Iain Spragg - Author

About the Author

Iain Spragg is a London-based journalist and author with more than 15 years experience. His books include Twickenham: 100 Years Of Rugby's HQ, The London Underground's Strangest Tales, The Official Team GB and Paralympics GB Fact File and The Reduced History Of Rugby. His next book is The River Thames' Strangest Tales and he currently writes for MSN UK, The International Rugby Board and the Football League.

Featured books by Iain Spragg

Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre

Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2016

Discover a wealth of Shakespearean shenanigans over the years, including the terrible behaviour of the groundlings at Shakespeare's Globe, how the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream got recast as a bunch of ladies from the WI, and how Dame Maggie Smith got even with Sir Laurence Olivier.

Other books by Iain Spragg

YouTube Football Fantastic

YouTube Football Fantastic

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2018

YouTube is the world's number one video-sharing website, with 300 new hours of video being uploaded to the website every minute, many of which involve the most popular sport in the world - football. Almost every glorious goal, bizarre blunder and ridiculous red card from all around the globe find their way onto YouTube, where they are then enjoyed by football fans everywhere. YouTube Football Fantastic is an expertly curated interactive celebration of these heroic, sometimes hilarious and often jaw-dropping efforts. With on-the-page links to over 300 amazing videos, it showcases the greatest footballing feats ever recorded on the file-sharing site.

Anthony Joshua: Portrait of a Boxing Hero

Anthony Joshua: Portrait of a Boxing Hero

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/08/2018

Anthony Joshua: Portrait of a Boxing Hero tells the story of one of the most talented British boxers ever to step into a ring. More than an Olympic gold medallist and a world heavyweight champion - something no British fighter has ever achieved (Lennox Lewis won gold for Canada) - AJ, as he is generally nicknamed is a genuinely nice guy. It hasn't been an easy journey for the youngster who grew up in Watford; he had his share of troubles and it was his dedication to boxing that turned him in the superstar he is today. This superbly illustrated biography follows AJ as he made his way in the boxing world, fighting for the Amateur World Championship, in the Olympic Games and then as a professional boxer. As well as Iain Spragg's insightful text, there are comments from those who knew him at every stage of his career. From Finchley Boxing Club - where it started - to the 90,000 crammed into Wembley Stadium when he TKOd Wladimir Klitschko as well as the packed house in Cardiff where he defended his heavyweight crown against Carlos Takam, this a story that will fascinate all boxing fans.

Remarkable Golf Courses

Remarkable Golf Courses

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2017

Remarkable Golf Courses encompasses the extremes of the sport - from the highest golf course in La Paz, Bolivia, to the lowest, in Death Valley, USA; from the most northerly in the Arctic Circle to the most southerly in Tierra del Fuego. The many quirks of the golfing world are covered, such as the 18th green the other side of the River Lea which is serviced by an electric ferry, or the LA golf course that has its own funicular railway, or the floating golf hole in Idaho, where it's not just the pin position that's changed every day, it's the distance from the shore! Golf courses that feature neolithic standing stones (Scotland), Roman roads (England), and ruined medieval castles (Wales) take their place alongside the old temples of Delhi or a UNESCO World Heritage bridge that is used to link the 9th and 10th at Angkor Wat. There are the beloved classic courses of St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal St. George and Westward Ho!. There are spectacular golf courses hewn out of the Nevada and Arizona desert, green oases in a cactus-strewn, rocky landscape, along with Hawaiian courses fringed by barren black lava flows. But nothing can beat the thrill in Guatemala of lining up your drive on an active volcano at the Fuego Maya course. In comparison there are the traditional wind-blown Scottish links, such as the Machrie Hotel on the island of Islay which has the most blind greens on any course, or the remote Isle of Barra where greens are only accessible via a kissing gate. Fancy swapping countries mid-round? You can at the Llanmymynech club in Wales. At the fourth hole golfers tee off in Wales and putt out on the green in England. Remarkable Golf Courses brings together some astonishing stories with some extraordinary photography.

Gareth Bale:The Ultimate Fan Book

Gareth Bale:The Ultimate Fan Book

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/10/2017

Gareth Bale: The Ultimate Fan Book takes you into the Welsh football superstar's world like no other book. This volume takes you on an amazing journey from growing up in the Cardiff suburb of Whitchurch, to Real Madrid. Written in a lively, buzzing style and filled with fun features, fantastic photographs and enlightening quotes, Gareth Bale: The Ultimate Fan Book celebrates his greatest moments and most famous goals, including the goal which set Real Madrid on their way to a record-extending 10th UEFA Champions League triumph against city rivals Atletico.

