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Read more about your favourite sports or sportsmen and women with a unique perspective on their careers from the comfort of your sofa with this range of recommended books. Whether you’re a football fan, rugby reveller or fishing follower, we have a great read for you!
Michael Parkinson and George Best faced one another countless times in interviews. Their conversations were mutually respectful, even intimate, yet always brimming with searching questions and revealing answers. The great Manchester United and Northern Ireland attacker - one of the few sports personalities to merit the term 'iconic' - was almost always candid, lucid and self-effacing. Alcoholism had him in its grip from an early age, affecting the love affairs that fed the tabloid headlines, but there was far more to Best than booze and birds. In George Best: A Memoir, Michael Parkinson draws upon decades of award-winning journalistic experience to re-evaluate a remarkable footballer and a damaged friend. The book weaves together recollections of when the 'the fifth Beatle' ensured it was Manchester, not London or Liverpool, which made the Sixties swing; of Best enjoying a carefree kickabout with the Parkinsons' children in the family garden; and selected transcripts from their endlessly fascinating interviews. 'Where did it all go wrong?' is the punchline to a famous Best story. George Best: A Memoir provides Michael Parkinson's considered response to the question while bringing fresh insight into the footballing genius that made Best one of the immortals and the self-destructive side of his character.
What's the worst that can happen? Are there aliens out there somewhere? What happens when I die? In Do You Know What?, our favourite sportsman-turned-comedian-slash-leftfield-thinker Freddie Flintoff expels an eclectic and entertaining smorgasbord of anecdotes, impressions, reflections, ruminations, musings, cogitations, observations, rants, confessions and pearls of wisdom on all aspects of life's rich tapestry. As a prolific philosopher of life's most unfathomable questions, Freddie uses his own inexplicable experiences - from the sublime: giving up booze, shopping in Poundland with his family, exploring the wonders of the universe with his mates; to the ridiculous: wrestling with WWE's finest, singing in a musical on the West End, pranking teammates - to help us all gain the comfort of his life mantra: What's the worst that can happen? Do You Know What? is an unexpectedly helpful, occasionally silly and absorbing brain dump on life and everything it holds, from one of Britain's most-loved national treasures.
No object encapsulates the subtle, mysterious richness of cricket as much as its most famous character, the cricket ball: the swinging, bouncing, spinning heart of the glorious game. Gary Cox tells us the life story of the ball in its many guises: new ball, old ball, live ball, dead ball, no-ball, lost ball, swing ball and dot ball. He untangles the complexities of spin bowling (with a little help from Shane Warne), the tricks and cheats involved in ball tampering (including a look at the 2018 Australian scandal) and explores the multi-coloured future of a rapidly changing game. A kaleidoscopic look at the ball through the lenses of everything from philosophy and science to history, politics and biography and the myriad facts and figures of the vast cricket universe, Cox brings you a brimming biography of this legendary leathern orb and the heroes, fools and villains it has created along the way.
You become a footballer because you love football. And then you are a footballer, and you're suddenly in the strangest, most baffling world of all. A world where one team-mate comes to training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them, and another has so many sports cars they forget they have left a Porsche at the train station. Even when their surname is incorporated in the registration plate. So walk with me into the dressing-room, to find out which players refuse to touch a football before a game, to discover why a load of millionaires never have any shower-gel, and to hear what Cristiano Ronaldo says when he looks at himself in the mirror. We will go into post-match interviews, make fools of ourselves on social media and try to ensure that we never again pay GBP250 for a haircut that should have cost a tenner. We'll be coached and cajoled by Harry Redknapp, upset Rafa Benitez and be soothed by the sound of an accordion played by Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant Tord Grip. There will be some very bad music and some very bad decisions. I am Peter Crouch. This is How To Be A Footballer. Shall we?
Can I Kick It?
They are role models, heroes, spokespeople for major brands, they get millions in sponsorship, their personal lives are plastered over the gossip columns, they are at the top of their professions and love them or hate them, they’re all over our newspapers, TVs, PCs and radios. This section has everything the armchair enthusiast could wish for. Myth-busting biographies (Beware of the Dog by Brian Moore), detailed histories (A History of Football in 100 Objects by Gavin Mortimer), personal accounts of huge moments (Black White & Gold by Kelly Holmes), and atmospheric tributes to beloved games (A Last English Summer by Duncan Hamilton. This is the inside track on the lives, loves, losses and victories of some of the world’s most physically talented people, and the games they love to play.
Get into your favourite armchair, plump up the cushions, have a nice cup of tea and dive in. Just make sure you don’t pull a muscle!