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Richard Parks has what must be one of contemporary sport's most extraordinary and inspirational stories. Soon after he turned thirty, the professional career in rugby that had been his life for over a decade was cut short by injury, leaving him faced with an uncertain future. But unlike many other young athletes, Richard decided to tackle his fears, anxiety and depression head on, taking inspiration from Ranulph Fiennes and a line from his grandmother's eulogy - "The horizon is only the limit of our sight" and setting out on challenges that have become part of his everyday life. Richard created history with his first endeavour - the 737 Challenge - by becoming the first person to conquer the highest mountain on each of the world's continents and venture to both the North and South Poles within seven months. Then in 2013 he tackled three hugely challenging events - an ultramarathon through the Peruvian jungle, the world's highest mountain bike race, and a double iron man triathlon in Snowdonia - in preparation for an even more extraordinary challenge: to record the fastest solo, unsupported and unassisted journey to the South Pole. These three challenges and the Antarctic speed record quest that saw Richard ski 11 hours a day enduring perishing conditions, broken skis and spending Christmas and New Year alone on the ice, were all filmed for a major four-part series to be broadcast on Channel 5 later this year. Beyond the Horizon is an amazing, inspiring, and exciting story for armchair adventurers, extreme sports and mountaineering fans alike.
England manager Gareth Southgate's decision to appoint Kane, still just twenty-three years old, as the team captain in 2017 could have been seen as premature, bringing with it pressure that could damage a young player's career. However, he knew that Kane, a modest, humble and inspiring figure was up to the task. Having lost faith in the national team, English fans weren't sure the players would even make it out of their group. No one could have predicted that this young and relatively inexperienced side would achieve their best result since 1990, or that their captain would win the tournament's Golden Boot with six goals. Perhaps most importantly for the team and their manager, they brought the country together to make for an unforgettable summer. While their eventual semi-final loss to Croatia came as a stinging disappointment, this is just the start for the team and their skipper, one of our most exciting players for a generation and a truly world-class English star. In this in-depth biography, bestselling sports writer Frank Worrall traces Kane's journey from an ordinary childhood in north London, growing up just a few miles from White Hart Lane, to the most remarkable tournament of his career.
The late 1980s were a boom time for college basketball, and the Vanderbilt Commodores were right in the middle of it. Led by Hall of Fame Coach C.M. Newton, All-America center Will Perdue, and a group of three-point shooters known as """"The Bomb Squad,"""" the Commodores made their mark in the Southeastern Conference and challenged for the conference title in 1988 and 1989. Along the way, they played-and, often, beat-many of the game's national powers, including Kentucky, North Carolina, Louisville, Duke, Notre Dame, Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas. Here is the inside story of those Commodore teams as told by Barry Goheen, the Vanderbilt guard and """"Bomb Squad"""" member who became nationally known for his numerous clutch shots and """"buzzer beaters"""" that lifted the 'Dores to victory. Goheen and his Commodore teammates encountered many of the greatest players and coaches of the era--Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Danny Manning, Chris Jackson, Digger Phelps, Denny Crum, Steve Alford, Rex Chapman, Glen Rice, and many more. They captured thrilling wins, endured painful losses, and achieved several firsts for the Vanderbilt basketball program. This is a story centered in Nashville, Tennessee, particularly Vanderbilt's venerable Memorial Gym, with stops in Hawaii and Taipei; Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina; Bloomington and South Bend, Indiana; and Lincoln, Nebraska. Even the casual basketball fan will enjoy Buzzer Beaters and Memorial Magic.
The Kray Twins approached him to be his manager at the age of 18, but his dad had the unenviable task of respectfully turning them down in their notorious pub. Sparred with Muhammad Ali, making front cover headlines on the New York Times, then fought on the Ali v Henry Cooper undercard a few weeks later in front of 54,000 people. Had 20 pro fights with a good record and was tippped to go on to great things...Boxing career was cut short by being involved in gangland warfare for three years, which culminated in him getting a ten year prison sentence. Came out after four years and eight months, and after a few years of working in the family scrap business, he had the opportunity of a lifetime to work as a boxing trainer, being thrown in at the deep end with some of British finest fighters. Jimmy went on to train some of the biggest names in British boxing including Frank Bruno, Barry McGuigan, Lloyd Honeyghan, Michael Watson, Nigel Benn etc...The list is long and comes with some incredible anecdotes and stories. Soon after creating world champions he was hit with cancer. He battled through and continued to make his name in the sport. In 1990, came 'The Birth of Cockney Christian'. He became born again, and the story that accompanies this transition, could only be told the way he does! At the age of 66, he's still training champions now, including Billy Joe Saunders. Many of the top boxers including his former World Champions and the likes of Joe Calzaghe will tweet about the book. The two biggest boxing gyms in London are keen to host the book launch. Jimmy will be available for a massive media campaign and signing sessions. Boxing correspondents for the Daily Mirror, Sunday Times, Daily Mail and The Sun have already expressed an interest in serialisation.
