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A Book of Heroes or a Sporting Half-century by Simon Barnes

A Book of Heroes or a Sporting Half-century

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Longlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010.
In this gripping new book, Simon Barnes brings together his 50 sporting heroes of the last 50 years and looks at what it is that elevates them to a state of grace and greatness.


A Book of Heroes or a Sporting Half-century by Simon Barnes

“You might say that the provision of heroes is the basic point of sport. If sport didn’t provide heroes, sport wouldn’t command our imaginations...”

Everyone’s lives will, at some time, have been touched by a moment of sporting heroism. Whether it was Ellen MacArthur’s triumphant finish off the French coast in 2005, or Bobby Charlton’s long-range goal that transformed England’s fortunes against Mexico in 1966, we have all witnessed heroic acts – or indeed moments of epic failure and pain – that have changed our mortal world, and have lifted us, even if only briefly, out of ourselves.

The world of sport is of course filled with record breakers and medal winners, individuals who have in their way excelled. What Barnes does here is to identify that extra element, that special alchemy that sets these 40 men, 7 women (and 3 horses) apart and places them in their own race – the race of heroes.


"Barnes never disappoints... He takes us through five decades of sporting heroes in thrilling fashion" - Mike Atherton

About the Author

Simon Barnes

Simon Barnes, the well-loved and frequently controversial columnist for the RSPB's Birds magazine, is the author of a dozen books, including three on wildlife and three novels. He is also the award-winning chief sportswriter for the Times. He lives in Suffolk with his family and has seen a barn owl, kingfisher and marsh harrier in his garden.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th April 2011


Simon Barnes

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Short Books Ltd


320 pages


Sport from the Armchair
Biography / Autobiography
eBook Favourites

Sports & outdoor recreation



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