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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!
Barry Sheene is arguably the greatest British motorcycle racing rider of all time. A chancer, lovable rogue and the leading sports star of his era, adored by the public and press alike, he won two world motorcycle championships in 1976 and 1977. He achieved iconic status by being involved in some horrific crashes and was dubbed 'the bionic man' on account of the amount of metal used to reconstruct his legs after a particularly bad accident. He later emigrated to Australia and became a leading commentator. He died of cancer in 2003. For the first time Barry's widow, Stephanie, and family have agreed to open up their personal archive to give an unprecedented insight into the two-time 500cc world champion. Via private photographs, memorabilia and letters, award-winning Times journalist and author Rick Broadbent will tell the story of a remarkable man in unprecedented fashion. Rick Broadbent will paint a portrait of one of the sport's most charismatic figures through the voices of the people who knew him best: his family, his fellow competitors, teammates and the many legends who have admired him from a distance in the years since his death. A celebrated motorcycle racing author, Rick Broadbent is perfectly placed to write Sheene's story and he will have exclusive access to the family archives and photographs.
The revelatory autobiography of a rugby colossus: Paul O'Connell There has never been a rugby player quite like Paul O'Connell. He is synonymous with passion, heart and determination; but he is also the thinking man's rugby player, a legendary student of the game.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 An extraordinary and compelling account of the life of football coach Bela Guttman. William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 is Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath, publsihed by cycling specialist Raph Editions Other shortlisted books for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 were: The Greatest Combeack: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 Miraculously, and the word is not used lightly, Declan Murphy survived and defied medical thinking in recovering to the extent that eighteen months after his fall, he was able to saddle up for one more race. It is a story of triumph, fear, love and loss, by turns primal, heartbreaking and inspirational, and ultimately, it is the story of hope, and of life. William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 is Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath, publsihed by cycling specialist Raph Editions Other shortlisted books for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 were: The Greatest Combeack: From Genocid to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gable, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
Andres Iniesta was twelve years old when scouts invited him into Barcelona's famous La Masia academy. Shortly after he joined the club, Barca legend Pep Guardiola remarked of him, 'This lad is going to retire us all.' After making his first-team debut at 18, Iniesta became a permanent fixture in the Barcelona midfield, propelling the club to a raft of titles - including an unparalleled six-trophy season in 2009. Along with his Barca teammate Xavi, he has also run the Spain midfield, the pinnacle of his international career coming when he scored the winner against Holland in the 2010 World Cup Final.
What makes this book special is that it not only recounts an astonishing and hard won triumph, though it does tell the story of an extraordinary and improbable victory. What makes this book, and Nyad herself, so incredible is the fact of her monumental courage in the face of failure. Nyad failed, and failed, and failed, and failed, but never gave up, and this memoir shows her unwavering belief in the face of overwhelming odds. It is about perseverance, tenacity and commitment on an epic scale.
After completing a punishing training schedule and packing up everything he owned into boxes, Sean Conway was in Greenwich Park on the start line of the adventure of a lifetime. Soon he was way ahead of schedule, averaging 180 miles per day, and on course to break the round the world cycling record. But then disaster struck, and Sean was forced to confront the possibility that he may not be able to complete the race...In the course of his 16,000-mile journey, Sean travelled the famous pan-American highway across the Atacama Desert, outran tornados, relied on fellow travellers to ferry water across the Australian outback, and inadvertently joined a cycle club in Mumbai. He learnt things about himself he didn't know and rediscovered a spirit of adventure that changed everything.
The story of one of the most recognisable and successful players in world football. Didier Drogba is renowned for his heading ability, sharp shooting and sheer strength. He has played for his native Ivory Coast and for clubs in France, China and Turkey, but it is as a Chelsea striker that he is best known. His feats with Chelsea have made him a cult hero among supporters. Off the field of play Drogba has been widely applauded for his involvement in trying to broker peace in the Ivorian civil war - he was a UN Goodwill Ambassador and Time magazine named him one of the world's 100 most influential people.
Joe Root is undoubtedly cricket's next superstar, adored by fans and the press alike for his incredible talent and his cheeky personality. At just 24 years old he has already scored nearly 3,000 Test runs, taken 12 Test wickets. Joe was the star of England's incredible 2015 Ashes campaign - his knock of 130 at Trent Bridge secured the series victory and saw him named by the ICC as the best batsman in the world.
Over a decade after his international number one bestseller SERIOUS, John McEnroe is back and ready to talk once again. Since his hit book, he's maintained a huge presence as a commentator at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tournaments. He has continued to compete on the court, winning the ATP Champions Tour a record six times, and has played in charity events around the globe. More surprising are the calls from TV producers, inviting John to riff on his famous hot temper in cult shows such as 30 ROCK and CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM - and his little-known passion for American contemporary art. The beloved, controversial and respected tennis legend reveals even more from his life and career, with the signature style that has made John McEnroe the enduring cultural figure and icon he is. As part of a tiny elite of top-ranking tennis players, John McEnroe has lived and experienced what very few people could ever imagine. His status as an elder statesman of international tennis is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the court? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as an ex-champion, and adjust to his new vocation as a broadcaster and gallerist? In following McEnroe's personal struggle to reinvent himself, confronting a few demons along the way, BUT SERIOUSLY blends memoir and motivational writing in a manner which both disquiets and reassures in the author's original and unadulterated voice. The result is a personal odyssey, a mixture of anecdote and reflection which re-evaluates the meaning of success.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award In 1704 a bankrupt English merchant sent home the colt he had bought from Bedouin tribesmen near the ruins of Palmyra. Thomas Darley hoped this horse might be the ticket to a new life back in Yorkshire. But he turned out to be far more than that: and although Mr Darley's Arabian never ran a race, 95% of all thoroughbreds in the world today are descended from him. In this book, for the first time, award-winning racing writer Christopher McGrath traces this extraordinary bloodline through twenty-five generations to our greatest modern racehorse, Frankel. The story of racing is about man's relationship with horses, and Mr Darley's Arabian also celebrates the men and women who owned, trained and traded the stallions that extended the dynasty. The great Eclipse, for instance, was bred by the Duke who foiled Bonnie Prince Charlie's invasion (with militia gathered from Wakefield races) and went on to lead the Jockey Club. But he only became a success once bought and raced by a card-sharp and brothel-keeper - the racecourse has always brought high and low life together. McGrath expertly guides us through three centuries of scandals, adventures and fortunes won and lost: our sporting life offers a fascinating view into our history.
'England invented football, codified it, became champions of the world in 1966 but humiliatingly then forgot how to play the greatest game of all. England took their eye off a ball they arrogantly thought they owned, allowing other nations to run off with it.' It has been Fifty Years of Hurt since Bobby Moore lifted the World Cup trophy at Wembley, and in this groundbreaking book, Henry Winter will address the state England are in on the golden anniversary of their greatest moment. Part lament, part anatomy of an obsession, both personal and collective, it analyses the truth behind the endless excuses, apportions the blame for the crimes against English football, but is also a search for hope and solutions. Fifty Years of Hurt weaves more than forty exclusive interviews with the biggest names in the game - Jack Charlton, Alan Mullery, Peter Shilton, Glenn Hoddle, John Barnes, Chris Waddle, Gary Lineker, Ian and Mark Wright, Alan Shearer, Michael Owen, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Roy Hodgson - with a narrative dissection of the highs and lows of five decades of football. And as well as players and managers, Henry Winter talks to the fans, to agents, to officials, to the governing bodies, about every aspect, good and bad, of English football, to provide answers to the question: 'where did it all go wrong?'.
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!