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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!
Shortlisted for the Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Now one of England’s top professional golfers, Ian Poulter can be a controversial and forthright figure and not one to “toe the company line”. His book reflects his character and is a refreshingly honest look at his life and his passion for golf. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading Monty: The Autobiography, Colin Montgomerie Bring me the Head of Sergio Garcia, Tom Cox
Praised from an early age for having “the eye of a hawk” Rod Laver still retains one of the most powerful reputations in men’s tennis. He was World No 1 for seven years and the only player to achieve the Grand Slam twice. Writing of his triumphs Rod Laver also looks at the game he loves so much and its change from an amateur game to the levels of professionalism we have today, and he goes back to his childhood and memories of his family and the people who spotted those hawk-like abilities and taught him to become a champion. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like ReadingAndy Murray: Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory, Andy MurraySerious: The Autobiography, John Mc Enroe A 'Piece of Passion' from the publisher... 'Rod Laver’s autobiography provides a refreshing contrast to the indulgent antics of modern sports superstars: when he won Wimbledon in 1962, the prize was £15 worth of vouchers! Rod ultimately won Wimbledon four times, and remains the only player to win a Grand Slam twice. In the face of such achievements arrogance would be forgivable, but it’s Rod’s genuine humility which makes this such a charming read. Rod’s love for both tennis and his family shine through on every page, and the warmth with which he writes about his beloved wife Mary and their children make this a very personal glimpse into the life of a genuine legend.'- Clare Drysdale, Uk Director, Allen & Unwin
The Climb by Chris Froome - the inspirational memoir from the British winner of the 100th edition of the Tour de France. The Climb tells the extraordinary story of Chris Froome's journey from a young boy in Kenya, riding through townships and past wild animals, and with few opportunities for an aspiring cyclist, to his unforgettable yellow jersey victory in the 2013 Tour de France. A journey unlike any other in the history of cycling, Froome has crossed continents, overcome the death of his mother and conquered debilitating illness to follow his dreams and represent Team GB and Team Sky. He has experienced soaring triumphs, humbling defeats, a public rivalry with Bradley Wiggins and, most recently, the pressures of Lance Armstrong's legacy. Extraordinary, revealing and life-affirming, The Climb is a story of determination, hardship and unimaginable success. Chris Froome was born in Nairobi in 1985 to British parents. He was educated and raised in South Africa and now races for Team GB and Team Sky. In 2011 he finished second overall in the Vuelta a Espana. In 2012 he finished runner-up to Bradley Wiggins in the Tour de France and won the Bronze medal in the Time Trial at the Olympic Games. Froome amassed five stage-race victories in 2013, with triumphs at the Tour of Oman, Criterium International, Tour de Romandie and Criterium du Dauphine leading into a dominant win at the 100th Tour de France. He won the prestigious Velo d'Or award for best rider of 2013 and was shortlisted for the 2013 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award. In February 2014 he won the Tour of Oman and is the favourite to take the yellow jersey yet again at the 2014 Tour de France.
Winner of the Outstanding Sports Writing Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Curry had changed ice skating from marginal sport to high art. And yet the man was - and would always remain - an absolute mystery to a world that had been dazzled by his gift. Surely, men's skating was supposed to be Cossack-muscular, not sensual and ambiguous like this. Curry himself was an often-tortured man of labyrinthine complexity. For the first time, Alone untangles the extraordinary web of his toxic, troubled, brilliant - and short - life. It is a story of childhood nightmares, furious ambition, sporting genius, lifelong rivalries, homophobia, Cold War politics, financial ruin and deep personal tragedy. Alone reveals the restless, impatient, often dark soul of a man whose words could lacerate, whose skating invariably moved audiences to tears, and who - after succumbing to AIDS, as so many of his fellow artists and friends did - died of a heart attack aged just 44.
Shortlisted for the Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Find out what motivates Guy Martin to confront the dangers of road racing, you’ll experience the heart-stopping moments when things go wrong and can contrast this adrenaline rush to the joys of winning. If you want to feel the speed and danger first hand – there’ll be nothing more high-powered this year! ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading That Near Death Thing: Inside the Most Dangerous Race in the World, Rick Broadbent Speed: How to Make Things Go Really Fast, Guy Martin
Kevin was dropped from the England squad in February 2014, seemingly calling time on an international career that began nearly ten years earlier. The decision puzzled many observers - although the England team had failed miserably in the Ashes tour of 2013-14, Kevin was the tourists' leading run scorer across the series, and he remains the country's highest run scorer of all time across all formats of the game. Kevin reveals all in his autobiography, telling the stories behind the many other highs and lows of his incredible career. Giving readers the full story of his life, from his childhood in South Africa to his experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket, KP is an autobiography that entertains and fascinates readers in equal measure.
