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.
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 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.
By A.P. McCoy
The fully updated autobiography of Tony 'A.P.' McCoy, Grand National and BBC SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR winner and unquestionably the greatest jump jockey ever.Tony 'A.P.' McCoy is without doubt the greatest and most successful jump jockey of all time. He has collected a record 16 consecutive jump-jockey titles to date, since 1992 he has ridden more than 3,000 winners, saying 'I never stop dreaming of the day I'll reach 4,000', and in 2002 he beat Sir Gordon Richards's record of 269 winners in a season by riding 289. In April 2010, A.P. achieved his lifelong ambition when he won the Grand National at Aintree on Don't Push It. It was his 15th attempt to win the race, a victory that captured the public's imagination and further enhanced a glittering career in which he had seemingly won all there was to win. It was the missing piece in the racing jigsaw for a champion jockey who had already had famous victories in the King George VI Chase, Champion Hurdle, Champion Chase and Cheltenham Gold Cup.This powerfully honest autobiography looks at life at the very top in National Hunt racing, and includes the highs and lows of A.P. winning his second Gold Cup, in 2012 on Synchronised, fifteen years after his first, only to see the horse put down after a fall in that year's Grand National.These are the memoirs of a true champion, an icon of sport, whose astonishing achievements are unlikely to be surpassed. It is a great story of courage and modesty, pain and professional setbacks, strong family values and sporting triumphs, the good guy coming first - and staying there.
Road to Valour
By Aili McConnon, Andres McConnon
ROAD TO VALOUR is the inspiring, against-the-odds story of Gino Bartali, the cyclist who made the greatest comeback in Tour de France history and continues to hold the record for the longest time-span between victories. Yet what ensured his permanent place in Italian hearts and minds were his actions in between, when he secretly aided the Italian Resistance during World War II.Aili and Andres McConnon chronicle Bartali's journey, starting in impoverished rural Tuscany where a scrawny, mischievous boy painstakingly saves his money to buy a bicycle, and before long is racking up wins throughout the country. At the age of 24, he stuns the world by winning the Tour de France, becoming an international sports icon in the process. But Mussolini's Fascists hijack his victory for propaganda purposes, derailing Bartali's career, and as the Nazis occupy Italy, Bartali undertakes dangerous missions to help those being targeted. He shelters a family of Jews in an apartment he financed with his cycling winnings and is able to smuggle counterfeit identity documents hidden in his bicycle past Nazi checkpoints under the guise of being a national hero in training. After the gruelling wartime years, Bartali fights to rebuild his career as Italy emerges from the rubble. Despite numerous setbacks and a legendary snowstorm in the Alps, the chain-smoking, Chianti-loving, 34-year-old underdog comes back and wins the most difficult endurance competition on earth - the Tour de France. Bartali's inspiring performance helps unite his fractured homeland and restore pride and spirit to a country still reeling from war and despair.Based on nearly ten years of research in Italy, France, and Israel, including interviews with Bartali's family, former teammates, a Holocaust survivor Bartali saved, and many others, this is the first book ever written about Bartali in English and the only book written in any language to fully explore the scope of Bartali's wartime work. Road to Valour is the breathtaking account of one man's unsung heroism and his resilience in the face of adversity. An epic tale of courage, comeback and redemption, it is the untold story of one of the greatest athletes of the twentieth century.
By Colin Montgomerie
Autobiography of triumphant Ryder Cup captain and great golfer, Colin Montgomerie.Colin Montgomerie is a golfing legend. Ranked Europe's number one golfer 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 small 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 over forty international tournament victories and eight European Order of Merit titles, Monty is best known for his amazing contributions to the European Ryder Cup team; eight times as a player and undefeated in singles, and most recently, as the victorious 2010 European Ryder Cup Captain.Montgomerie's autobiography is the story of both a prodigious talent and complex personality who at forty-seven 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 the necessary personal and professional balance. And it is about the hero of the Ryder Cup - five times a winner, culminating in victory as team captain and the unforgettable scenes at Celtic Manor in October 2010.
