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***** THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK "Felix White's beautifully, elegantly and passionately written book reminds me why I love cricket so much. And reading, come to that." - Stephen Fry "The love of cricket is both communal and individual. Felix has a wonderful knack of evoking both in a book full of life, joy and resilience." - Gideon Haigh "Life beyond sport, love after loss, a soulful portrait of how play stops the rain." - Cariad Lloyd "This is an extraordinary first book ... funny, tragic, candid and heartfelt; it would be remarkable if he ever wrote a better one." - Wisden Almanack 2022 Felix White, for reasons often beyond him, has always been deeply in love with cricket. His passion for the game is at the fore on the BBC 's number one cricket podcast and 5Live show, Tailenders, which he co-presents with Greg James and Jimmy Anderson. It's Always Summer Somewhere is his funny, heartbreaking and endlessly engaging love letter to the game. Felix takes us through his life growing up in South West London and describes how his story is forever punctuated and given meaning by cricket. Through his own exploits as a slow left arm spinner of 'lovely loopy stuff', to the tragic illness of his mother, life with The Maccabees and his cricket redemption, Felix touches on both the comedic and the tragic in equal measure. Throughout, there's the ever-present roller coaster of following the England cricket team. The exploits of Tufnell (another bowler of 'lovely loopy stuff'), Atherton, Hussain et al, are given extra import through the eyes of a cricket-obsessed youth. Felix meets them at each signposted moment to find out what was really behind those moments that gave cricket fans everywhere sporting memories that would last forever, sending the book into an exploration of grief, transgenerational displacement and how the people we've known and things we've loved culminate and take expression in our lives. It's Always Summer Somewhere is an incredibly honest detail of a life lived with cricket. It offers a sense of genuine empathy and understanding not just with cricket fans, but sports and music fans across the world, in articulating our reasons for pouring so much meaning into something that we simply cannot control. Culminating in the heart-stopping World Cup Final in 2019, the book finally answers that question fans have so often asked... what is it about this game?
'We're not at parkrun any more,' I mutter to myself, quietly longing for the presence of nice marshals in high-visibility vests. Failure is an Option is the story of an average runner who sets out to discover just how far he can go. With the support (and misgivings) of his family, and aware that his quickest years are behind him, Matt Whyman leaves the Saturday morning 5K to push towards 100-mile ultramarathons and beyond. By slowing things down to run a very long way, he joins a growing number of men and women from all walks of life striving to do something extraordinary. A newcomer to a world that can often seem off-limits, Matt finds his feet as an ultrarunner by learning the hard way. He battles monster hallucinations on endurance races spanning day and night, loses himself on tantalising trails across landscapes far from home, and forges bonds with fellow competitors in which small, kind gestures mean more than any medal. Determined to touch the boundaries of his running world before it starts to shrink, ultimately Matt sets his sights on a six-day mountain ultra that even hardened veterans consider to be the most formidable on earth: the Dragon's Back Race. Brimming with good humour, honesty and joy, Failure is an Option pits ambition against ability to uncover human truths that resonate with us all. A mid-pack competitor who could win prizes for enthusiasm - if nothing else - Matt takes us on a journey far beyond his comfort zone and with no guaranteed outcome of success. The results are entertaining from start to finish, often very funny and at times deeply moving.
'My identity is built on conflicts, and I'm proud of who I am ... I can walk through the rest of my life with something to say.' Nedum Onuoha was not a typical footballer. A young black Mancunian picked by the Manchester City Academy aged ten, he was determined to continue his education despite the lure of a career under the floodlights. Fiercely intelligent on and off the pitch, Onuoha developed into a talented defender and played his part in City's meteoric rise. He was at the Etihad Stadium when they won their first Premier League title - as an opposition player for QPR, having left the Blues just four months earlier. In this characteristically forthright book, Onuoha reveals what goes on behind the scenes at top-tier clubs. Stuffed with insights into household names like Stuart Pearce, Sven-Goeran Eriksson, Roberto Mancini and Harry Redknapp, this is football and its most famous figures as you've never seen them before. Kicking Back is also the story of one man's search for identity: as a footballer, as a black man in England and as an outsider in the US during the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests. What is it like to receive horrific racist abuse while doing your job? And how has football utterly failed the black community? Onuoha provides a damning assessment of the sport's authorities, finally claiming his voice as he dives deep into a life spent on the pitch.
