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.
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.
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.