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No sport has undergone so traumatic a transformation as rugby since the turn of the century. The last of the major sports to be granted a licence to make or dispense money, rugby was propelled on a trajectory that has twisted its cumbersome frame to the very limits of integrity and continues to do so. The pressures exerted throughout, on infrastructure, economics, administrators and, most poignantly of all, the players themselves, have conjured the perpetual impression of a sport on the brink of explosion or implosion, a drama compelling and appalling to behold. Unholy Union is a snapshot of the sport in the early 21st century, pulling apart how we have come to be where we are, while brazenly prescribing what needs to be done next. It is ambitious in its scope, drawing on rugby's long history from the same cradle as its bigger sister, association football, while tapping into the edgy, prescriptive zeitgeist of this raging age of social media. This book will be irreverent and provocative, asking uncomfortable questions of rugby, sport and life, but it will be imbued throughout with love for a game whose ancient spirit is that of the foot soldier, that of the cavalier. The task at hand is to preserve it in the face of the professional onslaught.
Jim Baxter was one of Scotland's greatest-ever football players, a left-footed wonder who became a Rangers icon and a leading member of the celebrated Scotland side of the 1960s. In this insightful biography, Tom Miller takes an in-depth look at the legend known as Slim Jim. Baxter joined Rangers in 1960 for a then record transfer fee of GBP 17,500 and quickly showed his worth, helping them to an incredible run of ten trophy victories between 1960 and 1965. He also played an instrumental role in Scotland's strong international run, especially playing against England, where in 1963 he scored both goals in a 2-1 victory after Scotland were reduced to ten players. And his 1967 game of keepieuppie, while waiting for teammates to get into position, in the midst of the British Home Championship has gone down in football history. Yet off the field, Baxter was a contradictory character. Though an affable man who eschewed the sectarianism that blighted Glasgow football, he was also a gambler and regularly drank to excess. After stints at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest, his football career ended with a brief spell at Rangers again. Baxter died of pancreatic cancer in 2001. In this insightful biography, lifelong fan Tom Miller brings Slim Jim and his passion for Rangers to life, capturing the halcyon days of 1960s football and charting the rise and fall of arguably the greatest footballer Scotland has ever produced.
Our view of football will never be the same again. Written by a
world-respected football historian, this football unique gift title
reveals the global game's greatest myths and untruths.
Red Card Roy is the jaw-dropping story of terrace cult hero Roy McDonough - Britain's wildest footballer who was sent off a record 22 times in a career of more than 650 games, 100 goals, thousands of beers and, allegedly, 400 women. From his first sending off, aged 15, and the time he tried to strangle the referee in a school's cup final, Red Card Roy is a rollercoaster ride of football, violence, sex and booze. Featuring a who's who cast from football in the 70s, 80s and 90s - from his unlikely friendship with the late, great Bobby Moore to his run-ins with current Premier League managers David Moyes, Martin O'Neill and Tony Pulis (who he kung-fu kicked to the floor after five minutes of an FA Cup tie). But beyond the elbows and the early baths, the booze, the birds and the brawls, there is a poignant human story - the ultra-competitive dad, the uncontrollable temper and the uncanny ability to make the wrong decision at the wrong time, all of which cost him the chance to play football at the highest level and sent Roy down a path of self-destruction...albeit one along which he had the time of his life!
Has any county cricket club come close to the success of Warwickshire in the summer of 1994? Boosted by the late signing of Brian Lara, inspired by the maverick captain Dermot Reeve, fine-tuned by the ground-breaking coach Bob Woolmer, the little-fancied Bears won three trophies and were runners-up in the fourth. Patrick Murphy, working for the BBC in the Midlands, saw much of the action that summer, and in 'The Greatest Season' he tells the extraordinary story, drawing on the testimony not only of the team and the backroom staff but of many of their outwitted opponents. Though the tale has its moments of conflict and sadness, 'The Greatest Season' is above all a celebratory book, enhanced by previously unseen images from photographer Graham Morris.
Get inside the mind of football's most enigmatic icon `Zidane is the master' Pele One of modern football's most brilliant players - and one of its most iconic and mysterious figures - Zinedine Zidane's football career is the stuff of legend. A World Cup-winner with France, he became the world's most expensive player in 2001 when he moved from Juventus to Real Madrid for GBP46million, where his exceptional talent earned him a reputation as one of the greatest players of all-time. His playing career concluded explosively when he retired after being sent off for head-butting Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final. But his football career was far from over. After a spell coaching in Spain, he was appointed manager of Real Madrid in 2015 and immediately demonstrated that his skill as a manager matched his talent on the pitch, leading the team to successive Champions League victories and establishing him as one of the new managerial greats. Rarely speaking to the press, Zidane is known as a man who `speaks only with the ball'. In this definitive biography, Patrick Fort and Jean Philippe take us behind the scenes of his exceptional career, revealing the man behind the legend.
