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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!
As the only player ever to have scored in a FA cup final, a league cup final, a UEFA cup final and a champion's league final, Steven Gerrard is an inspiration to fans and footballers alike. After joining his beloved Liverpool at the age of eight, he spent the next 28 years, and over 700 games, devoted to this one club. Perhaps the last player of his calibre that we will see display such extraordinary longevity and commitment, his loyalty ensures he will be remembered not only as one of the all-time Anfield greats but one of England's finest footballers. In My Story Gerrard dissects his full playing career. He examines the defining games such as the 2005 Champion's League Final when he inspired 'The Miracle of Istanbul' as Liverpool came back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to become champions of Europe. He talks about his 114 caps for England, including World Cup and European Championship campaigns, asking what went right - and wrong. He writes candidly of those he's played with and competed against, from Luis Suarez to Jose Mourinho, his experiences under Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson. He also has an incredible and rare personal story, telling us of the extraordinary ups and downs of staying loyal to one club for your entire career.
In July 2015, the Bloodhound team will unveil the car with which they'll launch their assault on the World Land Speed Record. Powered by a jet engine from a Eurofighter Typhoon fighter and a rocket engine developed for the European Space Agency, Bloodhound is the culmination of a ten year beyond the state of the art engineering effort. The 300,000 horsepower, 1000mph car will then be flown to South Africa for the record attempt. Behind the wheel, driver Andy Green will be fighting to steer the revolutionary car across the surface of a dry lake bed at almost unimaginable speeds. To break the record he will have to cover a measured mile in just three seconds. This is a drive into the unknown. Project Director Richard Noble likens the challenge to that of mounting a mission to the moon. If you thought what Felix Baumgartner was doing when he jumped out of balloon was dangerous, wait until you get a load of this...
A runner must run with dreams in his heart. Emil Zatopek. In the summer of 1952 Emil Zatopek became the king of the running world with an unprecedented distance treble at the Olympic Games in Helsinki. Together with his wife Dana, who won another gold medal in the javelin, they were the embodiment of sporting romance. Born on the same day, they were champions on the same day too. Yet in 1968 this affable but eccentric Czech solider was betrayed by his Communist paymasters and cast out into wilderness. Hidden from world view, monitored by the secret police and forced to live in a caravan in mining country, he became the invisible hero. 'Endurance' is the first biography to document the remarkable rise, fall and rehabilitation of a man voted the 'greatest runner of all time' by 'Runner's World' in 2013. It is also the story of a golden age of sport played out against a backdrop of Cold War politics and paranoia. From the London Olympics of 1948 to Czech concentration camps, this is an uplifting and harrowing story of survival. As Emil rises to global fame, his old coach is locked up and tortured by StB henchmen. Their diverging paths expose the fickleness of popularity and eventually cross again when Zatopek's world is torn asunder. All both men can do is endure. The running world of this era is brought to life by dramatic accounts of Zatopek's great triumphs, manifold records and a rich collection of characters vying to dethrone him. In Britain the sharp-tongued Gordon Pirie falls foul of the media as he becomes obsessed with Zatopek and adopts increasingly-masochistic methods; mild-mannered marathon champion Jim Peters begins a quest that would make women weep and grown men lose their lunch . In France Alain Mimoun crawls from the bloody carnage of his war-time exploits to overcome racial snubs and become known as Zatopek's Shadow; and in the Soviet Union, the tragic figure of Vladimir Kuts is moulded into a brutal running machine at huge cost. Only Zatopek manages to bridge this East-West divide as a savage power struggle is fought in both the Olympic arena and in the corridors of power. Due to extensive access to those involved, including Dana herself, award-winning Times author Rick Broadbent has written a vivid history involving blood and guns and a love that sustained the cruellest twists of fate. From heady nights at White City to the brave resistance during the Prague Spring, this is a book that plants the son of a carpenter at the very centre of a revolution. Whether talking to his rivals on the track or Red Army troops as tanks roll into Prague, Zatopek's humanity shines through and carries all.
Sometimes, they had been spurned in their own land, as coaching was often frowned upon in England in those days, whe players were starved of the ball during the week to make them hungry for it on matchday. So it was that the inspirations behind the 'Mighty Magyars' of the 1950s, the Dutch of the 1970s or top clubs such as Barcelona came from these shores. England, without realising it, fired the very revolution that would remove its crown, changing football's history, thanks to a handful of men who sowed the seeds of the inversion of football's natural order. This is the story of the men who taught the world to play and shaped its destiny. This is the story of the Misters.
Billy Fiske was an infamous daredevil, blessed with a natural talent for driving. He would later become the first American airman to die in the war - flying for the RAF. Clifford Gray was a notorious playboy and a player on both Broadway and Hollywood. Or was he? His identity was a mystery for decades. Jay O'Brien was a gambler and a rogue who, according to one ex-wife, forced women to marry him at gunpoint. And Eddie Eagan, a heavyweight boxer and brilliant lawyer, remains the only man to win gold at both the Summer and Winter Olympics.
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. This is Joe's personal account of his speedy climb to stardom, from schoolboy cricket to early days with Yorkshire, culminating with exclusive behind-the-scenes access to an England team at the top of their game.