Craig Reedie came from a love of badminton. His efforts for his sport included the building of its own six-court hall and official offices. For the International Federation, he resolved major political issues and worked for the inclusion of the sport in the Olympic Program. For the BOA, he helped a change in the structure of British sport and the organization of bids to host the Olympic Games. Seven years of organization led to the successful 2012 London Games. A member of the IOC since 1994, he became president of WADA, facing the Russian doping issues.
The fascinating and unknown story of the Tour de France's ever-changing relationship with money and power - and the enigmatic family behind it all. It started with a cash drop by an English spy in occupied Paris in 1944. Reserved for Resistance groups during the war, the money reached Emilien Amaury, an advertising executive, who was tasked to help France return to a free press once liberated. He soon launched a newspaper empire that - unbeknown to him - would own the rights to run what would become one of the greatest sporting events in history. Le Tour, once a struggling commercial phenomenon, began to rise in popularity across much of western Europe in the glum years after the Second World War, lifting the mood of the hungry and despondent French. But with the increased interest in the event, exacerbated by the creation of television and the internet, came several cultural threats to national heritage. Multiple attempts to wrest power and profits from the latest generation of the Amaury family - who still own the race and take tens of millions of euros home in dividends - have followed, but not without a fight. Fast-paced and fastidiously researched, Le Fric illustrates how moments off the bike at the Tour de France are every bit as gripping as the battle for the yellow jersey.
Push beyond your physical limits to improve yourself by following bowhunter and ultramarathoner Cameron Hanes's lifelong philosophies and disciplines. "It's all mental." I say this all the time, and it's true. If you believe you can do it, you can. We all have virtually limitless potential. Our bodies are capable of so much more than what we ask of them. Take off the mental handcuffs, get out there, and start on your way today. What is your passion? You can become better at it. Committing yourself to fitness only fuels your beliefs. You gotta believe to achieve. Cameron Hanes discovered his true passion for bowhunting when he was twenty. Inspired by the physical challenges of stalking elk in the Oregon wilderness--traversing mountainous terrain, braving erratic weather, and evading his quarry's even more dangerous predators--he began an ever-evolving journey of self-improvement. To become the best bowhunter of wild elk, to the caliber he believed he could be, Cam realized he would need more than archery skills. He would need the stamina and strength that could only come from an athletic training regimen of long-distance running and heavy-weight lifting. And every day for more than thirty years, Cam has put in the work, building miles and muscles, pushing through pain with a single-minded focus on the only goal worth having--besting himself time and again. Part memoir, part motivational manifesto, Endure reveals how Cam--a self-professed average guy--put himself through the paces to live the life of an expert bowhunter, respected writer, and family man. With discipline, sacrifice, resilience, a hard work ethic, and a belief in his own capabilities, Cam not only accomplished his dreams but continues to surpass them. There is no secret to his success except relentless determination and loyal dedication to his own self-worth. If Cam can do it, we all can. Everyone has what it takes to endure adversity so we can rise above average, be the best we can be, and enjoy living life to the fullest.
Mike Phillips is one of Welsh rugby's most decorated players. With multiple Grand Slams and Lions tours under his belt, he was revered all over the world for his aggressive, in-your-face style of play. Off the field, his early years were littered with controversy and scandal as he wrestled with the new-found fame that success brought. In this brutally honest, tell-all autobiography, Mike reveals his run-ins with the police on the streets of Cardiff, what really went on inside the Wales and Lions dressing rooms and the truth behind that fateful night outside McDonald's, when a scrape with a bouncer saw him hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons on the eve of a World Cup training camp. He also discusses the personal turmoil that, at times, engulfed him and how he was able to block it all out to become one of the best players in the world. Phillips opens up about every aspect of his much talked about career, from the many glorious highs to struggling with fame, coping with pressure, dealing with rejection and retirement while ultimately finding personal peace and happiness. He lifts the lids on his relationship with Warren Gatland and talks about the big characters in the dressing room, from Sam Warburton to Dan Carter. Mike Phillips: Half Truths - My Triumphs, My Mistakes, My Untold Story is a no-holds barred account of a rugby life lived to the full, revealing the real man behind the legend.
There is only one Arsène Wenger - and for the very first time, in his own words, this is his story.