Fanatical is the story of football's number one superfan. Since January 1968, Gary Edwards hasn't missed a single competitive Leeds United match anywhere in the world. He's devastated to have missed one friendly; although, rest assured, that was through no fault of his own. On his 46-year (and counting!) adventure, this uniquely passionate supporter has experienced dodgy mountainside coach nightmares, bumpy flights on cheap airlines, and aggro just about everywhere. From pink faces in Barnsley to disguises at Luton, from behind the Iron Curtain to an eerie Nou Camp, from FA hypocrisy to tragedy in Turkey, Fanatical is by turn funny, scary and inspirational in its display of extreme love for football and the mighty Whites. Enjoy this whistle-stop global tour to every club Gary has visited ever since Derby County all those years ago - by sea, by air and by Doombuggy, Gary's customised hearse!
This is the autobiography of a Rangers legend. Alex MacDonald's compelling memoirs cover his formative years as a player with St Johnstone, his rise to fame with Rangers, his transfer to Hearts where he became player-manager, and his time in charge at Airdrie. But Doddie is quintessentially a Rangers man, having grown up in Glasgow supporting them and then going on to play a key role in the club's 1972 Cup Winners' Cup triumph. Doddie won 12 medals in a glittering career, including a highly-prized European one during his time with Rangers, yet as he reveals, a chance meeting with Celtic manager Jock Stein might have resulted in him signing for the Old Firm's other half. Etched indelibly in his memory, too, is the dejection he suffered when Hearts lost the League Championship and Scottish Cup within the space of a week in the mid-1980s and his subsequent delight at leading Airdrie into Europe. Doddie is a fascinating story, both for his lifelong love affair with football and his more personal story of growing up in Glasgow, his love of animals and his midlife crisis when he put the car in the garage and headed out on the highway on a brand new Harley Davidson. It has been a life full of adventures and characters and the highs and lows of his life and career are entertainingly and engagingly told.
Bill Struth is the most iconic and successful manager in the history of Scottish football. He was manager of Rangers for 34 years, winning 18 titles, 10 Scottish Cups and 2 League Cups. Yet outside of Ibrox, where the Main Stand is named for him, Struth is largely ignored. Indeed, despite the fact Bill Struth was the man who built Rangers into the world's most successful football club, this is the first book to tell the story of his life. Veteran sports journalist David Leggat, who previously wrote Great Scot: The James Scotland Symon Story, now turns his attention to the glory of Struth in a new biography, Struth. The story of how Bill Struth, a professional runner who never played football, became Rangers trainer in 1914 and manager in 1920, is one of romance and glory and features some of Scottish football's most legendary stars, including Davie Meiklejohn, Bob McPhail, Willie Waddell, George Young and the Wee Blue Devil himself, Alan Morton. And there are fascinating insights into Struth's private life too, especially how he coped with the suicide of his wife. Struth will be a milestone in the history of not just Rangers, but Scottish football.
Tommy McLean made history as a player and a manager, but behind the triumph is an untold story. As one-third of Scottish football's best-known team of brothers, McLean sampled the incredible highs. He became a Rangers legend as an integral part of the European Cup Winners' Cup-winning team in 1972 and as a mainstay of Jock Wallace's treble-winning heroes in the years that followed. As a manager he took Motherwell from the brink of bankruptcy to victory in the Scottish Cup final and European football. That memorable triumph is however tinged with pain for McLean, who faced his brother Jim's Dundee United in the cup final just days after the death of their father. And there was further personal turmoil behind the scenes during that momentous game, a story McLean reflects on publicly for the first time. The years that followed have been filled with further joys and sorrows, including a tumultuous spell in charge of Hearts, a controversial six-day spell as manager of Raith Rovers, and a time as manager of Dundee United under the chairmanship of his older brother, Jim. He was also recruited by David Murray to head up Rangers' youth system, but stepped away from football to concentrate on more important family matters. Here in his exclusive book, Tommy McLean tells all, making Football in the Blood a must-read for any football fan.