By Mark Todd
The greatest equestrian of the 20th century makes a stunning comeback in the 21st century.Mark Todd's eventing career is the stuff of legend and encompasses one of the greatest sporting comebacks of all time.When he 'retired' from competing in eventing in 2000, he had already been named 'Rider of the Century' for his natural empathy with a horse and his extraordinary success, which included back-to-back Olympic gold medals, five Burghley wins and three Badminton victories. He has also show jumped to Olympic level and trained winners on the racecourse. Considered a legendary horseman by his peers, he seemed to have done it all.He returned to train racehorses in his native New Zealand but, eight years later, the idea of a comeback took root, part dare, part personal challenge to see if he could still cut it in a changed sport. Within eight months, he was riding at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and in 2011, he hit the headlines by becoming the oldest rider to win Badminton. He is now at the forefront of New Zealand's resurgence ahead of the London Olympic Games.The story of his progress from dairy farmer to world renown is told with typically laid-back humour, but it reveals the fierce determination, discipline and personal sacrifice which lies behind the relaxed outlook.
Thommo Speaks Out
By Ashley Mallett
'I just run in and go whang.'This is how Jeff Thomson, the fastest bowler of all times, explains his technique. Thommo was feared by batsmen all around the world. Sri Lankan Sunil Wettimuny recalls facing one of Thommo's balls: 'Never before or since that day did I know fear on the cricket field.'Mike Brearley, the Middlesex captain who led England during the World Series Cricket incursion, said of Thommo: 'Broken marriages, conflicts of loyalty, the problems of everyday life fall away as one faces up to Thomson.'Greg Chappell, Thommo's former captain, put it this way, 'I don't care if Thommo hasn't a clue where they are going, he'll frighten these blokes out. They'll be so desperate to get to the other end they'll run themselves out.'This is Jeff Thomson's story, from the cricket fields of his Sydney schoolboy days to the international matches and beyond, as told to Ashley Mallet by Thommo, his former team mates and his opponents.Thommo's legendary partnership with Dennis Lillee, a combination known as Lillian Thomson, was one of the most lethal in the history of cricket. As the caption to Paul Rigby's famous cartoon said:'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - if Thommo don't get ya, Lillee must . . .'
By Christian Ryan
Kim Hughes was one of the most majestic and daring batsmen to play for Australia in the last 40 years. Golden curled and boyishly handsome, his rise and fall as captain and player is unparalleled in our cricketing history. He played at least three innings that count as all-time classics, but it's his tearful resignation from the captaincy that is remembered.Insecure but arrogant, abrasive but charming; in Hughes' character were the seeds of his own destruction. Yet was Hughes' fall partly due to those around him, men who are themselves legends in Australia's cricketing history? Lillee, Marsh, the Chappells, all had their agendas, all were unhappy with his selection and performance as captain - evidenced by Dennis Lillee's tendency to aim bouncers relentlessly at Hughes' head during net practice.Hughes' arrival on the Test scene coincided with the most turbulent time Australian cricket has ever seen - first Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, then the rebel tours to South Africa. Both had dramatic effects on Hughes' career. As he traces the high points and the low, Chris Ryan sheds new and fascinating light on the cricket - and the cricketers - of the times.
By Greg Growden
Jack Fingleton is one of Australian cricket's most important and intriguing characters. In John Arlott's words: 'He is himself?and a diverse himself it is.'Fingleton was an outstanding opening batsman with a reputation for fearlessness against the most hostile and dangerous opening attacks. He faced up to England's feared 'Bodyline' bowlers, and became the first batsman in history to score four successive Test centuries.Later he gained a reputation as possibly Australia's greatest cricket writer, with his work syndicated throughout Australia and overseas. He also moved in the corridors of power as a political journalist, and was on intimate terms with several prime ministers. He was the author of a number of authoritative books, including Cricket Crisis and Brightly Fades the Don.Fingleton led a varied and at times turbulent life. Married to the daughter of noted feminist Jessie Street, over several decades he was involved in an on-again, off-again feud with one-time teammate Sir Donald Bradman. Greg Growden's access to previously unpublished correspondence has helped him shed new light on their relationship, and on the rich life of a witty, evocative, complex and altogether unforgettable Australian.