In this definitive autobiography, the world-renowned, revolutionary football manager discusses his life and career, sharing his leadership principles for success on and off the field. At Arsenal, Wenger won multiple Premier League titles, a record number of FA Cups, and masterminded the historic 'Invincibles' season of 2003-2004. He changed the game in England forever, popularising an attacking approach and changing attitudes towards nutrition, fitness and coaching methods - and towards foreign managers. The book charts his extraordinary career, from his rise in France and Japan where he managed Nancy, Monaco and Nagoya Grampus Eight - clubs that also play in red-and-white - to his twenty-two years at the helm in north London.
A must-read not only for Arsenal supporters but football fans everywhere, MY LIFE IN RED AND WHITE illuminates the mystique surrounding one of the most respected managers in the world's most popular sport.
King of the Fells. Iron man. Lake District fell running legend. Joss Naylor is all of these things and more. His achievements are astounding, his records stand the test of time. In 1983 he completed the 105-mile Lakes, Meres and Waters (LMW) route in a staggering 19hr 14min and to this day, describes it as one of the best routes he ever ran. High praise indeed and yet, so few know of it. Part guidebook, part inspirational regaling, this book interweaves tales of past and present as Naylor reflects on his 1983 epic on a re-walk 37 years later. In the company of award-winning author, Vivienne Crow, Naylor recalls that magical day, sharing stories and anecdotes from, not just his run, but the 1980s fell running scene, his working life and growing up in the Wasdale Valley. Naylor's tales, together with breathtaking photography, are accompanied by basic guide notes for the LMW route, sticking as closely to his 1983 run as possible. These notes divide the route into ten stages (ranging from 9 to 14 miles), allowing runners and walkers to follow in the footsteps of the King of the Fells, albeit on a more relaxed schedule. From Loweswater to Over Water, visiting 27 of the Lake District's largest bodies of water, the LMW route guarantees vistas of unparalleled beauty and an unforgettable experience in true fell country.
At the end of World War II, the top ten college football teams were largely the same as they are today-with one exception: Oklahoma. In 1947, Bud Wilkinson was named OU's head football coach and became the architect of Oklahoma's meteoric rise from mediocrity to its present status as a perennial powerhouse. Based on interviews with Wilkinson, former OU president George L. Cross, and numerous former players, author John Scott gives us the behind-the-scenes story of Wilkinson's years at the University of Oklahoma. Scott takes us through the teams Wilkinson directed from 1947 to 1963, revealing the philosophies and tactics Wilkinson used to turn OU into one of college football's elite programs. A close-up view of games-from strategy to execution-brings OU football and its cast of colorful characters to life. Scott details the Sooners' 47-game winning streak as well as thrilling games against Notre Dame, Army, USC, and others. He also provides details of Wilkinson's breaking of the color line in OU athletics and the infamous food-poisoning incident in Chicago in 1959. Before his death in 1994, Wilkinson reviewed the first draft of the book and wrote in a letter to the author, "The explanations of football strategies are concise and clear. They rank among the best I have ever read." Including vignettes of Wilkinson's closest coaching friends (Royal, Bryant, Leahy, Sanders, Blaik, Tatum), Bud Wilkinson and the Rise of Oklahoma Football captures all the drama of Oklahoma's ascendance and serves as an authoritative and entertaining history of the sport that will appeal to all college football fans.
The hilarious, heartwarming and - unbelievably - true story of Maurice Flitcroft, the World's Worst Golfer 'The story of its greatest anti-hero is just what the game needs' Spectator When 46-year-old crane driver Maurice Flitcroft chanced his way into the Open - having never before played a round of golf in his life - he ran up a record-worst score of 121. The sport's ruling classes banned him for life. Maurice didn't take it lying down. In a hilarious game of cat-and-mouse with The Man, he entered tournaments again - and again, and again - using increasingly ludicrous pseudonyms such as Gene Pacecki, Arnold Palmtree and Count Manfred von Hoffmanstel (more often than not disguised by a fake moustache). In doing so, he sent the authorities into apoplexy, and won the hearts of fans from Muirfield to Michigan, becoming arguably the most popular - and certainly the bravest - sporting underdog the world has ever known 'Hilarious' Esquire
Johan Cruyff was one of the greatest footballers of all time, a worldwide phenomenon and arguably the most famous Dutchman of the 20th century. As a player on the pitch and later as a coach off the pitch, his brand of total football added a whole new dimension to the international game. However, although he led a large part of his illustrious career and life in the spotlight, in many ways Cruyff the man and sportsman is still a complete mystery. This compellingly written biography, based on years of extensive research, is the first to describe all aspects of Johan Cruyff's life and work, from his key influence in the great Ajax and Netherlands sides of the 1970s to his role in creating the modern footballing phenomenon that is Barcelona. Using countless unique documents and drawing on hundreds of interviews with friends from his childhood and school, coaches, teammates, on-pitch opponents, business associates and family members, Auke Kok has written the definitive biography of the rascal, son, family man, footballer, manager, football philosopher and commercial pioneer that was Johan Cruyff. Cruyff's life reads like a boys' own story, the working-class boy who grew up to become a global phenomenon. Reading Johan Cruyff: Always on the Attack will reveal the true Cruyff, how he shaped his enormous influence as a 'total footballer', and how the brilliant yet initially shy and skinny Cruyff would acquire a reputation as an innovator, know-it-all and brawler, as well as a source of inspiration for millions the world over.