Tony Kelly was football crazy from the age of seven. At sixteen Nyrere Anthony Kelly was the youngest ever player in the first team at Bristol City and in his twenties he went professional, playing for clubs such as Stoke City, Cardiff City, Leyton Orient and Bury in the second and third divisions of the Football League and starring in a Swedish side. But his blossoming soccer career was marred by a series of mishaps and misdeeds which drove him to disaster. Ruined by an addiction to gambling, he lost his job, his career, his partner and all his money. Now he has written his story - as Kelly puts it, to "invite the public, my family and my friends into my secret hell of racism, despair, depression, stardom, gambling addiction and ultimately self-destruction". Red Card is a tragic yet uplifting story of a sportsman's battle with his demons, on and off the pitch. Published with the kind assistance of the Professional Footballers' Association
Making My Pitch tells the story of Ila Jane Borders, who despite formidable obstacles became a Little League prodigy, MVP of her otherwise all-male middle school and high school teams, the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, and the first to pitch and win a complete men's collegiate game. After Mike Veeck signed Borders in May 1997 to pitch for his St. Paul Saints of the independent Northern League, she accomplished what no woman had done since the Negro Leagues era: play men's professional baseball. Borders played four professional seasons and in 1998 became the first woman in the modern era to win a professional ball game. Borders had to find ways to fit in with her teammates, reassure their wives and girlfriends, work with the media, and fend off groupies. But these weren't the toughest challenges. She had a troubled family life, a difficult adolescence as she struggled with her sexual orientation, and an emotionally fraught college experience as a closeted gay athlete at a Christian university. Making My Pitch shows what it's like to be the only woman on the team bus, in the clubhouse, and on the field. Raw, open, and funny at times, her story encompasses the loneliness of a groundbreaking pioneer who experienced grave personal loss. Borders ultimately relates how she achieved self-acceptance and created a life as a firefighter and paramedic and as a coach and goodwill ambassador for the game of baseball. Purchase the audio edition.
THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'The beautiful game has taught me a lot, but I've had quite a life outside of football too. This book is full of my best stories - kickabouts with jumpers for goalposts with Bobby Moore, mine and Sandra's disastrous honeymoon to Torquay in a dodgy car and my funniest 'Mr Pastry' moments - as well as my thoughts on the important things in life. I'm finally sharing what I've learned on and off the pitch: from growing up poor in Poplar to the heights of the Premiership and even lying in a coffin with a load of rats on national television. It's everything I know about true team spirit, hard work, tough times, why family are so important and why everyone deserves respect no matter whether they're royal or sleeping rough - and, of course, the real joy of a jam roly-poly.'
From San Francisco to the Ginza in Tokyo, Lefty O'Doul relates the untold story of one of baseball's greatest hitters, most colorful characters, and the unofficial father of professional baseball in Japan. Lefty O'Doul (1897-1969) began his career on the sandlots of San Francisco and was drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher. Although an arm injury and his refusal to give up the mound clouded his first four years, he converted into an outfielder. After four Minor League seasons he returned to the Major Leagues to become one of the game's most prolific power hitters, retiring with the fourth-highest lifetime batting average in Major League history. A self-taught "scientific" hitter, O'Doul then became the game's preeminent hitting instructor, counting Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams as his top disciples. In 1931 O'Doul traveled to Japan with an All-Star team and later convinced Babe Ruth to headline a 1934 tour. By helping to establish the professional game in Japan, he paved the way for Hideo Nomo, Ichiro Suzuki, and Hideki Matsui to play in the American Major Leagues. O'Doul's finest moment came in 1949, when General Douglas MacArthur asked him to bring a baseball team to Japan, a tour that MacArthur later praised as one of the greatest diplomatic efforts in U.S. history. O'Doul became one of the most successful managers in the Pacific Coast League and was instrumental in spreading baseball's growth and popularity in Japan. He is still beloved in Japan, where in 2002 he was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
In March 1977, England cricket captain Tony Greig was arguably the most famous and popular sportsman in the country, and the best all-rounder in world cricket. He had recently led England to a famous series victory in India, her first successful campaign on the subcontinent since the Second World War. Then he had conjured a doughty performance from his travel-weary troops in the dramatic, one-off Centenary Test in Melbourne, narrowly losing by 45 runs. Within weeks, though, his reputation was in tatters. He was branded a traitor and mercenary, stripped of the England captaincy and excluded from the national side. He was also relieved of the Sussex captaincy and banned from first-class cricket for eight weeks. His involvement in the controversial 'Packer Revolution' had caused his fall from grace. Soon afterwards, he left England for good for a commentary career in Australia. At 6ft 7in, Greig was a giant of the game both figuratively and literally. His life story is every bit as fascinating as the controversy that engulfed him.
