The Love of the Game
By Mark Chapman
BBC sports presenter Mark Chapman is no longer in his physical prime. There is an argument to suggest he has never been in his physical prime. Now in his forties, he is facing a world of knee replacements and ever-expanding waistlines, whilst his children are thriving.There is huge pride that they are doing so well, mixed with a fair amount of jealousy that actually they are better at a wide range of sport than he ever was. He is passionate about sport and it has played a huge part in his life. His parents encouraged him from a very early age and he wants to pass the baton on to his son and daughters. Although there is every chance he might drop it and have a massive strop instead. He is also very aware of the huge changes in sport today compared to when he was growing up; and he is determined that his own attitude to his son and daughters' sport - be it football, netball, cricket or gymnastics - will be exactly the same. And he wants to shine a light on grass roots sports - the incredible and largely unsung contribution that volunteers make in the sporting commnity, without whom - for example - no professional footballer would be in the game today.Funny, touching, passionate about sport and parenthood, Mark Chapman paints sport as a touchstone for everything important: growing up, becoming a parent, enjoying family time, getting old, learning how to win (and how to lose gracefully), the legacy we all hope to leave our children; in short, life and all that goes into it.
By Guillem Balague
WINNER OF FOOTBALL BOOK OF THE YEAR AT THE CROSS SPORTS BOOK AWARDS 2016CRISTIANO RONALDO is one of the greatest footballers of all time, yet for all his success on the pitch he has often been a controversial and divisive figure off it.It was clear from early on that Ronaldo had a prodigious talent. More than that, though, he only ever had one goal in mind. At the age of twelve, he left his humble origins on Madeira behind to travel to the Portuguese mainland in pursuit of his dream to become the best footballer on the planet.It wasn't long before he had the biggest clubs in Europe knocking on his door, but it was Manchester United who won the race for his signature. Under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ronaldo developed into the complete footballer and athlete, winning three league titles and a Champions League, and cementing his status as a United legend, along the way.He then became the biggest galáctico of them all when he transferred to Real Madrid for a record-breaking fee. However, he has endured a difficult relationship with managers, teammates and the fans - and with only one La Liga title and one Champions League win to his name, his time at the club has often been overshadowed by his fierce rivalry with Barcelona and Lionel Messi.Guillem Balagué, respected football journalist and expert on the Spanish game, provides the definitive account of what has made Ronaldo the player and man that he is today.
By Guillem Balague
The story of one of the greatest footballers of all time, Barcelona and Argentina's Lionel Messi.'I have seen the player who will inherit my place in Argentine football and his name is Messi' Diego MaradonaDespite all the fame and adulation, remarkably little is known about Lionel Messi, the modest and intensely private footballing genius. Just how did the boy from Rosario, Argentina, become the world's greatest player?Guillem Balague has had unprecedented access to Messi's inner circle: his coaches, team-mates and family. In addition, Pep Guardiola has provided exclusive analysis of the player. The result is an authoritative and compelling account of the wonderful mystery that is Messi.'I can tell my grandkids one day that I coached Lionel Messi' Pep Guardiola
By Jon Spurling
From Herbert Chapman to Arsène Wenger, this is the definitive history of Arsenal's time at the famous Highbury stadium.After several years of sitting in Highbury's local pubs and cafés with a Dictaphone, Jon Spurling has pooled hours of interviews with fans, programme sellers, local publicans and even those who dug the foundations of the Laundry End (and later cleared rubbish from its terraces) to meticulously construct the biography of the ground and chart the ups and downs of one of England's greatest league clubs. Spurling has also spoken to numerous players: the late greats of yesteryear (Ted Drake, George Male and Reg Lewis), as well as legends of a more recent vintage - from Bob Wilson, Charlie George and Malcolm MacDonald to Anders Limpar and various legends of the Wenger era, including Patrick Vieira. Written in the year that Arsenal moved to the Emirates, Jon Spurling has produced the definitive account of the club's 93 years at Highbury.
Making it Happen
By Carl Hester, Bernadette Hewitt
The lively memoirs of dressage rider and Olympic Gold medallist Carl Hester, with a foreword by Martin Clunes.Carl Hester is one of the greatest ever equestrians, leading Great Britain to Gold Medal victory at the London 2012 Olympics. In these vibrant memoirs, he tells the incredible story of the passion for horse-riding which revolutionised his life and made him the champion he is today.Carl grew up on the remote Channel Island of Sark, moving to the UK mainland at the age of 16 to work with horses, mainly as a way to leave home. He could never have predicted what a great affinity he would have for dressage. Carl's career enjoyed a stratospheric rise as he progressed from working as a groom/rider to riding international dressage horses full time for renowned owners Dr and Mrs Bechtolsheimer, to training his own horses, and other top riders, to international success.Carl's early career revealed someone capable of monumental achievements. He provides a rare insight into both the people and the horses that drove him to victory, initially the skewbald mare Jolly Dolly on which he won the 1985 Young Riders Dressage Championship. During the early 1990s he rode in the World Championships, the European Championships and the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, becoming Great Britain's youngest ever rider to compete in the Games. His riding skills have increased with age, culminating in the hugely successful years as part of the Gold Medal teams that won the 2011 European Dressage Championships and, of course, that made history at London 2012. He achieved both feats on the same extraordinary horse, Uthopia, while as a trainer he produced the even more remarkable combination of Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro.A first-class sportsman and a witty and engaging writer, Carl now offers his admirers the opportunity to read an intelligent, humorous and, above all, inspiring account of his life - from the ups and downs of his career to the motivations and techniques which have helped him to win 66 national titles, represent Team GB at four Olympic Games, two World Championships and seven European Championships, and become one of the best riders - and horsemen - in the world.
