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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.
Winner of the Sports Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Winner of the Autobiography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the Rugby Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. In 2009 Gareth Thomas was quoted as saying “It ended my marriage and nearly drove me to suicide. Now it’s time to tell the world the truth – I’m gay”. Bowing to the intolerable pressure of hiding his true self Gareth Thomas stepped out of the shadows. Since then he’s retired from playing Rugby, now able to look back at his life, the regrets, the triumphs, and above all how that 2009 announcement changed his life. Like for Like Reading Alone: The Triumph and Tragedy of John Curry, Bill Jones Forbidden Forward: The Justin Fashanu Story, Nick Baker
Winner of the Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the Outstanding Sports Writing of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the Football Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014. Immaculate footballer -- Imperial defender -- Immortal hero of 1966... National treasure -- Master of Wembley -- Lord of the game -- Captain extraordinary -- Gentleman for all time So reads the inscription beneath Bobby Moore's statue at Wembley stadium. Since his death at just 51 from pancreatic cancer, this has been the accepted view of a national hero. But how much do we really know of England's only World Cup-winning skipper? We all know that Bobby Moore was an extraordinary captain and defender, but alongside his legendary feats on the pitch he knew scandal, death threats, bankruptcy business and the sack. He divorced after a long affair, was rumoured to have friends in the East End underworld, and he loved a drink. The tragedy of his life was to be ignored by football in his latter years and to drift into obscurity. After he applied to be England manager, the FA didn't even bother to send a rejection letter. There was no job in the game and, famously, no knighthood. As well as the undeniable moments of glory, this long overdue, definitive biography won't shy away from the grit. Tracing his journey from the East End to a pedestal outside Wembley Stadium, it will, for the first time, look at Moore's life from all sides, through the testimony of teammates, rivals, family and friends. What was Moore like to play with, to drink with? What was he like as a husband, father, opponent, and captain? A struggling manager and a failed businessman? This book will tell the story of an Essex boy who became the patron saint of English football, revealing a lifetime of intrigue, triumph and tragedy in between.
September 2014 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Taken from the Daily Telegraph archives, an anthology of sports writing that highlights the Greats. One hundred sports men and women feature in interviews, first-person accounts and contemporary pieces in this showcase of sporting greatness. Like for Like Reading The Sports Gene: Talent, Practice and the Truth about Success, David Epstein Podium: Sporting Champions' Path to the Top, Ben Oakley
Winner of the Cycling Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. Shortlisted for the Outstanding Sports Writing of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. When the 'Iron Curtain' descended across Europe, Dieter Wiedemann was a hero of East German sport. A podium finisher in The Peace Race, the Eastern Bloc equivalent of the Tour de France, he was a pin-up for the supremacy of socialism over the 'fascist' West. Unbeknownst to the authorities, however, he had fallen in love with Sylvia Hermann, a girl from the other side of the wall. Socialist doctrine had it that the two of them were 'class enemies', and as a famous athlete Dieter's every move was pored over by the Stasi. Only he abhorred their ideology, and in Sylvia saw his only chance of freedom. Now, playing a deadly game of cat and mouse, he plotted his escape. In 1964 he was delegated, once and once only, to West Germany. Here he was to ride a qualification race for the Tokyo Olympics, but instead committed the most treacherous of all the crimes against socialism. Dieter Wiedemann, sporting icon and Soviet pawn, defected to the other side. Whilst Wiedemann fulfilled his lifetime ambition of racing in the Tour de France, his defection caused a huge scandal. The Stasi sought to 'repatriate' him, with horrific consequences both for him and the family he left behind. Fifty years on, and twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Dieter Wiedemann decided it was time to tell his story. Through his testimony and that of others involved, and through the Stasi file, which has stalked him for half a century, Herbie Sykes uncovers an astonishing tale. It is one of love and betrayal, of the madness at the heart of the cold war, and of the greatest bike race in history.
