A business graduate from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been nominated for a top sportswriting award after penning Foxes star Emile Heskey’s autobiography.
‘Even Heskey Scored’ is the third major sports book Dean Eldredge has ghostwritten and the title has now been named among the nominees for the prestigious Telegraph Sports Book Awards, alongside other autobiographies from top sportspeople such as Ben Stokes and Tyson Fury.
Dean, a graduate of DMU’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) , runs two media agencies and has opened up a successful line working with sports stars to tell their life stories.
He kick-started his autobiography career in 2015 with biography of rugby legend Neil Back ‘The Death of Rugby’ before approaching Leicester City and England star Emile Heskey in 2018.
Dean said: “I had just come off the back of doing Neil Back’s and Darius Vassell’s books and I was looking for the next project to work on.
“Emile hadn’t written a book and being a Leicester fan, I just knew he had a good story to tell. Luckily, he and the publishers agreed with me!
“There is honestly no better feeling than having that finished book in your hands. Being shortlisted for the award is just the icing on the cake, even if we don’t win, we already feel like we have.”
He continued: “The book took six months to write and many trips up and down to Manchester, but I can honestly say it’s been a labour of love.
“Often the meetings were easy and just like two guys chatting in a bar about football, but it was also humbling being able to watch him going back over the journey of his career.
“I can’t speak highly enough of Emile, he was so easy to work with a really genuine, humble, thoughtful guy.”
Dean said that one of the most powerful chapters in the book is when Emile addresses the racism that he has faced in his career.
“The chapter was not originally planned but on one occasion when Emile came over to Leicester, we were sat in the Marriott hotel and we did the usual process of discussing a chapter and interviewing before grabbing some lunch.
“We got on to the topic of racism in society and in football. It wasn’t planned. I wasn’t interviewing him. We were talking like friends over a sandwich.
“He spoke so powerfully and eloquently about the subject of racism; we both knew in that moment we needed to include this in the book.”
The 37-year-old said that he has been lucky enough to pursue his dream thanks to skills learnt on the part-time MBA at DMU which allowed him to keep working while progressing his career.
“The course was so well tailored for people in that position, there is no way I could have stopped working and have no income.
“Being able to do the course over two years part time was ideal, it enabled me to carry on paying my bills whilst progressing in my career.
“The course took me out of my comfort zone to do elements of business I was not comfortable with before, like accountancy but I also learnt a lot more about management, marketing and HR too.”
Since then Dean is now co-owner of two boutique media agencies, Soar Media and Oporto Sports alongside his business partner Gary Webster, where he has recently branched out into the football agency world.
“The skills I learnt at DMU have been transferable and I am still using them today. We are a business that markets ourselves and I am grateful to DMU for enhancing my knowledge.”
To read more about Emile’s book, please click here.
Posted on Wednesday 15th July 2020