The Life and Times of Herbert Chapman
By Patrick Barclay
The definitive story of the father of modern football, Herbert Chapman.Herbert Chapman, the boss of the all-conquering Arsenal team of the 1930s, was the father of all football managers, arguably the greatest of all time and certainly the most imaginative. Much of the game's scenery, including floodlights and numbered shirts, was pioneered by Chapman. The legacy of his tactical approach also survives to this day: fast and lethal counter-attack was his invention. As a player, a bustling attacker, Chapman was a relative journeyman. He moved into management at the age of 29 with Northampton Town, and from then it was a swift climb to remarkable eminence. At Huddersfield in the 1920s he built a team that was to win three consecutive League titles. When he left for Arsenal and the richer potential of the capital, his new club - which, like Huddersfield, had won nothing before his arrival - became the most famous in the world. Arsenal were champions in 1931 and two years later completed their own hat-trick of titles. Although the 55-year-old Chapman died prematurely before the second title was celebrated at Highbury, his bequest has proved immortal. Patrick Barclay's perceptive and highly informed biography weaves Chapman's story into the momentous times through which he lived: the profound tragedy of the First World War into which several of his players were drawn, the subsequent General Strike and Depression, and the rise of Fascism. Among those influenced by his footballing legacy are such Arsenal successors as George Graham (who made a close study of his life) and Arsene Wenger, who was fully aware of Chapman's special place in the pantheon before taking over at Highbury in 1996. Chapman had the name of its nearest Tube station changed from Gillespie Road to Arsenal, but it was more than a club that he put on the map. As Sir Matt Busby, the builder of Manchester United, was to assert, Herbert Chapman changed the game of football.
Space Below My Feet
By Gwen Moffat
A classic mountaineering memoir by one of the UK's foremost female climbers.In 1945, when Gwen Moffat was in her twenties, she deserted from her post as a driver and dispatch rider in the Army and went to live rough in Wales and Cornwall, climbing and living on practically nothing. She hitch-hiked her way around, travelling from Skye to Chamonix and many places in between, with all her possessions on her back, although these amounted to little more than a rope and a sleeping bag.When the money ran out, she worked as a forester, went winkle-picking on the Isle of Skye, acted as the helmsman of a schooner and did a stint as an artist's model. And always there were the mountains, drawing her away from a 'proper' job.Throughout this unique story, there are acutely observed accounts of mountaineering exploits as Moffat tackles the toughest climbs and goes on to become Britain's leading female climber - and the first woman to qualify as a mountain guide.
Countdown to Lockdown
By Mick Foley
See the world through the eyes of champion wrestler Mick Foley as he looks back on his days in the WWE.As one of the most bizarre and fearless stars of wrestling in recent times, Mick is known for taking extraordinary risks to remain at the peak of his game. COUNTDOWN TO LOCKDOWN is a no-holds-barred, behind-the-scenes account of his mental and physical preparation for the TNA Lockdown - in many ways, the most important wrestling match of his career. This is placed in context by Foley's memories, thoughts and opinions of WWE as well as his life outside the ring, from the Benoit deaths and the 'Royal Rumble' to Sierra Leone and his meeting with former president, Bill Clinton.Full of action from inside the ring, the drama of his last days with the WWE, Foley's trademark humour as well as an industry insider's view of professional wrestling today, Foley's many fans will not be disappointed.
Pushing the Limits
By Casey Stoner
The two-time World MotoGP champion's own explosive storyShowing anything is possible when determination meets talent, two-time World MotoGP champion Casey Stoner shares his incredible journey from Queensland toddler with an extraordinary ability on a motorbike, to his decision to retire at twenty-seven with nothing left to prove.For the first time, he tells of his early family life, the development of his riding skills and why his parents decided to sell everything and travel from Australia to Europe to chase the dream and support his aim to become World Champion when he was only fourteen years old.As fearless with his opinions as he is on the racetrack, Casey includes all the highs and lows of his life so far: the real reason he left for Europe so young, his thoughts on racing as it stands today, the riders' hierarchy, the politics of racing, the importance of family, his battle with illness and why he decided to turn his back on a multimillion-dollar contract when he was still winning. And he will let us in on some of the new goals he has set for himself.PUSHING THE LIMITS is a unique and remarkable account of self-sacrifice and tenacity to succeed against the odds, the uplifting story of a young Australian who took on the world on his terms, his way ... and won.