Part coming-of-age story, part wilderness survival epic. I found The Rising of the Son to be an exciting read that took me by surprise and made me think. The prologue hints at something life-threatening having taken place. The tension was built, I was intrigued and so I read on. Told from multiple perspectives, Jonno and his dad, James, attempt to climb Mount Casharaqu without a guide. It doesn’t go quite to plan and they are put in a situation where they are struggling for survival and in need of rescue. The Rising of the Son looks at themes of identity, grief, loss, acceptance, love, masculinity, tourism and growing up. Putting it all in a list that seems like a lot, but the use of different perspectives, from Jonno and James in Peru to Macie and Mum back home, taxi drivers and villagers help this book deliver on a number of different levels in a way that seems authentic. I like Jonno, I was endeared by his confusion and struggle to work out where he was in life and what it means to grow up and be a man. Throughout it seemed that everyone was looking for, or missing something. It would be a good read for fans of literary fiction as well as those interested in survival stories as it looked past the tension of a hiking expedition gone wrong to comment on the human condition. I was intrigued by the “outside” perspectives of the airport worker, the taxi driver in Lemur, and the villagers. I think that the author effectively raises a valid point about the real impact of tourism and tourists, even in countries that rely on this industry. The author, Giles Dawnay has extensive experience working in the expedition travel industry and his knowledge from living and working alongside local people create a second side to this book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think deeply about how you travel. All this while also enjoying the story of the expedition. As an occasional and admittedly fairly ignorant tourist myself, I know these narratives will ensure that this multifaceted book will stay with me for many years to come. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
Initial investigations have already uncovered details previously unknown to the public, while some of the cricket world's giant figures have volunteered due praise - and criticism - for this remarkable figure. Tim Lane and co-author Elliot Cartledge will explore the 'Roebuck phenomenon', how this seemingly awkward and eccentric intellectual giant became, briefly, an English cricket captain, was embroiled in a long-standing feud with the likes of Ian Botham and Viv Richards, gained adulation throughout the sub-continent and Australasia and established what was essentially a homespun charity to put scores of impoverished Africans through secondary schooling and university. Along with the recollections and revelations of colleague and confidante Tim Lane, the book will feature in its telling the likes of Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Ian Chappell, Mark Nicholas, Steve Waugh, Rahul Dravid, Ricky Ponting, Kerry O'Keefe, Martin Crowe, Mike Coward, Jim Maxwell and many others, including members of the Roebuck family. The book has one supreme quality: it is fair-minded - Martin Flanagan, Sydney Morning Herald This first-class work of investigative reporting tracks down key figures who shed crucial light on Roebuck's life, while resisting pat conclusions. - Steven Carroll, Canberra Times This tantalising kaleidoscope of a book, which honours the complexity of the man while rigorously pursuing the truth. - Steven Carroll, Canberra Times There could be no more difficult person to interperet - Tim Lane, Sunday Age
After joining his beloved Liverpool at the age of eight, he spent the next 28 years, and over 700 games, devoted to this one club. Perhaps the last player of his calibre that we will see display such extraordinary longevity and commitment, his loyalty ensures he will be remembered not only as one of the all-time Anfield greats but one of England's finest footballers. In My Story Gerrard dissects his full playing career. He examines the defining games such as the 2005 Champion's League Final when he inspired 'The Miracle of Istanbul' as Liverpool came back from 3-0 down against AC Milan to become champions of Europe. He talks about his 114 caps for England, including World Cup and European Championship campaigns, asking what went right - and wrong. He writes candidly of those he's played with and competed against, from Luis Suarez to Jose Mourinho, his experiences under Brendan Rodgers and Roy Hodgson. He also has an incredible and rare personal story, telling us of the extraordinary ups and downs of staying loyal to one club for your entire career.
Alex Ferguson puts across some of the lessons he's learned during his long career in Football. Throughout the book he references football - the players, the money, the owners, the sheer pitfalls of running huge organisations. It's a path he steered for 38 years, the wisdom and insight gained provide invaluable learning tools for anyone in a position of leadership from a Junior Manager to a CEO. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like ReadingHow to Think Like Sir Alex Ferguson: The Business of Winning and Managing Success, Damian HughesWinners: And How They Succeed, Alastair Campbell Please note that we will not have an extract available to download from this title.
'I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person.' On 24 March 1962, when Emile Griffith stepped into the ring in Madison Square Garden to defend his world title against Benny Paret, he was filled with rage. During their weigh-in, the Cuban challenger had denounced Griffith as a 'faggot' and minced towards him. In the macho world of boxing, where fighters know they are engaged in the hurt game, there could be no greater insult. At that time, it was illegal for people of the same gender to have sex, or even for a bar to knowingly serve a drink to a gay person. It was an insinuation that could have had dangerous consequences for Griffith - especially as it was true. In the fight that followed, Griffith pounded Paret into unconsciousness, and the Cuban would die soon after, leaving Griffith haunted by what he had done. Despite this, he went on to fight more world championship rounds than any other fighter in history in a career that lasted for almost 20 years.
Have you ever wanted to know what really happens when teams go on tour? Drawing on his extensive experience of touring, former international and acclaimed pundit Brian Moore tells you all you need ever know, with this in-depth but light-hearted expose, covering every level of the sport, from junior club rugby right up to the British Lions. With stories of bikini-clad forwards and Moore's own escapades, many of rugby's best-known names of recent years are featured, and no element of life on tour is left untouched. As they go, readers will learn how to survive the worst room-mates in the world, how to cope with the long hours of travel, and how to get the best room in the hotel. They will learn how the professionals do it - or at least used to - and how their would-be amateur counterparts try to do it; both having a blast along the way. Anyone who has ever gone away with a group of mates - male or female, sporting or not - will recognise similar situations and immediately identify with the book.
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!