'An astonishing work of research, detail and revelation. Bulging with information, packed with nuggets.' John Etheridge, Sun 'Superbly researched... His eye for detail never wavers. It's a pleasure to read.' Vic Marks, Observer 'The Cricket Book of the Year: Dauntingly comprehensive and surprisingly light-footed.' Simon Briggs, Daily Telegraph England: The Biography is the most comprehensive account of the England cricket team that has ever been published, taking the reader into the heart of the action and the team dynamics that have helped shape their success, or otherwise. It is now 140 years since England first played Test match cricket and, for much of that time, it has struggled to perform to the best of its capabilities. In the early years, amateurs would pick and choose which matches and tours they would play; subsequently, the demands of the county game - and the petty jealousies that created - would prevent many from achieving their best. It was only in the 1990s that central contracts were brought in, and Team England began to receive the best possible support from an ever-increasing backroom team. But cricket isn't just about structures, it depends like no other sport on questions of how successful the captain is in motivating and leading his team, and how well different personalities and egos are integrated and managed in the changing room. From Joe Root and Alastair Cook back to Mike Atherton, Mike Brearley and Ray Illingworth, England captains have had a heavy influence on proceedings. Recent debates over Kevin Pietersen were nothing new, as contemporaries of W.G.Grace would doubtless recognise. As England play their 1000th Test, this is a brilliant and unmissable insight into the ups and downs of that story.
In this highly entertaining book Fred Rumsey looks back on an eventful life, in which he opened the bowling for England in five Tests, single-handedly advanced the idea of a Professional Cricketers' Association, pioneered the development of public relations in cricket, played a leading role in the expansion of the Lord's Taverners and developed cricket and football tournaments in the Caribbean. There is fun aplenty, as befits one who was a friend of comedians Eric Morecambe and Dave Allen, but there is also a sense of social purpose, to be found not only in the years when he took on cricket's establishment but in his long service to the charity work of the Lord's Taverners and his close bond with the anti-apartheid South African journalist Donald Woods. From the poignancy of his description of an East End childhood during the Blitz to the wonderfully funny tale of his sharing a hotel room with Geoffrey Boycott, 'Sense of Humour, Sense of Justice' is full of delights - with insights into a rich array of characters, among them David Gower, Bobby Moore, David Frost and his great mate Colin Milburn.
Here, the author recounts the great past of a historic ground and looks to the future as The Oval unveils a futuristic new stand. He looks at the sporting legends that have graced the turf as well as the treasures hidden in the Members' Pavilion and in the archives.
Autobiography of popular ex-Norwich and Scotland goalkeeper Bryan Gunn, one of the great heroes of the game who, since hanging up his gloves, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for leukaemia charities in memory of his daughter Francesca. Foreword by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Through a breathtaking collection of historic match-worn jerseys, this stunning coffee table book tells the story of the lilywhite shirt and the great players who have pulled it on. In doing so The Spurs Shirt also provides a unique insight into the history of the club itself. Compiled with the help of the key collectors of match worn Tottenham Hotspur shirts, this unique publication showcases both home and away jerseys worn by club legends from Danny Blanchflower and Jimmy Greaves to current icon Harry Kane.
From the team's inception in 1903, the New York Yankees were a floundering group that played as second-class citizens to the New York Giants. With four winning seasons to date, the team was purchased in 1915 by Jacob Ruppert and his partner, Cap "Til" Huston. Three years later, when Ruppert hired Miller Huggins as manager, the unlikely partnership of the two figures began, one that set into motion the Yankees' run as the dominant baseball franchise of the 1920s and the rest of the twentieth century, capturing six American League pennants with Huggins at the helm and four more during Ruppert's lifetime. The Yankees' success was driven by Ruppert's executive style and enduring financial commitment, combined with Huggins's philosophy of continual improvement and personnel development. While Ruppert and Huggins had more than a little help from one of baseball's greats, Babe Ruth, their close relationship has been overlooked in the Yankees' rise to dominance. Though both were small of stature, the two men nonetheless became giants of the game with unassailable mutual trust and loyalty. The Colonel and Hug tells the story of how these two men transformed the Yankees. It also tells the larger story about baseball primarily in the tumultuous period from 1918 to 1929-with the end of the Deadball Era and the rise of the Lively Ball Era, a gambling scandal, and the collapse of baseball's governing structure-and the significant role the Yankees played in it all. While the hitting of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig won many games for New York, Ruppert and Huggins institutionalized winning for the Yankees.
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