Geoffrey Boycott is one of the most outspoken and knowledgeable voices on cricket - but this book opens up a whole, new personal side to his life. Thirteen years ago, he received the diagnosis that tore his world apart: he had cancer of the tongue. Having faced down the fastest bowlers during his career as one of England's greatest-ever batsmen, he now had to take on an even more daunting foe. In this fascinating new book, his first autobiographical work for more than 15 years, Boycott not only relives his terrifying battle with cancer but also writes movingly about his long-time love Rachael, and their daughter Emma. He talks about his many other interests and friendships beyond cricket, with a great chapter on Brian Clough as well as revealing some surprising enthusiasms: Boycott and Katy Perry? But Boycott has devoted his life to cricket, and his insights on the game, its players and those who write and talk about it are never less than frank, revealing, entertaining and very honest. He assesses the modern generation of players: how does he rate England's prolific captain Alastair Cook? And is Kevin Pietersen a batting genius or a player who has frittered away his talent? His opinions come with the authority of someone with profound knowledge of and love for the sport. In commentary, he refers to the 'corridor of uncertainty' for a batsman - but with Geoffrey Boycott there is never any room for that, which is why this book is such a compelling and entertaining read.
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.
When Trevor Brooking was still at school, the Essex-born teenager was one of the most eagerly pursued prospects in London, but he chose to go to West Ham United - the only club that was prepared to allow him to complete his studies - and so began a lifelong attachment to the Upton Park outfit. In 1967 he made his debut for the club, and went on to play for them until 1984, helping them to win two FA Cup trophies, and scoring the only goal in the 1980 final. A cultured midfielder at the heart of West Ham's side, he was soon seen as crucial to England's fortunes, helping them to qualify for the World Cup finals in 1982. Brooking recalls the highlights of his career, playing with and against some of the most famous names in the sport, and provides revealing details about life with West Ham and England. His story recalls a time when he was a symbol of solidity during the era of flared trousers, punk, and the turmoil of the Revie regime. Respected by fans and his peers alike, Brooking has been at the forefront of the FA's work to develop the game in recent years, and his views on the future of football are essential reading.
When Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean collapsed to the ice at the climax of their routine to Bolero in the 1984 Winter Olympics, the judges could find no fault, awarding them 12 maximum scores of 6.0, while 24 million viewers watching at home in Britain simply looked on in amazement. Suddenly, we were all experts in figure skating, and we wanted to know more about the couple at the heart of it all. Despite intense interest in them, Torvill & Dean kept their lives private, with many still wondering if the pair were really a couple. They turned professional and would eventually spend eight years working on ITV's Dancing on Ice, but still much of their story remained unknown. Now, in Our Life on Ice, Torvill & Dean finally open up about the challenges they have faced and the pressures of life in the public eye: Jayne speaks candidly about her struggle with husband Phil to have children, while Chris reveals the heartache in his family story. And of course, there is the skating, and the stories about what inspired their famous routines, and what the pair hope to achieve in the future as the approach their fortieth anniversary working together. It is the book their millions of fans have been waiting to read.
Shortlisted for the Racing Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Yet, for over four decades Barney Curley has proved himself a rare exception. The country's most renowned and fearless gambler, a man who will back his judgement to win GBP100,000 and more on a single day, has consistently emerged triumphant from bloody skirmishes with the old enemy. In the summer of 1975 Curley masterminded one of the most spectacular gambles of all time, with a racehorse named Yellow Sam, costing Irish bookmakers around GBP300,000; the equivalent of some GBP2m today. No-one believed anything similar could be staged again this century. Bookmakers now have communications and technology in place to thwart any renewed attempts. But challenges inspire Curley and he was determined to beat the system - again. Thirty-five years later from his first coup, Curley set about staging an ambitious sequel to his Yellow Sam scheme. Curley has never divulged the full details of what happened. Now, for the first time, The Sure Thing reveals the complete story of the months of planning and preparation, with all the trials and tribulations, that went into the biggest organised gamble in racing history.
On May 11 1985, fifty-six people died in a devastating fire at Bradford City's old Valley Parade ground. It was truly horrific, a startling story - and wholly avoidable - but it had only the briefest of inquiries, and it seemed its lessons were not learned. Twelve-year-old Martin Fletcher was at Valley Parade that day, celebrating Bradford's promotion to the second flight, with his dad, brother, uncle and grandfather. Martin was the only one of them to survive the fire - the biggest loss suffered by a single family in any British football disaster. In later years, Martin devoted himself to extensively investigating how the disaster was caused, its culture of institutional neglect and the government's general indifference towards football fans' safety at the time.
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!