Steve: Unwanted

How a Bad Boy Came Good... An Inspiring True Story

by Steve Walker

  • Published: 01 Sep 2011
  • Price: £12.99
  • Format: Paperback
  • Format: Ebook
  • Extent: 256p
  • ISBN: 978-1-907595-65-3
  • Buy it now from Amazon.co.uk
  • Buy it now from Waterstones

Abandoned by his mother. A violent, abusive father in the background. Unable to read or write, bullied at school. Frequent spates in juvenile detention. Childhood wasn’t easy for Steve Walker.
By the age of 23, he had become one of London’s most notorious drug-dealers – nickname “Psycho” – with a fast car, a trail of broken relationships, and a life-threatening drug habit of his own.
When his business partner’s body was found in the boot of a car, Steve moved underground in a bid to go straight. But leaving his old life behind was more difficult than he’d imagined.
Years later, committed to a psychiatric hospital, his body ravaged by decades of abuse, he was given one last chance to save himself. Since then he has saved countless lives, and inspired hundreds of people to turn their lives around.
Steve: Unwanted is a testament to the incredible power there is within all of us to break even the most hardened aspects of our habits and behaviour, and turn our lives around. It is a glimmer of light for anyone touched by addiction.

I thought I’d seen everything, until my close friend Chris Lambrianou said to me one day, “Tel, I want to take you somewhere.” After a short drive through leafy Oxford, we arrived at the Ley Community – a rehabilitation centre. I had never seen one before, but I’d always imagined they’d be like prisons – dirty and smelly, with the odd nutter talking to himself in the corner. I hadn’t expected a lovely, tranquil, spotless “mini village”; people walking around, talking and laughing, against a backdrop that could have been a Constable painting.
Then Chris introduced me to a man called Steve Walker. Steve has an extremely warm character that he combines with a strong sense of purpose; this is a man whose work is his life. In fact, for Steve, his work is other people’s lives. I wouldn’t even try to guess how many people this special man has saved, giving them back their lives that had been stolen by addiction.
Steve Walker is a real hero. He’s humane, kind, and he shows real affection to those who may never have experienced it before. The world needs men like Steve. He opened my eyes to many things, and I cherish many a lesson I’ve learnt from him. And remember, when I went there, I thought I’d seen everything.
Tel Currie, author and boxing promoter.

What can I say about my friend?  You haven’t met him yet, but you will get to know him as you walk through the pages of his life. You will find every kind of emotion in Steve, except self-pity. If  I were in the trenches, I would want him with me.  Having shared many experiences with him over the years, I can only say he is a top bloke. And I am not alone when I say this. Ask the many people, young and old, whose lives he has saved.  I have never known him to give up on anyone, even if they have given up on themselves. He has taken ‘lifers’ out of prison and touched them when prison has failed to do so. He has taken young men and women off the streets and helped them to change their wretched lives, turning defeat into victory.  How do I know? Well, for many years it was my job to bring these people to him.
Chris Lambrianou, author of Escape from the Kray Madness, Do the Walls Come Down:
Reflection of a Lifer
, winner of the Koestler Award for literature

Steve Walker’s remarkable story – now movingly narrated in his first book – is inspirational. His journey offers a powerful example of how thousands of people can and do transform their lives, and become agents for change in others. Indeed, his story is a  testament to why programs like the Ley community are essential resources in a state-of-the-art health system. Such communities transmit the fundamental message of recovery:  You alone can do it, but you can’t do it alone.
George De Leon – author of The Therapeutic Community

Steve Walker is extraordinary.  He’s tough as old boots, but as emotionally open and vulnerable as anybody you’re likely to meet.  He lives and breathes the story of The Ley Community but he also understands change, and is big enough to make tough decisions.  He is passionate and makes enemies along the way – especially when he shouts a lot – but he has attracted a massive following of people whose lives have been fundamentally touched by his example, his insight, his brutal honesty and his sheer determination to save others.
Jeremy Spafford

I was privileged to meet Steve Walker in Holland, and subsequently on a visit to the Ley Community in June 2009.  He impressed me as a very mature person, who has been able to make use of, and reflect on, his own considerable life experience. Better still, he is able to use this in an objective way in his work. He had obviously earned the considerable respect of both staff and residents for his huge contribution to the growth and development of the Ley Community today. The Ley Community to me is the best of the current models in the UK of how a “Concept” Therapeutic Community should be, and Steve is an embodiment of all that this means.
David Warren-Holland

About Steve Walker

Steve Walker is now Programme Director of the Ley Community in Oxfordshire, one of Britain’s most important and successful drug rehabilitation centres, where he was treated in the late 1980s and early 1990s.