Twickenham Stadium is rightly venerated as the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). While it may bask in this fame, the stadium's beginnings were very humble. The land it was built upon was purchased in 1907 and would subsequently become the home to the Harlequins who would play the first ever match against Richmond. The first England test match didn't take place until 1910 and a home win ensured things got off on the right footing but cows, sheep and horses would be grazing on the pitch just four years later as the stadium became a farm during the First World War. The first Varsity match was played in December 1921, by which time the popularity of Twickenham had soared. Extra accommodation was created in the North Stand, built in 1925 by the legendary football stadium architect, Archibald Leitch. By 1931, the famous 'Twickenham Look' had come about. When the Second World War arrived, the ground became a Civil Defence depot, and the closest it got to being hit by enemy action was in July 1944 when a V1 flying bomb fell in the front garden of a house opposite the West Gate, injuring sixteen people. The car park was dug up and - appropriately given its original use - turned into allotments to generate much needed fresh food for the locals. The stadium today is at the heart of a multi-million pound business that the RFU controls, but how does it generate so much money from this one plot of land? With such a colourful and celebrated history The Secret Life of Twickenham will dig deeper into it's history to reveal the many men and women, cutting across all social backgrounds, jobs, and positions within the RFU who have helped to build this iconic stadium into a globally recognised brand. It will reveal to all fans of rugby union the true history of the most iconic sports stadium in the British Isles with a compendium of facts, dates, figures and revealing anecdotes of England's sporting fortress.
Shortlisted for the Football Book of the Year Award at the British Sports Book Awards 2015. When Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of the 2013 season, he was the most successful football manager Britain had ever seen, having won twice as many trophies as his nearest rival. But that success had not come easily. Thirty-five years previously he had arrived at the rain-swept training ground at Aberdeen F.C. as the recently sacked manager of St Mirren; a hothead with a troublesome reputation and a lot to prove. Not for nothing, many thought he was a risky choice. Fergie Rises returns to a time when Ferguson was lucky to get Aberdeen, not the other way around. It's the story of an eight-year revolution that saw the Dons and their ambitious young manager knock the Old Firm off their perch, taste victory in Europe for the first time, and electrify Scottish football. When Ferguson finally left the club for Manchester United, in 1986, fans and rivals were unanimous in believing he had engineered one of the most astonishing upheavals in the game's history. Taking a view from inside the dug-out, and with the guidance of the giants of that Aberdeen team - including Willie Miller, Jim Leighton and Gordon Strachan - Michael Grant lays bare the full story of this remarkable but little known period of Ferguson's career, revealing it as the crucible in which Britain's greatest football manager was forged. Along the way he examines the personal tragedies Ferguson overcame - the deaths of his father and his mentor Jock Stein - and the rivalries, setbacks and triumphs that shaped a sporting genius.
'Please don't call me arrogant, but I'm European champion and I think I'm a special one.' Widely known for his strong personality, sharp dress sense, and eccentric comments at press conferences, there is only one Jose Mourinho. Regarded as many by the world's best manager and one of the greatest of all time, he achieved huge success whilst at Benfica, Uniao de Leiria, Porto, Chelsea, Internazionale and Real Madrid. Never one to doubt his own abilities, the charismatic and controversial manager has dominated headlines with his many clashes with the press and run-ins with the football authorities. Silver-tongued and passionate, this compendium of quotes from the 'special one' includes the very best of Mourinho on football: his erudite comments, bizarre philosophies, confident expressions of unwavering self-belief and his love of the beautiful game. 'Look, I'm a coach, I'm not Harry Potter. He is magical, but in reality there is no magic. Magic is fiction and football is real.' A warning to Real Madrid fans, 2010. 'Look at my haircut. I am ready for the war.' At the launch of a new shirt deal between Chelsea and Adidas. The event also became a chance to unveil his new, short-trimmed haircut. 'I think they should get George Clooney to play me. He's a fantastic actor and my wife thinks he would be ideal.' Contemplating a film of his life.
