Written by first-time author Bob Curran, 'Heart of a Lamb Courage of a Lion' tells a heart-breaking story of the life of the writer from early years growing up in 60's Dundee to life as an acclaimed amateur fighter and Royal Engineer. Make mistake; this is a very brave piece to have been written. Whilst many have penned autobiographies, I can think of ne that have offered themselves so 'warts and all' as Curran. The Scotsman endured a brutal upbringing at the hands of a violent alcoholic father and suffered more of the same growing up attending tough Catholic schools. Beaten to a pulp by his Dad, teachers and school bullies on a regular basis, the tiny lad t only suffered physical hurt but deep emotional scars that remain to this very day. Around the horrendous treatment came the boxing bug as the bullied youngster joined a local boxing club aged seven and became instantly addicted. Boxing firstly out of the Camperdown ABC before joining the Lochee Boys club, the diminutive lad improved his confidence and well-being as a young fighter weighing t even seven stone (98lbs). There's a highly amusing tale about the young Curran whipping a well-kwn politician in his time at Lochee. Thirty years or so later the same politician would brag on 'Celebrity Big Brother' about boxing out of Lochee to the writer's obvious irritation. Already a handy fighter and 1970 Scottish youth champion, the teenage Curran enlisted in the Army aged 16 where his boxing career flourished, going 50-2 in his time there. The talented Curran would box the likes of (future pro British champion) George Feeney in a glittering forces career which saw him crowned British bantamweight champion in the 1973 NABC championships. At 18-years-old Bob was offered a pro contract by Dave Boy Green's manager Andy Smith but turned it down with hopes of winning the national ABA's and competing in the Olympics. Curran turned down the lucrative offer but, despite his obvious talent, never achieved either distinction and also never turned professional. Here is where the story really sours and the book starts becoming increasingly hard to read. You'll keep reading though as Bob suffers some spectacular mishaps. The Scottish soldier, still suffering low self-esteem issues and with an under-lying self-loathing, went completely off the rails following the break-up of his brief, and disastrous, first marriage. The marriage ended bitterly and further kcked the young man's spirits as he spiralled into depression. Eventually thrown out of the forces following a destructive episode in Cyprus, Curran was forced to regroup and face up to life away from his beloved 59 Independent Commando squadron. The role of an Army physical training instructor is one he had relished and loved before his marriage break-up. While the book details in depth Curran's days as a champion boxer and Royal Engineer, the remaining thirty-odd years are skipped through in minimal time. The former soldier turned to drugs and heavy drinking in the years after but cleaned up after finding religion. He got married again and had children but thing is mentioned other than ne wanted to be included in the biography. The former fighter was forced into early retirement in 1999 following a work accident left him with a serious back injury. It is an engrossing read which proves amusing, sincere and fascinating. The almost Jekyll-and-Hyde character of Curran leaps out of the pages as a well-intentioned, but emotionally scarred individual, who has an amazing knack of making a bad situation even worse (especially with his sometimes acid tongue). You will laugh and cry at the manner the story is told; very honest with bravado. He remains however a man of sound morals despite his colourful life. Considering he has faced; a violent upbringing, paedophile attacks, messy relationships, life in the Army, all his amateur fights plus drugs and alcohol abuse, Bob must be commended by dealing with all of the above a
Curran was beaten from earliest known age, by a series of Father (Alcoholic) Teachers, School Bullies. He was very small for his age but fought above his weight. Became Scottish Boxing Champion in 1970 yet 3 weeks later, he was abused by a Paedophile. Taking away all his self esteem. Curran then joined the Forces, determined to improve and became British Under19 Amateur Bantamweight Champion in 1973. Curran became a PT Instructor, and an Army Commando, but lost all, as he could not deal with flashbacks. He is now, happily dedicating his life in helping others with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. After treatment from Talking2Minds.co.uk, a specialist charity ran by ex S.A.S Soldier Rob Paxman, he book though has had a huge cathartic effect.