His team-mates at Chelsea called him "weirdo". Yes, this was a player who read Albert Camus and Anton Chekhov, but Pat Nevin was always comfortable in his own skin.

"It's okay to be yourself, to be an outsider," he told listeners to RTÉ Radio's Game On in the week his memoir, 'The Accidental Footballer', is published.

In a wide-ranging discussion, Nevin, who enjoyed a steady career in the 1980s and 90s with Everton, Chelsea and Scotland, talks life, both on and off the field. He could have lined out for the Republic of Ireland, but he was on the pitch that night Gary Mackay put the ball in the Bulgarian net. An appearance at a major finals did come at Euro '92.

A childhood in Glasgow's East End prepared him for the school of hard knocks. Playing football in the street leagues paved the way for the speedy winger to carve out a decent career.

Nevin did, however, have a backup plan if things did not work out in the shape of a degree and an esoteric view of the world that would see him attend plays at the Royal Court and Royal Court ballet performances.

He wrote a music column for the Chelsea club newspaper. He revered the late DJ John Peel.

A life philosophy that served Nevin well on the pitch and elsewhere was summed up when he commented: "If you do something creative, purely for the love and joy of it, than you'll be be great at it."