Two of the most prominent and celebrated athletes in the world, Marvelous Marvin Hagler and Sugar Ray Leonard came together to contest the $100million SuperFight on April 6, 1987 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. From Frank Sinatra to U2, Joan Collins to Whoopi Goldberg, the stars were drawn to ringside by the huge box-office appeal of the blue-collar, dominant world middleweight champion facing his nemesis, the charismatic and flamboyant Sugar Ray, who was coming out of virtually five years of retirement. Drawing on his deep reservoir of nerve, outstanding technique and a strategy which Budd Schulberg - who provided Marlon Brando with the immortal line, 'I coulda been a contender' - called a compound optical illusion, Leonard won on points. It was boxing's greatest comeback, but to this day the judges' decision remains bitterly contested and not merely by the protagonists. But the story of The SuperFight is much more than the story of the fight, for it details two remarkable lives, the demons that drove both men and the formidable challenges they overcame inside and outside the ring. Hagler grew up in the Newark, New Jersey ghetto of Central Ward, where a riot/rebellion rooted in racism claimed the lives of 26 people, injured 1,000 more and, to the young teenager, was "like the end of the world". Fuelled by anger, he climbed to the top of his domain and ruled for seven years as champion, one of the most accomplished in boxing's annals. Leonard was an Olympic gold medallist and all-American hero whose career was cut short by a detached retina after he became the world welterweight king. He was Muhammad Ali's gifted and anointed successor but he succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse and for years was tormented by a secret - the sexual abuse he endured as an amateur boxer by a trusted coach. As provocative and polarising in its own way as Ali's defining rivalry with Joe Frazier, this is the story of The SuperFight, of Marvin Hagler and Ray Leonard and a fierce fire that still burns.
The side-splittingly hilarious new book from Sunday Times bestselling author, rugby icon, and stag do in human form, James Haskell. It's 2021 and James is at a crossroads. His glittering international rugby career that took him from England to New Zealand and France - including 77 caps for England - is over. What will he do now? What is his purpose in life? In Ruck Me, James sets out on a voyage of self-discovery speaking to ex-colleagues, friends and family, reflecting on his career and diving into some of his most memorable personal anecdotes to date. But what started out as a search for understanding and meaning soon turns into a - let's face it, sometimes warranted - chastisement opportunity with James directly in the firing line. Turns out he has a lot of work to do... As funny as it is outrageous, this brilliant book acts as a lesson on how (not) to retire gracefully and move forward. And ruck me - you won't want to miss it.
'I pulled off my glasses and wiped my eyes. "That was perhaps the last race of my career..."' Deep down, Mark Cavendish thought he was finished. After illness, setbacks and clinical depression, the once fastest man in the world had been written off by most. And at the age of 36, even he believed his explosive cycling career would fade out with a whimper. The Manxman hadn't won a single Grand Tour stage in Italy, Spain or France since 2016. But then came his incredible resurrection at the 2021 Tour de France. Included on the Deceuninck Quick-Step team at the very last minute, only after Sam Bennett suffered an injury, Mark set about rewriting history. He claimed back the green jersey he first wore in 2011, and his four stage victories finally saw him matching Belgian legend Eddy Merckx's all-time record of 34 Tour de France stage wins. Cycling greats are never content, and Cav's dogged determination and inner strength had earned him the record that few believed he could ever achieve. This is his own intimate account of that race, right from the saddle of the miracle tour.
