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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!
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.
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.
Jack Johnson battled his way from obscurity to the top of the heavyweight ranks and in 1908 won the greatest prize in American sports - one that had always been the preserve of white boxers. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if colour did not exist.
Shortlisted for the Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. The murder trial of Oscar Pistorius will rivet the world's attention in a way no other case has since another famous sportsman, O. J. Simpson, was tried for the murder of his ex wife in 1994. John Carlin brings his own extensive knowledge of South Africa and access to Pistorius himself, as well as to his friends and family, after the death of Reeva Steenkamp to tell the story of the rise and fall of a classically tragic hero. It is the most remarkable sports story ever told - about a man whose legs were amputated at the age of eleven months and ended up running in the Olympic Games - and it is a story too about crime and punishment, love and death that follows Pistorius' trail from South Africa to London, to the United States, to Iceland, to Italy and has at its heart a richly varied and compelling set of characters, among them the beautiful victim, two brilliant rival lawyers and the fascinatingly complex figure of Oscar Pistorius himself.
Shortlisted for the Rugby Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Winner of the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year 2014. This is the long-awaited autobiography of the greatest rugby player of our time: Brian O'Driscoll. Since 1999, when he made his international debut, there has been no greater player in world rugby than Brian O'Driscoll. In 2010 Rugby World magazine named him its world player of the decade - and since then the legend has only grown. Now, at the end of his amazing career - which culminated in fairy-tale fashion with Ireland's victory in the 2014 Six Nations championship - he tells his own story. Honest, gritty and thoughtful, Brian O'Driscoll's Autobiography is not just an essential sports book. It is an essential book about family, friends, hard work, courage and imagination. An amazing career. There will only ever be one BOD . (Dan Carter). He had incredible talent, sure, but with this he had the incredible work ethic and just as importantly, the humility . (Jason Robinson).
Phil 'The Power' Taylor is the uncontested king of darts, his sixteen world championship titles between 1990 and 2013 far outclassing anything else the game has seen. He started out as a protege of Eric Bristow, the Crafty Cockney, having wandered into his Burslem pub with a set of darts his wife had given him for his birthday. At that time Taylor was earning GBP52 a week working in a ceramics factory and hardly played. But jaws dropped and pint mugs tipped over as this newcomer suddenly unleashed a gift for flight that had soon eclipsed even the Crafty Cockney himself, and amassed Phil a haul of over 200 professional tournament victories. Staying Power is a year in the life of a legend, twice nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, a man who made darts look a doddle to British pub-goers everywhere and set his seal on the game as the bloke to beat. A year of triumph and disaster, in which Taylor crashed out of the world championship in the second round to young outsider Michael Smith and fell asleep at home on Christmas day, exhausted from the strain of constant winning. A year when he played arguably the greatest ever game of darts, in the Grand Slam semi-final against recent world champion Adrian Lewis the two slugging it out to the wire. A year in which Taylor rocked Australia, feted like royalty. A year of spats and hecklers, clashes on stage and off, of head-to-heads with the Dutch superstar Michael van Gerwen. But most of all this is a year in which Phil Taylor, one of sport's greatest champions, has looked hard at his life in his determination to stay in power.
Kevin Peter Pietersen is a 34 year-old professional cricketer, and the highest England run scorer in all international forms of the game combined.
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!