suicide, which drove this troubled man to finally get the help he needed.
Arsenal grew up in Liverpool and became obsessed with Arsenal Football Club as a young boy. At the age of twenty-three, he changed his name by deed poll to Arsenal Whittick.
The book is based on a series of recordings of conversations between the author and Arsenal as well as discussions with his ex-wife and his two daughters. Using extracts from a variety of sources including medical letters, personal letters and football reports, A Boy Called Arsenal is a heart-warming and triumphant story of a life-changing diagnosis and subsequent treatment.
Alan J Hill lives in Christchurch, Dorset and is a semi-retired finance professional after working in the industry for over forty years. Most recently, he worked for Autism Wessex as a Finance Director, which is where he met Arsenal. Alan has also been involved in community sport all his life and won Southern Counties children’s coach of the year in 2012 and coach of the year in 2015.
Alan says, “My book is very much an adult biography concentrating on the impact of mental health issues on a person’s life. Coupled with a pronounced stammer Arsenal has had to overcome severe restrictions leading a ‘normal life’ in modern society but has battled hard to overcome these. Ultimately the book is a lifetime triumph over adversity.”