'Every time I speak to someone and hear about their experiences, it leaves me with a sense of running's incredible power to help people overcome pretty much anything.' Each day, millions of people around the world put on their trainers and try to deal with their personal demons and life challenges by going for a run. And, increasingly, they do it knowing that they are not alone: a growing and often virtual community is right there running alongside them. We are all, in some sense, running for our lives. Rachel Ann Cullen's first book, Running for My Life, described her own marathon journey through depression, bipolar disorder and body dysmorphia, and her revelatory discovery that running could transform her physical and mental wellbeing. After hearing from people who had read about her experiences, Rachel wanted to tell some stories of other runners from all around the world - ordinary people living with mental health struggles, grief, cancer and other unavoidable life events who have relied on running to get them through their worst days and to keep going. Running for Our Lives shares moving accounts of hope and resilience; it demonstrates the power of running to help us all overcome adversity, and is a lesson for us all in learning not only how to survive life's challenges, but to thrive.
Irish Sports Book Award 2021 Winner! Fight Or Flight: My Life, My Choices is the autobiography of Irish rugby legend Keith Earls. Keith Earls started out in senior rugby as a teenage star and during the course of his long career has become one of the most admired and respected players of his generation. A British & Irish Lion at the age of 21, he is now closing in on his 34th birthday and still playing at the top of his game. He has won 93 caps for Ireland and played over 180 games in the famous red of Munster. He started every match of the 2018 Six Nations campaign that culminated in an Irish Grand Slam victory. A lethal finisher blessed with a sprinter's speed, Earls is the second-highest try scorer of all time for his country. With Munster he is one try short of the all-time total and looks set to break that record next season. Yet, Earls has achieved these milestones whilst being racked by private battles with his mental health for most of his career. A number of crises brought him to the brink of voluntary retirement from the game. A native of Limerick city, Earls grew up in one of its most socially disadvantaged housing estates. Moyross was blighted by crime and violence and he did not escape unscathed from the surrounding fear and trauma visited upon his beloved community. His natural talent brought him into the privileged bastion of elite rugby union. His autobiography tells the story of his long struggle to reconcile the world whence he came with the world opened up by his brilliance with an oval ball. Earls has maintained a low profile throughout his career. For the first time he will talk in depth and at length about the inner turmoil that went unseen by team-mates, friends and fans. It is a confessional, intimate and courageous story of the pain that was a constant companion to the glory. Earls says: "It's not me at all to be doing anything remotely like an autobiography. I don't like talking about myself, I don't like bringing attention to myself. And I guess that's one reason why I am doing it. We're supposed to get out of our comfort zone. I've learned enough along the way to know that much. It's where your progress and growth happens. I hope if I can share some of my life experiences here, it might inspire others."
Musial: From Stash to Stan the Man is the most comprehensive assessment of baseball legend Stan Musial's life and career to date. Musial, better known as Stan the Man, was born Stanislaus Frank Musial in 1920 to Polish immigrants in Donora, Pennsylvania. As a youth, however, he went by the nickname Stashu, soon shortened to Stash, which his closest friends have continued to call him. In this first scholarly biography of Musial, James N. Giglio places the St. Louis Cardinal star within the context of the times - the Great Depression and wartime and postwar America - and the issues then prevalent in professional baseball, particularly race and the changing economics of the game. Giglio seeks to illuminate how the times shaped Musial and to delve further into his popular image as a warm, unfailingly gracious role model known for good sportsmanship and devotion to family. One of America's most popular professional athletes, Musial began his baseball career in 1938 as a minor league pitcher, switching to the outfield after he injured his arm. He began playing for the Cardinals in 1941, and in his twenty-two-year career with them (1941 to 1963, with an interruption for military service during World War II), he established himself as one of the game's greatest hitters, with a lifetime batting average of.331. He held major league records for extra-base hits and total bases. He also held National League records for games played, consecutive games played, times at bat, runs scored, runs batted in, and hits. Musial retired from the playing field in 1963, but returned as general manager of the Cardinals in 1967, a year in which his team won the World Series. In 1969, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Through extensive research in newspapers, the Musial collection at the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, the Sporting News Archives, and manuscript collections at the Lyndon B. Johnson and John F. Kennedy libraries, along with in-depth interviews, Giglio has provided the real story of Stan Musial as not only a baseball hero, but also a youth, a young man, a husband, and a father - a regular guy. Baseball fans everywhere will join with diehard Cardinal fans in welcoming this well-crafted and compelling biography of Stan the Man.
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