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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!
Michael Parkinson and George Best faced one another countless times in interviews. Their conversations were mutually respectful, even intimate, yet always brimming with searching questions and revealing answers. The great Manchester United and Northern Ireland attacker - one of the few sports personalities to merit the term 'iconic' - was almost always candid, lucid and self-effacing. Alcoholism had him in its grip from an early age, affecting the love affairs that fed the tabloid headlines, but there was far more to Best than booze and birds. In George Best: A Memoir, Michael Parkinson draws upon decades of award-winning journalistic experience to re-evaluate a remarkable footballer and a damaged friend. The book weaves together recollections of when the 'the fifth Beatle' ensured it was Manchester, not London or Liverpool, which made the Sixties swing; of Best enjoying a carefree kickabout with the Parkinsons' children in the family garden; and selected transcripts from their endlessly fascinating interviews. 'Where did it all go wrong?' is the punchline to a famous Best story. George Best: A Memoir provides Michael Parkinson's considered response to the question while bringing fresh insight into the footballing genius that made Best one of the immortals and the self-destructive side of his character.
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.
No object encapsulates the subtle, mysterious richness of cricket as much as its most famous character, the cricket ball: the swinging, bouncing, spinning heart of the glorious game. Gary Cox tells us the life story of the ball in its many guises: new ball, old ball, live ball, dead ball, no-ball, lost ball, swing ball and dot ball. He untangles the complexities of spin bowling (with a little help from Shane Warne), the tricks and cheats involved in ball tampering (including a look at the 2018 Australian scandal) and explores the multi-coloured future of a rapidly changing game. A kaleidoscopic look at the ball through the lenses of everything from philosophy and science to history, politics and biography and the myriad facts and figures of the vast cricket universe, Cox brings you a brimming biography of this legendary leathern orb and the heroes, fools and villains it has created along the way.
You become a footballer because you love football. And then you are a footballer, and you're suddenly in the strangest, most baffling world of all. A world where one team-mate comes to training in a bright red suit with matching top-hat, cane and glasses, without any actual glass in them, and another has so many sports cars they forget they have left a Porsche at the train station. Even when their surname is incorporated in the registration plate. So walk with me into the dressing-room, to find out which players refuse to touch a football before a game, to discover why a load of millionaires never have any shower-gel, and to hear what Cristiano Ronaldo says when he looks at himself in the mirror. We will go into post-match interviews, make fools of ourselves on social media and try to ensure that we never again pay GBP250 for a haircut that should have cost a tenner. We'll be coached and cajoled by Harry Redknapp, upset Rafa Benitez and be soothed by the sound of an accordion played by Sven-Goran Eriksson's assistant Tord Grip. There will be some very bad music and some very bad decisions. I am Peter Crouch. This is How To Be A Footballer. Shall we?
In this award-winning collection of cycling tales, Wilfried de Jong uncovers the true soul of cycling - why we do it, why we watch it, why we hate it, why we love it - stripped bare. With his distinctly comic and melancholic charm Wilfried ponders life, love and death on his trusted bike, chasing the essence of our existence against the backdrop of major cycling events or while roaming alone in nature. Whether he is describing being ejected from Paris-Roubaix, a terminal incident with a bird while out riding, or explaining why he is standing stark naked on Belgian cobbles with a tyre in his hand, Wilfried unlocks a sport that involves so much pain, punishment, and a high probability of failure, but that will always liberate and inspire us.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 The first truly definitive biography of Muhammad Ali, the most iconic and significant sporting figure of the twentieth century. William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 is Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath, publsihed by cycling specialist Raph Editions Other shortlisted books for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 were: The Greatest Combeack: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
October 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month Published a few days before the start of the 3rd Invictus Games in Toronto where around 550 competitors – all “wounded warriors” will be competing. This is their story told by some of those who’ve taken part in the games. As the author Boris Starling says, Invictus is different to the Paralympic games, firstly those injured in both mind and body can take part, they have a military background and there is a greater emphasis on just being there and doing your best. It highlights just what these men and women have been through, their support - both medical and personal and what the games mean to them. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading The True Story of Great Britain’s Paralympic Heroes by Cathy Wood A Heavy Reckoning: War, Medicine and Survival in Afghanistan and Beyond by Emily Mayhew
Sir Matt Busby, the legendary Manchester United manager who saw the team through unprecedented glory, as well as profound tragedy, made the club the global entity it is today.
Winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 published by cycling specialist Raph Editions What the judges said: 'gives fresh insight into the life of trailblazer Tom Simpson, the first Briton to wear the Tour de France's yellow jersey, 50 years after his tragic death'. In the foreword to the title, Sir Bradley Wiggins said: "As a British cyclist, your identity is massively informed by him, so it goes without saying that he was instrumental in my 2012 Tour de France victory." Tom Simpson is British cycling's greatest icon. Fifty years after he conquered the continental sporting scene, he still captivates people around the world. After his dramatic death on Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France, amphetamines and alcohol were found in his system, a fact which often dwarfs his pioneering achievements. The other shortlist titles the Simpson book beat were:- The Greatest Combeack: From Genocide to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gabie, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
From witty sayings and wise words, to doubles entendres, and legendary moments from cricketing history, you'll find the perfect line for every occasion. I've never got to the bottom of streaking. (Jonathan Agnew). On the first day Logie decided to chance his arm and it came off. (Trevor Bailey). Bill Frindall has done a bit of mental arithmetic with a calculator. (John Arlott). Strangely, in slow motion, the ball seemed to hang in the air for even longer. (David Acfield). I'm not into caps with lots of diamonds on them, like KP. (James Anderson). How can you tell your wife you are just popping out to play a match and then not come back for five days? (Rafa Benitez on test cricket). I don't think we choked this time. We never played well enough to choke. (Craig Matthews). Flintoff starts in, his shadow beside him. Where else would it be? (Henry Blofeld). I once delivered a simple ball, which I was told, had it gone far enough, would have been considered a wide. (Lewis Carroll).
At London 2012, Nicola Adams made history. The flyweight boxer - nicknamed the smiling assassin - becamethe first ever woman to win an Olympic Gold medal for boxing. In Rio 2016, with the nation cheering her on, she did it all over again.
Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 The full story of the man who brought unprecedented - and since unmatched - success to Liverpool FC Bob Paisley was the quiet man in the flat cap who swept all domestic and European opposition aside and produced arguably the greatest club team that Britain has ever known. William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 is Tom Simpson: Bird on the Wire by Andy McGrath, publsihed by cycling specialist Raph Editions Other shortlisted books for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year 2017 were: The Greatest Combeack: From Genocid to Football Glory by David Bolchover (Biteback Publishing) Ali: A Life by Jonathan Eig (Simon & Schuster) Quiet Genius: Bob Paisley, British Football's Greatest Manager by Ian Herbert (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloombsury) Swell: A Waterbiography by Jenny Landreth (Bloomsbury Sport, Bloomsbury) Centaur by Declan Murphy and Ami Rao (Doubleday, Transworld) Breaking Ground: Art, Archaelogy and Mythology edited by Neville Gable, Alan Ward and Jason Wood (Axis Projects) Last year the prize was won by Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan (Corsair)
Can I Kick It?
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!