fter a touching exit from Watford, Troy Deeney begins a new chapter in his boyhood club Birmingham.
But the striker is still texting the Watford staff, from those working in the canteen to owner Gino Pozzo, and one day he would like to return to the club where he spent 11 years and scored 140 goals in 419 appearances.
“I don’t know in what capacity I would go back, but there are many avenues where we could still have a working relationship,” Deeney says. “There are no bad feelings there.”
Deeney speaks to Standard Sport about his career and his powerful new autobiography, Redemption, which was released this week and gives a brutally honest account of his life to date.
He revealed how former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia played an important role in his decision to write his own book.
Deeney sat with Almunia in a jubilant dressing room in Vicarage Road, after scoring a memorable winner against Leicester in a Championship qualifying semi-final in 2013.
“I remember after this goal – the one from which I can never move away – Almunia said to me: ‘You have to write these things because when your career is over you will remember it badly,'” said Deeney.
“I have a notepad and write stuff in it all the time. I’m on notepad five now.
These notebooks helped shape part of Deeney’s new book.
His early childhood was especially heartbreaking, as he explains what life was like on a municipal estate in Solihull when his mother worked three times and his father was a drug dealer.
While writing his book, he ventured into his roots with his mother, Emma, to tell what life was like.
“I think she has trauma too, and we were just unpacking it together,” he says. “It was good pain, good tears.
“Once you remove the scab, it’s not as painful as removing it. Having my mom there helped me tremendously – first as a Guardian Angel, but it made me say, “Wow, what am I complaining about? “
“She lived it, she protected me from 90% of the things I didn’t even see. I’m not trying to be harsh in the book, I’m not trying to glamorize anything. I give you warts and everything.
The book provides insight into the violence and domestic violence around which Deeney grew up. His brother, Ellis, tried to read part of it but had to stop because of the memories it brought back to him.
“Even he said to me, ‘I never knew this side of you’ because I don’t reveal it,” Deeney said.
“Once people read the book, I think there will be a huge understanding of who I am. I don’t want anyone to think I’m a tough guy because I’m the other way around. I am a big sweet.
There are happier moments in the book, as Deeney charts his rise to become a Premier League footballer.
He became a Watford legend before leaving this summer for Birmingham, and he admits the decision has been difficult to make. “There were tears,” he said. “The hardest part is knowing the people who have worked there for over 30 years. I spoke to them every day.
Deeney had offers to leave Watford before he finally did. Last year Tottenham showed interest – “there was a conversation on the phone” – and West Brom made a loan offer.
“I looked around [West Brom] training ground, agreed the number on the back, everything, ”he said. “It was really an ego conflict between me and the manager [which stopped me joining them]. The first time we sat down he [Slaven Bilic] said, ‘Hi Troy, I just want you to know you weren’t my first choice, but here we are.’
“Funny, you weren’t my first choice but we are here!” At that point, you knew it wasn’t going to work between the two of us.
The hope is however that it will work at Birmingham, as Deeney (left) has returned to the club he supported as a child.
“Story-wise, it’s perfect, the kid came home,” he says. “But if you don’t score and win, it’s the kid that’s nice and came here for a retreat.” I can’t wait to prove that I still have a lot to go.
Troy Deeney’s memoir, Redemption, is now available.