The future of football management is a hot topic of debate. An unprecedented spate of sackings in the 2001-02 season and the manner of many of the dismissals filled the back pages. There has even been talk of managers going on strike to defend their ill-treated colleagues.
Packed with big names and exclusive stories, The Sack Race challenges the sanitised picture of football management portrayed in glossy autobiographies. It lays bare a profession where pressure to obtain results is immense and the tolerance of failure is low. Despite football's supposed professionalism, we learn that 'The Gaffer' is often an ill-prepared ex-player who has hopped onto the managerial merry-go-round more as a perceived 'character' than a qualified coach.
This remarkable book traces the development of the football manager's role, offers a critique of the way the game trains its coaches for management and raises valid concerns about the suitability of their employers - the directors whose impatience creates a climate of fear and insecurity. Finally, it asks the controversial question - does 'The Gaffer' have a future?
The top snooker players in the world compete for several trophies every year, but one carries more prestige than all the others put together - the World Championship. No other tournament in the sport carries with it so much history, so many golden moments of spectacular success and dramatic failure.
Meticulously researched and including exclusive interview material with Steve Davis, Stephen Hendry and 2005 world champion Shaun Murphy, among others, Masters of the Baize is a comprehensive guide to the men who have lifted the greatest prize in snooker.
From the legendary Joe Davis, the first champion in 1927, to modern-day masters like Mark Williams, all the sport's world champions are put under the microscope, while the colourful careers of forgotten figures such as Walter Donaldson and John Pulman and rogue heroes like Alex Higgins and Ronnie O'Sullivan are brought vividly to life.
After uncovering the inauspicious origins of the game in nineteenth-century India, the authors examine every former world champion in his own comprehensive chapter. Additionally, a special section focuses on the extraordinary popularity of Jimmy White, by far the greatest player never to have won the title and one of the most emotive names in the sport.
Not Waving But Drowning tells the harrowing true story of one man's childhood struggle against poverty and his subsequent drive to become a policeman in the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
From his earliest days, Edmund Gregory possessed an awareness beyond his years. During the course of his parents' turbulent and doomed marriage, he soaked up the horror of seeing his mother and father tearing each other apart. After they separated, he experienced a lonely boyhood, starved of affection, while living in welfare homes, dingy Belfast bedsits, and a sordid care home for young boys. However, Gregory later found solace in his marriage to Agnes, and in a concerted effort to drag himself and his new family out of poverty, he joined the Royal Ulster Constabulary.
After five trauma-filled years serving in Belfast's riot squads, Gregory transferred into the somewhat elitist VIP protection branch of the RUC, where he was involved in providing bodyguard protection to many high-threat members of Northern Ireland's establishment. While working within that unit, he was also involved in teams protecting several members of the Royal family and then US President Bill Clinton throughout the course of their visits to the Province.
During his last four years in the force, Gregory was charged with protecting the Reverend Ian Paisley's deputy, Peter Robinson MP, an outspoken personality who was under constant and serious threat of assassination. After 21 years of service, however, Gregory was diagnosed as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which resulted in his medical retirement.
Not Waving But Drowning is an emotionally charged journey through Gregory's impoverished childhood and the dark underbelly of his later life as a policeman in Northern Ireland performing what was, according to Interpol, the most dangerous policing role in the world.
Cricket has an alarming suicide rate.
Among international players for England and several other countries it is far above the national average for all sports: and there have been numerous instances at other levels of the game.
For thirty years, celebrated cricket author David Frith has collected data on this sad subject. Silence of the Heart is his compelling account of over a hundred cricketers - involving top names from the past hundred years - who have taken their own lives, with an explanation of factors that led to their premature deaths.
Can the shocking rate of self-destruction among cricketers be reduced? Can those who run the game do something to save its participants from this dreadful fate? These are among the questions addressed within this catalogue of biographies. But the key question is whether cricket itself is to blame for its losses - or is that this summer game attracts people of a melancholic and over-sensitive nature?
Stoddart, Shrewsbury, Gimblett, Bairstow, Trott, Iverson, Robertson-Glasgow, Barnes . . . There remains a sense of disbelief that these high-profile cricketers killed themselves. And many more cases are examined in this extraordinary book, which comes crammed with detail, is not devoid of humour, and must rank among the most intricately researched volumes in cricket's extensive library.
With a foreword by former England captain Mike Brearley, now a psychotherapist, Silence of the Heart is a startling investigative narrative covering the phenomenon of cricket's unduly high level of suicide.
Marvin Andrews is an extraordinary footballer whose talent has seen him quickly progress from barefoot kickabouts on the dusty streets of his Caribbean neighbourhood to top-flight Scottish football and 99 international appearances with 'Soca Warriors' Trinidad and Tobago. Beginning his professional career with Trinidadian club San Juan Jabloteh in 1995, he came to Scotland in 1997, where his achievements include a Scottish Cup win with Livingston in 2003-04 and a Premier League title win with Rangers in 2004-05.
In Marvellous Marvin, Andrews reveals what it felt like to play alongside some of the greatest names in the modern game, frankly opines about playing in the notorious Rangers-Celtic Old Firm clashes in an atmosphere of religious rivalry and discusses how his faith has led him away from a wild life of women, alcohol and gambling to one of high morals and born-again Christianity.
Marvellous Marvin is a football autobiography with a difference by one of the game's true characters. Nicknamed 'Dog' in Trinidad due to his fierce-but-fair defending, and known as the 'Gentle Giant' amongst Scottish fans, this is the story of Marvin Andrews: preacher, pastor, healer . . . and top-class footballer.
Of all the extraordinary individual accounts that have come out of the Second World War and its aftermath, few can compare with that of Eric Pleasants, a member of the 'bastard' British wing of Hitler's SS - the British Free Corps. In this compelling autobiography, Pleasants writes of the bizarre and traumatic years he spent as a prisoner of the twentieth century's most notorious dictators.
A life-long pacifist, Pleasants spent the early years of the war on occupied Jersey. He was imprisoned by the Nazis for petty crimes and the years that followed held a whirlwind of unexpected turns. He lived life on the run in occupied Paris, was captured and recruited into the British Free Corps of the Waffen SS, found love with a young German woman, witnessed the bombing of Dresden and attempted to escape from Soviet troops along the sewers of Berlin. When the war ended, Pleasants found himself on the Communist side of the Iron Curtain. By now a strong man in a travelling circus, he was arrested by the KGB on charges of espionage and sentenced to 25 years' slave labour in the notorious camps of Artic Russia.
Only with Stalin's death in 1953 was Pleasants finally released from his unique kind of purgatory, after nearly half a lifetime of peripatetic nightmare. He died in 1998 at the age of 87. Hitler's Bastard remains a remarkable testimony to his imperishable will to survive.
Fifty Shades Darker
Daunted by the dark secrets of the tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Ana Steele has broken off their relationship. But when Christian proposes a new arrangement, she cannot resist. Soon she is learning more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades than she ever thought possible.
Fifty Shades Freed
Anastasia Steele always knew that loving Christian Grey would not be easy, and being together poses challenges neither of them had anticipated. But, finally together, they have love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of infinite possibilities.
Then just when it seems that they really do have it all, tragedy and fate combine to make Ana's worst nightmares come true...