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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!
Following the exceptional running achievements recounted in Beyond Impossible, Mimi Anderson’s Limitless is a testament to the perseverance and adaptability of the human spirit (and body). Despite only taking up running at the age of 36 “because I wanted to have slimmer and more toned legs”, Mimi went on to become a record-breaking ultrarunner. Then, at the age of 55, she set herself a new huge challenge - to become the fastest woman to run across the USA, covering almost 3000 miles from LA to NYC. After running over 2000 miles battling tremendous pain, she wound up “groaning in agony every time my foot hit the ground”. Since carrying on meant she may never run again, Mimi was forced to curtail her American Dream. But while this journey was over, a whole new world opened up when she took up cycling and swimming. As Mimi counsels in her introduction, “If you want something you have never had, then you have to try something you have never done” - watch this space for her future achievements as a triathlete. Written in a chatty, energetic style, this isn’t only recommended for readers who are into running or extreme sports. It also has the broader appeal of being an honest, personal story about bouncing back and adapting in order to find fulfilment: “There will always be something else out there for you, even if you don’t find it right away. Keep looking.”
In addition to all the essential technical advice and insider knowledge that one would expect from a solid “How to..” book, the first half of How to Run a Marathon is very much focused on the “Why?". A few chapters in, you realise why radio presenter and sports journalist Vassos Alexander has afforded as much time to inspiration as he has to execution. Unless, deep down, you really want to run a marathon, it simply isn’t going to happen. To help you find the itch there are many inspiring (and funny!) tales of why running 26.2 miles is something so life-changing. From the blind to the barefoot, we hear the running stories of some extraordinary people from a man who seems to know everyone in the game. From Athens to Boston we run alongside a community where love and support are as present as personal achievement. And from Vassos himself we get the inside track on the very personal journey of the marathon runner in all its fun-loving, food-poisoned, rain-soaked and wall-hitting glory. Learn how to train, how to stretch, how to ‘respect the taper’.. and gain some crucial nuggets of wisdom: “A good laugh and a long run are the two best cures for anything”. This book has everything to get you over the line. ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
How well do you know your football? You follow your team week in, week out, share in the agony of defeat, the pure joy of a solid win, but do you really know what's going on on the pitch? Match of the Day Quiz Book will settle thousands of arguments up and down the country - and challenge football know-it-alls to finally put their money where their mouth is. Quizzes range from the classic era right up to the modern game, taking in the best players, most successful teams, highest-scoring matches, most brutal derbies and many more besides. With 3,000 brand-new questions from the MOTD team, this is the ultimate test for any football fan.
'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.
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.
Winner of the Best Rugby Book at the British Sports Book Awards 2012. Alastair Hignell is renowned as a rugby international for England, a county cricketer and a much-loved broadcaster. Forced to retire from his playing careers at an early age due to injury, and then from his broadcasting career when his struggle with MS became too overwhelming, he has nonetheless lived life to the full. Higgy tells his inspirational story with warmth and humour - from growing up as a bright and very competitive young lad, on to his successful Cambridge university days where he was the first person to captain both the rugby and cricket first teams, through his playing careers against and alongside some of the all-time greats in both sports, and a prominent broadcasting career that took him around the world to cover some of the biggest sporting events and characters. All this success was brought into sharp relief by his diagnosis with MS, which eventually forced his retirement from broadcasting but also prompted him to become one of the leading campaigners for those suffering from the disease. Higgy's has been a tough journey, and his story is a fascinating example of strength and determination when faced with adversity. Appealing to a broad range of sports fans, this story is about setbacks and triumphs, about making the shift from the athletic struggles of sport to the struggle of performing everyday tasks. It's the genuine and emotional story of how a highly successful sportsman faced up to a devastating illness and became one of the most inspiring personalities of our age.
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.
Broken is a witty and engaging book of broken records, or rather ‘Fastest Known Times’ achieved by elite ultra-runners who travel ridiculously long distances, often over unspeakably difficult terrain and in terrible weather, all for the honour of doing it in less time than anyone else ever has. In 2020 more new FKTs were set than ever before for the simple reason that with normal race fixtures cancelled, many athletes needed alternative targets and they had to be lone efforts. So how about 260 miles with little sleep along the Pennine Way in under 62 hours, for example? Or why not have a go at all 282 Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000ft) in little more than a month, plus cycling and kayaking between them? Outside of the running bubble you may not have heard of Beth Pascall, John Kelly, Damian Hall, Donnie Campbell; but within it they are the stuff of living legend. Fell-running, ultra-running, mountain-running - pick your term - is increasing in popularity so much it’s in danger of going mainstream. Ally Beaven has written the book to get you hooked. I read it in 5 hours 40mins. Beat that! ~ Greg Hackett Greg Hackett is the Founder & Director of the London Mountain Film Festival
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2010. He is one of the most beloved athletes in history and one of the most gifted men ever to step onto a tennis court - but from early childhood Andre Agassi hated the game.
Andres Iniesta was twelve years old when scouts invited him into Barcelona's famous La Masia academy. Shortly after he joined the club, Barca legend Pep Guardiola remarked of him, 'This lad is going to retire us all.' After making his first-team debut at 18, Iniesta became a permanent fixture in the Barcelona midfield, propelling the club to a raft of titles - including an unparalleled six-trophy season in 2009. Along with his Barca teammate Xavi, he has also run the Spain midfield, the pinnacle of his international career coming when he scored the winner against Holland in the 2010 World Cup Final.
What's the worst that can happen? Are there aliens out there somewhere? What happens when I die? In Do You Know What?, our favourite sportsman-turned-comedian-slash-leftfield-thinker Freddie Flintoff expels an eclectic and entertaining smorgasbord of anecdotes, impressions, reflections, ruminations, musings, cogitations, observations, rants, confessions and pearls of wisdom on all aspects of life's rich tapestry. As a prolific philosopher of life's most unfathomable questions, Freddie uses his own inexplicable experiences - from the sublime: giving up booze, shopping in Poundland with his family, exploring the wonders of the universe with his mates; to the ridiculous: wrestling with WWE's finest, singing in a musical on the West End, pranking teammates - to help us all gain the comfort of his life mantra: What's the worst that can happen? Do You Know What? is an unexpectedly helpful, occasionally silly and absorbing brain dump on life and everything it holds, from one of Britain's most-loved national treasures.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2006. Lyrically written prose is the hallmark of Andrew Greig’s writing and this one is no exception. Mixing his passions of Scotland and golf he provides a vivid and convincing portrait of why Scotland and golf are as one. Golfers and non-golfers alike will love this book.
Andrew Strauss, one of the most successful and respected England cricket captains of the modern era, announced his retirement from professional cricket at the end of 2012. In DRIVING AMBITION he gives a candid account of the highs and lows of his remarkable career for Middlesex and England. An outstanding opening batsman and natural leader, Andrew Strauss captained his country in 50 of his 100 Tests. During his time in charge, England emerged from a turbulent and controversial period to become the world's top team. This is an honest and entertaining story of a quiet, modest but fiercely ambitious man who became a magnificent man-manager, leading England to victory in the 2009 Ashes series and again in Australia the following year. Strauss is a fine raconteur and this revealing autobiography will appeal to all those who love cricket.
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.
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!