Wilfrid Noyce is best known for his mountaineering exploits during the period before the Second World War and until his death in 1962 in the Pamirs; he made a major contribution to the success of the 1953 Everest expedition. There were however many other sides to this quiet, diffident unassuming man. This book tells of his scholarly prowess from an early age right through Charterhouse and King's College, Cambridge to his War service in India and beyond. He led the cryptography team that broke a key Japanese code and significantly improved the ability of the allies to understand the plans of the Japanese and to intercept the movements of their forces. After the war he became a schoolmaster, first at Malvern College and, after his marriage in 1950, at his old school, Charterhouse. He taught Classics initially and then French and Italian and was appreciated for the quiet manner in which he delivered his lessons. He was a popular master and many are the boys who are grateful to him for introducing them to the mountains and inspiring them with a love of adventure and the outdoors. Poetry and writing came naturally to him. Articles and poems flowed from his pen from early on and when he was established as a writer, he published a new book almost every year. Most of these concerned the mountains and adventure but the biography-poem Michael Angelo was published in 1953 and Poems in 1960. The citizens of Godalming elected him on two occasions to the Borough Council where he served on several sub-committees and took as his particular constituency the young people of the borough. He actively promoted not only adventurous but also literary activities for them. Noyce was instrumental in the creation of the Youth Centre in Godalming, which was completed just before his death and subsequently named after him. This book describes Noyce's life and achievements and seeks to show the motivation and driving force of a man who spanned two very different eras of mountaineering achievement.
2018 SABR Baseball Research Award Winner Baseball in the 1920s is most known for Babe Ruth and the New York Yankees, but there was another great Yankee player in that era whose compelling story remains untold. Urban Shocker was a fiercely competitive and colorful pitcher, a spitballer who had many famous battles with Babe Ruth before returning to the Yankees. Shocker was traded away to the St. Louis Browns in 1918 by Yankees manager Miller Huggins, a trade Huggins always regretted. In 1925, after four straight seasons with at least twenty wins with the hapless Browns, Shocker became the only player Huggins brought back to the Yankees. He finally reached the World Series, with the 1926 Yankees. In the Yankees' storied 1927 season, widely viewed to be the best in MLB history, Shocker pitched with guts and guile, finishing with a record of 18-6 even while his fastball and physical skills were deserting him. Hardly anyone knew that Shocker was suffering from an incurable heart disease that left him able to sleep only while sitting up and which would take his life in less than a year. With his physical skills diminishing, he continued to win games through craftiness and well-placed pitches. Delving into Shocker's baseball career, his love of the game, and his battle with heart disease, Steve Steinberg shows the dominant and courageous force that he was. Purchase the audio edition.
Jean-Pierre Rives epitomised the French rugby tradition of flair coupled with guts and glory. He captained the team a record 34 times, gaining 59 caps in all, the first against England in 1975. He led France to the Grand Slam in 1981 and was inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame. After retiring, this most charismatic of flankers - his long blond hair stood out as he led by example, turned to sculpture and painting, hence the title of this book. He exhibits regularly at prominent public venues all over the world and was awarded the Order of the Legion of Honor and the National Order of Merit by the government of France. He divides his time between the South of France and California. Before French rugby writer Richard Escot's persistence paid off and Rives told him, 'OK, come down to the atelier and we'll see what happens,' little was known about the former player - beyond, that is, what Jean-Pierre considers to be an extravagant reputation. Previously he had guarded his silence; now, in a series of eight conversations, Rives reveals himself to be a natural talker, prepared to provide an insight both into his unique character and what it is like to play rugby at the highest level.
