Joe Cole, a talented product of the famous West Ham youth system, was hailed as a child prodigy by no less than Harry Redknapp.
He made his first-team debut for the club at the age of 17 - and his dedication to the Hammers saw him receive the captain's armband in his early 20s.
Meanwhile a call-up to the England senior team marked his England debut at the tender age of 19.
A versatile young playmaker, a series of solid performances in the claret and blue made him a valuable fixture at the East London club.
But the lure of a move across town to Stamford Bridge proved too much to resist and in 2003 he donned a Chelsea shirt after a GBP 6 million transfer was agreed.
Fortune has not always been in Cole's favour - in particular meeting tough competition for his position at Chelsea - and expectations, raised at an early age, have sometimes been hard to meet, but the attacking midfielder has continually produced a number of fine cameos which only serve to point the way to future achievement for club and country.
Yet while he has worked hard to stay level-headed, his maturity off the pitch has not prevented his involvement in some colourful incidents in recent years. Taking it all in his stride he is set to become a major figure at the top of English football.
This is the ultimate biography of the Hammers and Blues' enigmatic dangerman.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 288 pages, 2 X 8 pages illustrations
- Publisher: John Blake Publishing Ltd
- Publication Date: 29/09/2006
- Category: Biography: sport
- ISBN: 9781844542642