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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 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.
The intriguing story and turbulent history of a paper Charles Dickens praised for its 'range of information and profundity of knowledge', and which Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, simply endorsed with the remark: 'Of course I read The Sporting Life'. It was the Queen Mother's love of horseracing that made her such an avid reader of the Life and coverage of that sport forms the core of this book, but there is so much more to fascinate the reader including eyewitness accounts of the first fight for the heavyweight championship of the world and Captain Webb's heroic Channel swim of 1875. Highlights in the history of cricket, football and rugby are also featured, while chapters on coursing and greyhound racing rank alongside surreal reports on ratting contests and songbird singing competitions. And for 30 years Tommy Wisdom made his motoring reports unique by competing against the best at Brooklands, Le Mans and in many Monte Carlo rallies, while Henry Longhurst's golfing column was simply the best. The paper's strident campaigns for racing reforms are also chronicled along with its coverage of major news stories, from Fred Archer's shocking suicide to its own untimely demise. Its travails in the law courts are documented from its first year, when it was forced to change its title, to its last, when it had to pay libel damages to the training team of Lynda and Jack Ramsden and their jockey, Kieren Fallon. A higher price was paid by its French correspondent who was killed in a duel over an article he had written, while the terrible toll the First World War took on the nation's sporting heroes is catalogued by the Life's embedded army correspondent, against a background of political bungling that is being repeated today.
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.
Shortlisted for the Autobiography 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. In an eighteen-year playing career for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest (under Brian Clough), Manchester United (under Sir Alex Ferguson) and Celtic, Roy Keane dominated every midfield he led to glory. Aggressive and highly competitive, his attitude helped him to excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. Playing at an international level for nearly all his career, he represented the Republic of Ireland for over fourteen years, mainly as team captain, until an incident with national coach Mick McCarthy resulted in Keane's walk-out from the 2002 World Cup. Since retiring as a player, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich and has become a highly respected television pundit. As part of a tiny elite of football players, Roy Keane has had a life like no other. His status as one of football's greatest stars is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the pitch? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as a former Manchester United and Ireland leader and champion, reinventing himself as a manager and then a broadcaster, and cope with the psychological struggles this entailed? In a stunning collaboration with Booker Prize-winning author Roddy Doyle, THE SECOND HALF blends anecdote and reflection in Roy Keane's inimitable voice. The result is an unforgettable personal odyssey which fearlessly challenges the meaning of success.
Part coming-of-age story, part wilderness survival epic. I found The Rising of the Son to be an exciting read that took me by surprise and made me think. The prologue hints at something life-threatening having taken place. The tension was built, I was intrigued and so I read on. Told from multiple perspectives, Jonno and his dad, James, attempt to climb Mount Casharaqu without a guide. It doesn’t go quite to plan and they are put in a situation where they are struggling for survival and in need of rescue. The Rising of the Son looks at themes of identity, grief, loss, acceptance, love, masculinity, tourism and growing up. Putting it all in a list that seems like a lot, but the use of different perspectives, from Jonno and James in Peru to Macie and Mum back home, taxi drivers and villagers help this book deliver on a number of different levels in a way that seems authentic. I like Jonno, I was endeared by his confusion and struggle to work out where he was in life and what it means to grow up and be a man. Throughout it seemed that everyone was looking for, or missing something. It would be a good read for fans of literary fiction as well as those interested in survival stories as it looked past the tension of a hiking expedition gone wrong to comment on the human condition. I was intrigued by the “outside” perspectives of the airport worker, the taxi driver in Lemur, and the villagers. I think that the author effectively raises a valid point about the real impact of tourism and tourists, even in countries that rely on this industry. The author, Giles Dawnay has extensive experience working in the expedition travel industry and his knowledge from living and working alongside local people create a second side to this book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think deeply about how you travel. All this while also enjoying the story of the expedition. As an occasional and admittedly fairly ignorant tourist myself, I know these narratives will ensure that this multifaceted book will stay with me for many years to come. Charlotte Walker, A LoveReading Ambassador
When Emma O'Reilly joined the US Postal cycling team in 1996, she could have had no idea how she would become a central figure in the biggest doping scandal in sporting history. Yet when Lance Armstrong, starting his comeback from cancer, signed for US Postal, it was Emma, the only woman on the team, who became his personal soigneur. This is the definitive inside story of that time, and of the enormous repercussions that resonate to this day for Emma, Lance and the whole sport. Emma had the strength to break cycling's omerta by speaking out against the culture of doping. She thought she would be one of many whistleblowers, doing what she believed was right. Isolated and shunned by the sport she loved, however, her reputation was systematically destroyed. And yet she had the courage to bounce back, and remarkably, to forgive those who made her existence a living hell. This is the ultimate memoir of truth and its many consequences.
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.
This expert guide and accompanying poster spans over 150 years to offer an original perspective of the beautiful game.
As with chemical elements, these international personalities have been arranged based on their characteristics in and out of play. Instead of metals and non-metals, here we have patient and determined defensive players, from Jack Hobbs to Hanif Mohammad and Alistair Cook transitioning to fast-paced and attacking players including Shane Warne, Fred Trueman and 'white lightning' Allan Donald with a whole host of others in between. See how the best international players stack up against each other in this original guide to cricket that's perfect for all cricket fans. Also contains a pull-out poster of the Periodic Table of Cricket.
Winner of the Autobiography/Biography of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2014. It’s been a long wait for an autobiography from tennis superstar Jimmy Connors and here, from the heart, a full and frank view of his life and tennis. Less of a blow-by-blow account of the famous matches than an inside view of the rise of professional tennis, the politics, the relationships, the factions and the razzmatazz of the circuit. Now on his third hip replacement, Jimmy Connors may have given up playing but he’s lost none of his love for the game and the fans. Like for Like Reading Open: An Autobiography, Andre Agassi Andy Murray: Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory, Andy Murray
Amazing & Extraordinary Facts: The Olympics is a unique and entertaining collection of facts surrounding the Olympic Games. From their origins in ancient Greece to the most famous Olympic medalists, the book covers a range of fascinating trivia for every sport lover to enjoy. You can discover the athletes who have set the marks for modern sporting excellence, and wonder at the records set by competitors across the years. Brief, accessible and entertaining pieces on a wide variety of subjects makes it the perfect book to dip in to. The Amazing And Extraordinary Facts series presents interesting, surprising and little-known facts and stories about a wide range of topics which are guaranteed to inform, absorb and entertain in equal measure.
Winner of the Sports Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2014. Winner of the Football Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards 2014. A teenaged boy plays football in a suburban park. His name is Raheem Sterling. The call is made: Get down here quick. This is something special . Another boy is 8, going on 28. His name is Jack Wilshere. The referee, an Arsenal scout, spirits him away from Luton Town. A young goalkeeper struggles on loan at Cheltenham Town in League Two. His name is Jack Butland. Within months he will be playing for England. Welcome to football's hidden tribe. Scouts are everywhere yet nowhere, faceless and nameless, despite making the informed decisions worth millions. Award-winning sportswriter Michael Calvin opens up their hidden world, examining their disconnected lifestyles, petty betrayals and unconsidered professionalism of men who spend long, lonely hours on the road.
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!