Sports & Adventure Biographies

  • MREP
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    Jurgen Grobler, one of Britain's most esteemed sporting coaches and the mastermind behind many Olympic rowing successes, has remained largely out of the spotlight throughout his life.

    This biography, written by Olympic medallist Hugh Matheson and rowing historian Christopher Dodd, looks at the ways in which he has inspired Britain's rowing teams so so many Gold medals.

    Grobler has worked with athletes including Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent and James Cracknell over the years and won Gold in a range of boat classes. This book looks over his career - from his early years in the German Democratic Republic to the fall of the Berlin Wall and then a move to Britain in pursuit of rowing greatness.
  • TEDL
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    Dougie Lampkin, the world's greatest off-road rider, talks about his life in motorcycling in this incredible and unique autobiography.

    He reveals the inspirations behind his stunts and how he always believed he was set for a life on two wheels - his dad placed a motorcycle next to his cot before he arrived home for the first time, after all!

    Dougie comes from a family of sportsmen and had won seven consecutive outdoor world titles and five indoor world titles, earning him the MBE by the age of 25 and this book he brings the excitement of his sport vividly to life - sharing behind-the-scenes drama of his Red Bull challenges including riding over a multi-million-pound F1 car without leaving a scratch.

    For fans of: Guy Martin, Michael Dunlop, Carl Fogarty
  • Sir Matt Busby - Hardback - 9781785032066 - Patrick Barclay
    MTTB
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    Manchester United's identity as an attacking force can all be tracked back to one man - legendary manager, Sir Matt Busby.

    With an emphasis on young, local players, Busby's football teams played a quick, passing, attacking game that entertained fans in their droves. However, tragedy struck when his 'Busby Babes' team were involved in the 1958 Munich air disaster where 23 people died (including eight players). This definitive biography looks at the effect of this tragedy and how, a decade later, Busby led a new United team to triumph as they won the European Cup.

    With interviews with players including Sir Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and Nobby Styles, who reveal just what it felt like to play for one of the greatest and most influential football managers of all time, this book reveals the qualities that set Busby apart.
  • TOLR
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    Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand's BBC documentary Being Mum and Dad was one of the most heartbreaking shows of the year. It found the former footballer describing the experiences he went through after losing his wife, Rebecca, to cancer in 2015 and Rio talked candidly about how it felt to suddenly find himself a single parent and taking on the role of both mother and father.

    In Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad, Rio shares how his grief has affected every aspect of his life and aims to inspire and help any others who have found themselves in similar situations, especially men who have a habit of bottling up their emotions. Honest and courageous, this is a very emotional and important book.

    He also looks back on happier times, describing how he met Rebecca and fondly recalling their wedding. Rio reveals the advice and support that helped him piece his life back together and encourages readers to find the help they need in tough times.
  • Steve Backshall's Wildlife Adventurer's Guide - Paperback - 9781472930552 - Steve Backshall
    SBWA
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    Steve Backshall is a popular explorer and familiar figure from TV who is renowned for his intrepid attitude and love of animals and nature. In this eye-opening book, he gives tips on everything from snorkelling to tree climbing.

    A very hands-on guide bursting with practical advice on how to get involved with wildlife, it mainly focuses on Britain and northern Europe and is packed with practical advice. Among its activities are ones you can carry out on the coast, in the mountains and in wetlands and woodlands. He even reveals how mountain-biking and climbing are among the best ways of exploring our natural beauty.

    A great book for anyone who wants to get closer to nature, Steve also offers practical advice on bushcraft and survival.
  • A Life in Football: My Autobiography - Hardback - 9781472123589 - Ian Wright
    ALIF
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    One of the most recognisable - and possibly loudest - characters in football, Arsenal legend Ian Wright talks about the career that took him from non-league football to Highbury and then into punditry in his highly entertaining memoir, A Life in Football.

    A fantastic gift for any football fan, you can hear Wrighty's voice as he reveals all about what it was like playing for Crystal Palace and then moving on to Arsenal where he won trophies and broke records galore. While at the Gunners, the team evolved from George Graham's supposedly 'Boring, boring Arsenal' into a thrilling team managed by Arsene Wenger. Wrighty explains what it was like to be part of this revolution and also discusses his fabourite team mates, what it meant to break Arsenal's goalscoring record and what he really thinks of Tottenham Hotspur...

    He also talks about more personal issues; touching upon everything from spending a week in prison to presenting on primetime television.
  • Unexpected: The Autobiography - Hardback - 9781471162527 - Greg Rutherford
    GRUT
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    Not only a gold medal-winning athlete (in fact, he's one of the most successful British Olympians of all time) but also one of the stars of this year's series of Strictly Come Dancing, Greg Rutherford tells his story in this revealing autobiography.

    One of the few Brits to have won gold at European, Commonwealth, World and Olympic level, he reveals how his route to the top was not a smooth journey. A reckless teenager who would sometimes sleep rough or car surf, he found an outlet in sport.