The World Cup in 100 Objects

The World Cup in 100 Objects

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

The World Cup in 100 Objects tells the almost 90-year history of the world's most celebrated sporting event from a unique perspective and proudly boasts the most fascinating collection of artefacts from FIFA World Cup history. Every object tells a rich and fascinating story from one of the actual balls used in the very first FIFA World Cup final (the two teams could not agree on the match ball so supplied a ball to use in each half) and the collar of Pickles the dog, who found the stolen FIFA World Cup trophy in 1966, to Bobby Moore's shirt that he was photographed giving to Pele in the 1970 finals, and the shirt Diego Maradona wore when he scored his infamous Hand of God goal in 1986. Richly illustrated, authoritatively researched and expertly compiled, The World Cup in 100 Objects is produced in association with the National Football Museum (the world's leading football museum) and the official FIFA Collection. With text written by respected footballer authority Iain Spragg, this is the FIFA World Cup as never before.

The Random History of Rugby

The Random History of Rugby

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/09/2017

A lot of rucking and mauling has gone on since William Webb Ellis first picked up the ball and ran, but this doughty little book heroically manages to capture the true essence of the daddy of all oval ball games in just 80 minutes. This is the story of rugby as never been told before: a jinking, weaving compilation of surreal match reports, spoof correspondence and quirky cartoons. From the playing fields of Edwardian England's public schools to the canopied splendour of Cardiff's Millennium Stadium, the game's towering achievements, hilarious happenings and ludicrous coincidences are entertainingly recalled.

Kicking Off: The Big Book of Football's Funniest Quotes

Kicking Off: The Big Book of Football's Funniest Quotes

Author: Iain Spragg, Stuart Reeves, Adrian Clarke Format: Paperback Release Date: 10/08/2017

Kicking Off: The Big Book of Football's Funniest Quotes is the most comprehensive collection of some of the funniest quotes (intentionally or not) in the history of sport. Compiled by avid quotation collectors Ian Spragg, Adrian Clarke and Stuart Reeves, The Big Book of Football's Funniest Quotes is packed with an incredible 1,500 ridiculous quotes from and about some the most famous names in football, including Sir Alex Ferguson, Jose Mourinho, Ian Holloway, Paul 'Gazza' Gascoigne and Eric Cantona. Bursting with confused cliches, mangled metaphors, comic cusses and idiotic football insights, this book really is the hilarious last word in funny football quotations. What (John) Carew can do with a football, I can do with an orange Zlatan Ibrahimovic replies to criticism from the ex Norway striker It's not important how many faults you make in a game, it's important that nobody can remember after the game. If you win 4-0 but make four mistakes, no one will remember. - Jurgen Klopp

Cycling's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true stories

Cycling's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true stories

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/05/2017

Extraordinary but true stories from 200 years of cycling history. Part of the bestselling Strangest series, Cycling's Strangest Tales is a quirky and fascinating collection of stories from cycling's history. Included are stories of Thomas Stevens, the doughty Englishman who circumnavigated the world on a penny farthing, the 1904 Tour de France winner who was disqualified for catching the train, the 1937 Japanese invasion of China spearheaded by 50,000 bicycle-mounted troops, and the man who soared over nine circus elephants on an ordinary yellow bike. The stories come from every corner of the cycling world, whether it's the open road, the velodrome or the BMX track. Brought bang up to date for 2017 with a selection of new stories, Cycling's Strangest Tales is the perfect gift for anyone who's in love with life on two wheels. Word count: 45,000

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/04/2017

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book gives a unique insight into the life and career of the three-times FIFA World Footballer of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo. Fully revised and updated to his glorious summer of 2016 with victories in both the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA European Championship and filled with facts and stats, and 100 stunning photographs, you will learn about his childhood, his early career with Sporting Clube de Portugal in Lisbon, glory with Manchester United before making his move to Real Madrid. His outstanding skill, devastating pace, fantastic ball control and incredible power shooting with either foot. All in all, few contemporaries can match his talents. Written in a lively, buzzing style and filled with fun features, fantastic photographs and enlightening quotes, Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book celebrates the Portuguese maestro's early life - he was named in honour of former US President Ronald Reagan - and his career on and off the pitch. All in all this is a highly entertaining insight into a football legend.