By Ronnie O'Sullivan
World snooker champion Ronnie O'Sullivan's frank and honest account of his astonishingly dramatic life.Running is my drug. To be honest, drugs (and alcohol) used to be my drug, but now I've got the healthiest addiction going.Running is what has helped me fight my demons, win five world snooker championships, and cope with all the crap life's thrown at me. They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and in this book I look at everything that hasn't killed me, but has had a good go - my addictive personality, depression, my dad's murder conviction, the painful break-up with the mother of my children, the difficulty of balancing family life with that of a sportsman. Those are the downers.But it's also about the great things in my life - my kids, snooker, my dad's release from prison, great mates who have helped me, and the psychiatrist Dr Steve Peters who has taught me how not to run away from life when it gets tricky.For the first time, I explain some of my madder moments - why I walked out in the middle of a match against Stephen Hendry, why I sat with a wet cloth over my face in a match against Mark King.This is a book about what it takes to be a champion - the sacrifices you have to make, the obsessive practice, the selfishness. Finally, it's a book about what it's like to get the buzz. and I hope anybody who's ever got the running buzz will relate to this.
By Guillem Balague
'Pep' Guardiola has transformed Barcelona into arguably the greatest club side of all time, and this entertainingly perceptive biography explains how.Guardiola spent the majority of his playing days with Barca and was an integral part of Johan Cruyff's European Cup-winning 'dream team'. But it was on retiring from playing that he really made his mark on the club. After travelling the world, he became a coach of the Barcelona reserve team, and a year later, in 2008, he was appointed the first-team manager. The club went on to win an unprecedented 13 of the 16 competitions they entered under his leadership, and he became the youngest ever manager to win the Champions League. Then, at the end of the 2012 season, after having been awarded the FIFA WORLD COACH OF THE YEAR, he resigned following four years of unprecedented achievement. He immediately became the most sought-after free-agent in football, and his next move was keenly anticipated.Some call Guardiola's influence on Barca revolution, others evolution. Whatever the answer, the impact he has had goes beyond football. He represents a style, a club, a country and even old-fashioned values, at a time when they seem so scarce. Guillem Balagué's insightful book reveals how Pep Guardiola's Barcelona played the 'Beautiful Game' - and won.
By Colin Montgomerie
The autobiography of Colin Montgomerie, the triumphant Ryder Cup captain and one of Britain's most successful golfers.Colin Montgomerie is a golfing legend. Ranked Europe's No. 1 for an unparalleled seven years in a row, he is equally renowned as a player of great passion. The son of a keen Scottish golfing family, Colin was already showing his prodigious talent as a young boy. After completing his education in America, where he benefited from a golf scholarship, Colin turned professional in 1987, beginning a truly remarkable career.Even with more than 40 international tournament victories and eight European Order of Merit titles to his name, Monty is perhaps best known for his amazing contributions to the European Ryder Cup team, eight times as a player, winning five times and undefeated in singles, and most recently as a victorious European Ryder Cup captain, amid unforgettable scenes at Celtic Manor in October 2010.Montgomerie's autobiography is the story of both a fantastic talent and a complex personality, and of a golfer who remains determined to add to his already impressive achievements. It is a book about one of the greatest golfing characters in the world trying to achieve a personal and professional balance. And it is about a true hero of the Ryder Cup.
By Louis Smith
Illustrated memoir of Olympic heartthrob and STRICTLY COME DANCING winner, Louis Smith.In 2008, Louis Smith was the first Briton in over 100 years to win an Olympic medal in individual gymnastics. In 2012 he followed up that triumph with two more. Since then, Louis has been crowned the winner of STRICTLY COME DANCING with his partner Flavia and he is now setting his sights on designing his own clothing range. Now you can follow him backstage to see what it is like to be one of the UK's hottest new stars.Louis was brought up by his mum in Peterborough and ever since he could walk he wanted to run. He was diagnosed with ADHD and needed a positive outlet for his energy so on his fourth birthday he began gymnastics classes. His strength, flexibility and talent were spotted almost immediately and so began the early starts, the late finishes and the weekends spent in the gym. Louis won his first medal at 14 and all the hard work and financial sacrifice were put into perspective. Louis wanted to win and represent his country at the Olympics. From that point, there was no looking back.Here, in his own official book, Louis tells the story of his amazing journey in full. Beautifully designed and jam packed full of exclusive unseen photos of Louis on and off the gymnastics and dance floors, plus private captured moments, the incredible story of Louis's rise to fame is a must-have for any true fan and the perfect gift for Christmas.