Uwe Rosler's passion and determination is never far from the surface, and it's that drive that changed the path he seemed set to follow. Destined for an unremarkable career in East Germany, where the Berlin Wall presented a greater mental boundary than the bricks and mortar that formed the physical division between two different worlds, Uwe was 25 and heading nowhere. Then, a chance for the raw talent that had been contained in his repressive surrounds was to be set loose, as he was offered the chance of a loan at struggling English Premier League club, Manchester City. The contrast between 'Madchester' and his homeland could not have been more marked. The mullet-haired striker was an instant hit, his goals helping City survive relegation and winning him a permanent deal. Voted Player of the Year in his first full season in England, over the next four years Rosler wrote his name into City folklore and became a terrace idol. The fans loved his raw passion, commitment and the fact he wore his heart on his sleeve - that, plus his goals. However, once he fell out with boss Alan Ball, there was only going to be one winner.
For three successive years he finished top scorer, and stayed with City when they were relegated. Unfortunately another relegation resulted in severe cut-backs and he had to move on, initially returning to Germany and a first stint in the Bundesliga with Kaiserslautern. He soon returned to England with Southampton before a spell with West Bromwich Albion brought an end to his playing days in a country he called his second home. He finished his playing career with Norwegian side Lillestrom, where he soon faced a bigger battle than anything he'd faced in football. Diagnosed with chest cancer, Uwe was forced to reassess his life and ambitions as he began receiving treatment. Was it time to leave the game if the chemotherapy was successful? Lifted by an incredible show of affection from the City fans, who he listened to on a mobile phone singing his name during a home game while stricken in hospital, Rosler made a remarkable recovery. After being given a clean bill of health, he moved into management with Lillestrom. He remained there for two years, then enhanced his reputation further with Viking, where he remained for four years.
He then had a short spell with Molde, saving the club from relegation before being replaced by returning superstar Ole Gunnar Solkjaer. Undeterred, Uwe decided to try his hand in England, where he had recently been voted into the Manchester City Hall of Fame. Brentford offered him that chance - and he immediately made an impact. He guided the Bees to their highest finish in six years in his first season, then came within a coat of paint of guiding his side to promotion a year later - only to see his dream turn to dust in a matter of 30 crazy seconds on the final day of the 2012/13 campaign. No matter. His dream is to manage in the Premier League, and Uwe will keep going until he succeeds. There's not been a wall built yet he hasn't scaled and almost 15 years since he left City, the fans still regularly sing his name. Now read his fascinating life story -
Publisher: Trinity Mirror Sport Media