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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!
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.
Stretching 215 miles from its source in Gloucestershire, through England's capital and across to the North Sea, the River Thames has always enticed swimmers. From bathing kings to splashing school children, intrepid wild swimmers to international athletes, this famous river has long been a favourite. But it was the Victorian era that saw the birth of organised river racing with the launch of the long distance amateur championship of Great Britain. Soon floating baths were built in London; people swam at official bathing pools and islands at Oxford, Reading and Henley, dived off pontoons at Kingston and played at temporary lidos in Richmond. By the 1930s the Thames had become a top holiday spot for families with beaches at the Tower of London, Greenwich and Grays. Then in 1957 the river was declared biologically dead, organised racing was largely over, and swimming in the Thames was seen as dangerous. Yet today we have returned to the river in numbers not seen for a long time, some drawn by the thrill of wild swimming, others to compete in annual racing events.
'Lizzy never ceases to enthuse, inspire and amaze! She shows what it truly means to live life to the absolute fullest, step out of your comfort zone and to truly test your limits. So much more than a book about running, this memoir is about an enthralling life journey replete with peaks and troughs, highs and lows and many twists and turns. Most importantly, Lizzy reminds all of us to never stop exploring, discovering and challenging ourselves to do more than we think possible.' CHRISSIE WELLINGTON MBE, FOUR TIME IRONMAN WORLD CHAMPION Scared witless and surrounded by a sea of people, Lizzy Hawker stands in the church square at the centre of Chamonix on a late August evening, waiting for the start of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. The mountains towering over the pack of runners promise a grueling 8,600 metres of ascent and descent over 158 kilometres of challenging terrain that will test the feet, legs, heart and mind. These nervous moments before the race signal not just the beginning of nearly twenty-seven hours of effort that saw Lizzy finish as first woman, but the start of the career of one of Britain's most successful endurance athletes. She went on to become the 100km Women's World Champion, win the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc an unprecedented five times, hold the world record for 24 hours road running and become the first woman to stand on the overall winners' podium at Spartathlon. An innate endurance and natural affinity with the mountains has led Lizzy to push herself to the absolute limits, including a staggering 320 kilometre run through the Himalayas, from Everest Base Camp to Kathmandu in Nepal. Lizzy's remarkable spirit was recognised in 2013 when she was a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.
A journey into Japan's fabled running culture from the award-winning author of Running With The Kenyans Welcome to Japan, the most running-obsessed nation on earth, a place where...A 135-mile relay race is the country's biggest annual sporting event. Thousands of professional runners compete for corporate teams in some of the most competitive races in the world. Marathon monks run a thousand marathons in a thousand days to reach spiritual enlightenment.
'When we walk, we walk through two landscapes: an exterior land of trees, seas, cities, mountains and fields but we also follow the paths that lead into our own interior world.' This thoughtful, and beautifully written, book offers 21 circular walks. They span the length and breadth of the British Isles: Suffolk, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire, Wales, Staffordshire, Scotland, Sussex and Cornwall are just a few of the varied landscapes that they cover.
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2015. In this sparkling book David Goldblatt argues that no social phenomenon tracks the momentous economic, social and political changes of the post-Thatcherite era in a more illuminating manner than football, and no cultural practice sheds more light on the aspirations and attitudes of our long boom and subsequent bust.
An explosive and shocking biography of Jose Mourinho - revealing the dark side of 'the special one'. When Jose Mourinho announced his return to English football, it sparked celebrations from fans and press alike. As one of the most charismatic figures in the game, his reappearance could surely only be a good thing...But is there a darker side to the Mourinho? A mischievous, scheming, even tyrannical quality to the man beneath the veneer of charm? As part of El Pais, Diego Torres is one of the premier investigative journalists in Spanish football, and in this explosive biography of 'the special one' he uncovers secrets and lies that will change the way we see Mourinho. From dodgy dealings to assassinations of players both outside and within his own team, and other shocking revelations, Prepare To Lose reveals Mourinho as a man far removed from the hero so many people consider him to be.
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!