Now in it's seventh edition, this compilation includes quotes from everyone - Shakespeare to Shankly, Camus to Cantona, Busby to Beckham - who has made an apt, pithy or comical comment about football. And not just footballers and managers either - fans, pundits, groundsmen, directors and wives all get to have their say too. Every subject is covered - from tactical debates to changing lifestyles - to produce a sometimes hilarious and always thought-provoking commentary on the game. Anyone who thought 'sick as a parrot' and 'over the moon' was as profound as it got, will be pleasantly surprised by the elegance and insight on display. Contributions include gems from all the old masters: Cloughie, Tommy Docherty, Jimmy Greaves, George Best and the best of the very latest wit and wisdom to be caught in print or on tape. Footballers are no different from human beings . (Graham Taylor). It's a very well-run outfit from Monday to Friday. It's Saturdays we've got a problem with . (Lawrie McMenemy on Southampton). What I said to them at half-time would be unprintable on the radio . (Gerry Francis). Football hooligans? Well, there are 92 club chairmen for a start . (Brian Clough).
Rarely in the modern English game has a player been as loved by his supporters, admired by his teammates and respected by his peers as Ledley King. And even more rarely has such a shining talent seen their career cut so tragically short. Named 'the best defender in Europe' by Thierry Henry, and described by Martin Jol as 'the best central defender I've ever seen', King was undoubtedly one of the greatest talents of his generation. Yet injury forced his retirement, aged only 31. But even at the height of his chronic knee trouble - when he could only train once a week, and was advised not to even play football with his son - King still managed to captain Tottenham Hotspur and be called up to the England squad. King documents the successes and struggles - both personal and professional - behind this unique and unprecedented footballing career: from King's childhood in East London, to his future out of the white shirt of his beloved Tottenham Hotspur.
If you're a football fan and you're on Twitter, you probably follow @USASoccerGuy. His account is that rare thing - a genuinely funny Twitter account that has actually stayed funny, and he has a huge number of followers. His persona is that of an American soccer pundit with a very sketchy knowledge of the British game - live-tweeting along with matches on the telly, he talks in ridiculous ill-informed Americanisms and his best-loved catchphrases include 'GOALSHOT!', 'HAND DENIAL!' and 'COMPLETION WHISTLE!' . Particularly hilarious are his names for UK football teams (which he sells as T-shirts too) - including the Sunderland Red Stripers, Chelsea Blue Lions and Asstown Vanilla. In this exciting and important new volume, USA Soccer Guy brings you his unique take on the 25 most awesome moments in football history. Including Eric Cantona's classic kung fu kick in 1995, Maradona's Hand Felony of God in 1986 and David Beckham going to LA Galaxy, it's hilarious football fun for fans everywhere.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2014. Run or Die by Kilian Jornet - The inspirational memoir of the most dominating endurance athlete of his generation. (The New York Times). Kilian Jornet has conquered some of the toughest physical tests on the planet. He has run up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro faster than any other human being, and struck down world records in every challenge that has been proposed - all before the age of 25. Dominating ultra marathons and races at altitude, he has redefined what is possible in running, astonishing competitors with his near-superhuman fitness and ability. In Run or Die Kilian shares his passion, inviting readers into a fascinating world rich with the beauty of rugged trails and mountain vistas, the pulse-pounding drama of racing, and an intense love for sport and the landscapes that surround him. In turns inspiring, insightful, candid, and deeply personal, this is a book written from the heart of the world's greatest endurance runner, for whom life presents one simple choice: Run. Or die. This is the next must-have read for those who enjoyed the endurance books Born to Run by Christopher McDougall and Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. Trail running's first true breakout star . (Runner's World). Kilian Jornet is a world champion ultra-runner, climber and ski mountaineer (a combination of skiing and mountaineering). He was raised in the mountains of Eastern Spain and at 18 months old would hike four to five hours at a time. In 2013 Jornet broke the world speed record to ascend and descend the 14,692-foot Matterhorn mountain. Jornet's time was 2 hours and 52 minutes. The push typically takes climbers around 12 hours. Kilian Jornet was voted the presitigious 'Adventurer of the Year 2014' award by National Geographic magazine, in honour of his latest project to break speed records up and down the world's 7 tallest mountains. The 4-year-project finishes with a running attempt up Everest in 2016.
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!