Teachers' Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true tales from over five centuries of teaching

Teachers' Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true tales from over five centuries of teaching

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/06/2016

A hilarious assortment of the weirdest and wackiest tales ever to come out of the classroom - and they're all true. Featuring the flamboyant swimming teacher who spent his spare time fighting bears, the story of how a fight with his teacher paved the way for Al Capone's infamous crime empire, and the bizarre tale of the American teacher who sued her own pupils for not paying attention in her lesson, this book is a real education. An ideal end-of-year teacher gift, this fascinating book is also a must-read for anyone who's ever been to school. So stop talking at the back, pay attention and start reading! Word count: 45,000

Running's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true tales from over five centuries of running

Running's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true tales from over five centuries of running

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2016

Running's Strangest Tales is a fascinating collection of weird and wonderful stories from the world of running, from the earliest marathon to today's high-tech, apped-up approach. Within these pages you'll find the bizarre story of the Norwegian footballer forced to miss a crucial World Cup qualifier after colliding with a moose on his morning jog, the American ultra-marathoner who had all his toenails removed to improve his running, and why some runners at the 2015 Tokyo marathon were wearing GPS-enabled, edible bananas, complete with LEDs and incoming Twitter updates. Packed with tales that are so odd you'll hardly believe them, this book makes the perfect gift for all running enthusiasts, from the seasoned marathoner to the park jogger, and those who only ever run a bath. Word count: 45,000

Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre

Shakespeare's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but True Tales from 400 Years of Shakespearean Theatre

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 14/04/2016

Discover a wealth of Shakespearean shenanigans over the years, including the terrible behaviour of the groundlings at Shakespeare's Globe, how the 'rude mechanicals' in A Midsummer Night's Dream got recast as a bunch of ladies from the WI, and how Dame Maggie Smith got even with Sir Laurence Olivier.

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/03/2016

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book gives a unique insight into the life and career of the 2013 FIFA World Footballer of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo. Filled with facts and stats, and 100 stunning photographs, you will learn about his childhood, growing up on the small island of Madeira, joining Sporting Clube in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, before lighting up the European stage, with starring roles for Manchester United and Real Madrid. His displays outstanding skill, devastating pace, fantastic ball control and incredible power shooting with either foot. All in all, few contemporaries can match his talents. Written in a lively, buzzing style and filled with fun features, fantastic photographs and enlightening quotes, Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book celebrates the Portuguese maestro's early life - he was named in honour of former US President Ronald Reagan - and his career on and off the pitch. All in all this is a highly entertaining insight into a football legend.

Cristiano Ronaldo Ultimate Fan

Cristiano Ronaldo Ultimate Fan

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/10/2014

Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book gives a unique insight into the life and career of the 2013 FIFA World Footballer of the Year, Cristiano Ronaldo. Filled with facts and stats, and 100 stunning photographs, you will learn about his childhood, growing up on the small island of Madeira, joining Sporting Clube in the Portuguese capital Lisbon, before lighting up the European stage, with starring roles for Manchester United and Real Madrid. He displays outstanding skill, devastating pace, fantastic ball control and incredible power shooting with either foot. All in all, few contemporaries can match his talents. Written in a lively, buzzing style and filled with fun features, fantastic photographs and enlightening quotes, Cristiano Ronaldo: The Ultimate Fan Book celebrates the Portuguese maestro's early life - he was named in honour of former US President Ronald Reagan - and his career on and off the pitch. All in all, this is a highly entertaining insight into a football legend.

The Weird and Wonderful World of Football

The Weird and Wonderful World of Football

Author: Iain Spragg, Adrian Clarke, Gary Lineker Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/06/2014

Football: It's Unbelievable! is a light-hearted look at the wild and wacky side of the global game. It covers professional club football, international football and the grassroots of the sport, and has stories taken from around the world. Most of the entries are chosen from the modern period and each spread will be themed. It is written for the general reader, but with an emphasis on appealing to young football fans. If you find beach ball assists, Vinnie Jones putting the squeeze on Gazza, Wolfie the Wolves mascot slugging it out with Bristol City's Three Little Piggies, trees planted on the pitch or superpink Barbie bar footy machines laugh out loud funny, then you'll love this book!