'Beautifully written, meticulously researched and stuffed with rich sporting and social history ... Unputdownable' Mail on Sunday
After the Second World War, as the BBC tightened its grip on the national consciousness, two of the most famous English voices were commentators on games of cricket. John Arlott and E.W. ('Jim') Swanton transformed the broadcasting of the nation's summer game into a national institution.
Arlott and Swanton typified the contrasting aspects of post-war Britain. Because of their strong personalities and distinctive voices - Swanton's crisp and upper-class, Arlott's with its Hampshire burr - each had a loyal following. As England moved from a class-based to a more egalitarian society, nothing stayed the same - including professional cricket. Wise, lively and filled with rich social and sporting history, Arlott, Swanton and the Soul of English Cricket shows how, as the game entered a new era, these two very different men battled to save the soul of the game.
When Franck Sauzee signed for Hibernian Football Club in February 1999, he already enjoyed legendary status in European footballing circles. Alex McLeish's feat of persuading the Gallic Great to sign for Hibs was the club's biggest coup since the signing of George Best. Many people imagined that Franck Sauzee would be quite happy to come to Edinburgh, pick up his salary and quietly see out his distinguished career. They could not have been more wrong. Sauzee bought into the culture of Hibernian from his arrival. He proved that he was still a great footballer and helped to lead his new team from the mediocrity of the Scottish First Division back to the heights of the Scottish Premier League. Franck became club captain, inspired his team mates, scored many unforgettable goals and took Hibs to a Scottish Cup Final. Sauzee then retired to become manager of his beloved Hibees. Sadly, this chapter of Franck's Hibs career was to prove short-lived but he left the club as one of its best loved and most revered players. Even today, ten years on from the great man's departure, the song "There's Only One Sauzee" is still sung at Easter Road. Now, well-known Hibs author, Ted Brack, documents the highs and lows of the Sauzee era. Ted has spoken to directors, managers, players, journalists and supporters to get the full story of Le God's time at Easter Road. The result is a must read book for Hibs supporters of all ages, especially those who still treasure the memory of Franck Sauzee, Hibernian Super Star.
Perhaps no NBA player today is as exciting and yet enigmatic as Kyrie Irving. Martin Gitlin's biography chronicles Irving's brilliance on the court as a devastating one-on-one talent, examines the influence of his father, the untimely death of his mother, his growth as a basketball player in high school and college, and his journey in the NBA. Nicknamed the "Isolation Assassin," Irving has earned the distinction as the most incredible isolation player in the league, outperforming rivals such as Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook with his crossover dribble, drives to the basket, stop-and-go moves, and smooth, feathery jumpers, a distinction borne out, moreover, by his championship-clinching shot against Curry's Golden State Warriors in 2016. Yet while he speaks of maximizing his talent, he has shown reluctance to maximize the production of his teammates by passing the ball, as well as his overall defense. Irving expresses his desire to win championships yet demanded a trade away from the franchise best suited to deliver him a second. Off the court there is no one like Irving either. An educated individual who claims that the earth could be flat and that dinosaurs perhaps never existed, Irving is a man of puzzling contradictions who seeks self-actualization and contentment through a variety of pursuits, including reflection, music, and acting. Gitlin, a veteran writer who has followed Irving's career from the beginning, has much to tell about one of the most mysterious and sensational athletes of our time whose appeal transcends his sport.
For more than four decades the elegant, slightly foppish figure of trainer Henry Cecil has been adulated by racing fans. He has handled countless top horses - his '25 English Classics' include four Derby winners - and won dozens of big races around the world. But his story is far from a chronicle of unbroken success. A sharp downturn in his racing fortunes in the late 1990s was accompanied by all manner of personal trials, including well publicised marital problems and then cancer, but the dogged manner in which he has climbed back to the top was rewarded in 2011 by the presence in his Newmarket yard of the wonder horse Frankel. Based on extensive research and interviews with those closest to "Cecil", and shot through with Brough Scott's unparalleled inside knowledge of the sport, this will be the racing book not only of the year, but of the decade.
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