London's Strangest: The Thames Extraordinary but true stories

London's Strangest: The Thames Extraordinary but true stories

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/06/2014

The 19th-century MP John Burns described the Thames as 'liquid history' and ever since the Romans founded Londinium in 43 AD, the river has played a key cultural and economic, political and social role in the history of England. London's Strangest: The Thames reveals the bizarre, funny and surreal events and episodes that have occurred over the centuries on, beneath and along the banks of the famous waterway. From appearances of the world's first submarine to the raid on the Sex Pistols river concert, Lord Nelson's final journey to John Prescott's watery protest, and even the recent escapades during the floods, the River Thames really has witnessed it all.

Official Arsenal FC Football Records

Official Arsenal FC Football Records

Author: Iain Spragg, Adrian Clarke Format: Hardback Release Date: 10/10/2013

The Official Arsenal FC Football Records is the most comprehensive one-stop reference book for an Arsenal fan to own. Every single major record and statistic in the more than 100 years of the club can found within these pages, all superby illustrated with great action shots. From the legendary teams created by Herbert Chapman in the 1930s, through the Fairs Cup and double-winning squads of the 1960s/70s and George Graham's double champions of the 1980s to the Arsene Wenger era since 1996, this volume is packed with information that gives proof that Arsenal FC is truly a very special Club. As well as all of the club and player records, there is a special section devoted to 10 legends, men who made Arsenal Football Club a British institution.

London Underground's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true stories

London Underground's Strangest Tales Extraordinary but true stories

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Paperback Release Date: 07/02/2013

Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of London's Underground, or as it is affectionately referred to, the Tube. Though this isn't the usual side of the Tube the tourists, travellers and residents see. (Though, of course, they do see a great deal of strangeness in their daily commutes!). This is the real Underground, the strange and twisted nooks and crannies of what happens hundreds of metres below millions of London legs - from its peculiar past through to its paranormal present and looking forward to its fascinating future. Following on from the bestselling Portico Strangest titles now comes a book devoted to London's globally envied, and much loved, public transport system. Located deep beneath the heart of Greater London, the Underground is awash with more strangeness than you can shake your pre-paid Oyster card at. In 2013 the whole city will be celebrating the Underground's 150th birthday - the oldest underground in the world. So, pack up your old kit bag and travel stop-by-stop with us on this strange and fantastic journey along the Northern, Picadilly, Metropolitan, Jubilee, Hammersmith and City and District Line ... and explore the Underground as you've never seen it before. London Underground's Strangest Tales is a treasure trove of the humorous, the odd and the baffling - an alternative travel guide to the Underground's best-kept secrets. Read on, if you dare! You have been warned. Word Count: 35,000

The Official Team GB and Paralympics GB Annual

The Official Team GB and Paralympics GB Annual

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/09/2011

There is something for every young sports fan in The Official Team GB & ParalympicsGB Annual 2012. It contains profiles of many of the top British gold medal contenders, including Jessica Ennis, Sir Chris Hoy, Rebecca Adlington, Phillips Idowu, Ben Ainsley, Ellie Simmonds and Sarah Storey, and a variety of word and picture puzzles and quizzes, all based around Team GB and ParalympicsGB. There is also a wacky comic strip adventure featuring Team GB mascot, Pride the Lion. And, bringing all the stories and features to life, are a selection of top action moments caught on camera by the world's top sports photographers.

Ledley King

Ledley King

Author: Iain Spragg Format: Hardback Release Date: 07/04/2008

The man they call 'Mr Reliable', Ledley King has been a cult figure at White Hart Lane ever since he burst onto the Premiership scene in May 1999. A product of the Tottenham youth system, he is now a mainstay for both club and country and is widely acknowledged as one of Europe's most naturally talented defenders.Renowned for blistering pace, cool head and composed distribution, King is the longest-serving member of the Tottenham squad and was appointed club captain in January 2005. He still holds the record for the fastest goal in Premiership history after finding the back of the net after just 10 seconds against Bradford City in December 2000.First capped by the senior side against Italy in 2002, King played for England at every junior level and he was outstanding in the opening match of Euro 2004 against France before he was forced to return home for the birth of his son. His England career has been hampered by injuries - he missed the 2006 World Cup with a broken metatarsal bone - but he has time on his side and looks destined to be a key figure at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.This fully up-to-date book reveals the inside story of King's early days kicking a ball around in the East End to his emergence as a lynchpin of the Tottenham and England defences. Sports writer Iain Spragg reveals how King has kept the crowds' and critics' attention and how he is destined for even greater success.

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