    He tells how falling short in the Beijing Olympics inspired him to glory on London 2012's unforgettable 'Super Saturday' and explains how his hard work and dedication paid off. An opinionated and likeable figure, he also offers up his thoughts on current issues surrounding the athletics world including doping.
  • Leading - Hardback - 9781473621176 - Alex Ferguson
    FRGU
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    The most decorated manager in the history of football, it's fair to say that former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson knows a few things about leadership. In Leading, he reveals the secrets to his success - both on and off the field.

    A truly inspiring read, Sir Alex looks back over his 38 years in management and tells all about the key tools he used to cover everything from tactics to teamwork and hiring to firing. Covering some of the most pivotal leadership decisions he made during his long and successful tenure at Old Trafford, he aims to provide you with the knowledge of what it takes to make it at the top, whatever your career.

    Not only a great read for Man Utd supporters, but also for anyone interested in the psychology of management at the highest level, this is a collaboration with successful businessman Sir Michael Moritz that is full of hints, tips and advice for becoming a champion.
  • Watching the Wheels - Hardback - 9781509831906 - Damon Hill
    AG1076
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    In the year that marks the 20th anniversary of his glorious World Championship triumph, Damon Hill looks back on his life and Formula 1 career in the eye-opening autobiography, Watching the Wheels.

    The son of Formula 1 driver Graham Hill, Damon candidly reveals what it was like to grow up in such an esteemed family and the grief he suffered when he lost his father at the age of just 15. Despite this, Damon still vowed to race and faced up to his mortality many times on the track.

    When Ayrton Senna, a team-mate of his, was killed during a race in 1994, Damon's life changed forever. Here, he talks about his respect for Ayrton and how much he affected his life. He discusses the various trials, tribulations, successes and failures he encountered along the way to his big success.

    An honest and rewarding read for anyone who loves sport or motor racing, Damon also reveals all about his battles with the other drivers of his era including his great nemesis, Michael Schumacher.
  • JBNN
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    One of the most compelling and controversial characters from 'the Beautiful Game', Joey Barton reveals all in this explosive, warts-and-all autobiography.

    Raw yet redemptive, the book not only finds Joey looking back at a footballing career that has taken in stints at Manchester City, Newcastle, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers but also a troubled personal life that found him being sent to prison for assault in 2008.

    It was this experience, along with the birth of his children, that made Joey sit back and re-evaluate his life and decisions. He claims that football is a sport that 'eats people alive' and in his trademark candid, challenging and entertaining style explains how this and his upbringing affected his decision-making. A popular figure on social media, he also talks about his plans for the future.
  • Blood, Sweat and McAteer - Paperback - 9781473636064 - Jason McAteer
    BSMC
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    The fighting McAteers: that's how the McAteer family of title-winning boxers were known throughout Birkenhead, across the Mersey from Liverpool. But for eleven-year-old Jason McAteer, growing up in the shadow of Liverpool FC, football became the dream. After signing with Bolton Wanderers at the age of twenty-one, the call to the international scene followed with the Republic of Ireland and, soon after, to his beloved Liverpool FC. The dream had become a reality. From his time with the Irish World Cup squad of 1994 to those tumultuous days in Saipan in 2002; on through his decision to leave Liverpool for Blackburn Rovers; his move to Sunderland, and the depression he fell into after finishing his professional career with Tranmere Rovers, Jason McAteer looks back with characteristic honesty and humour on his life - the jokes, the matches, and the personalities. This is the real Jason McAteer: a little bit bruised, a little bit battered. But still fighting.
  • Spaceman - Hardback - 9781471149528 - Mike Massimino
    SPMM
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    Mike Massimino always wanted to be a spaceman. Even being rejected by NASA twice could not stop him achieving his dream. This is his inspirational story.

    Combining high science with thrilling adventure, Mike reveals how even when he was told his eyesight was too poor to be an astronaut, he wouldn't give up on his goal - he simply trained his eyes to be better and was accepted by NASA at the third time of asking.

    This was the beginning of an 18-year career (1996-2014) that found him servicing the Hubble telescope, walking in space and even being the first man to tweet from space. Mike talks movingly about the Columbia tragedy and how it felt to step into a space shuttle following this horrific experience.

    Vivid and awe-inspiring, he also provides a fascinating insight into the hard work, camaraderie and sheet guts it takes to step into space and live as an astronaut.
  • LGWB
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    Famed for his love of motorcycles, Charley Boorman suffered a major road accident in Portugal in February, 2016. Having spent so much of his life on two wheels, the crash left him with a smashed right ankle, severe damage to his left fibia and tibia and serious concerns over whether he would be able to ride a motorbike again...

    Long Way Back is the emotional story of his rehabilitation. He reveals how he was unsure if he'd ever be able to walk properly and recalls everything from the ambulance ride to the Portuguese hospital where operations took place and even the medivac flight back to London.

    Written in alternating chapters during the time he was unable to walk, Charley also provides an introspective account of his childhood and aspiring love of motorbikes and all the formative influences of his life including his touring film director father, long-time friend Ewan McGregor and Jason Connery (Sean's son), the man who introduced him to bikes.
  • My Turn: The Autobiography - Hardback - 9781509813902 - Johan Cruyff
    MYJC
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    The footballing world was shocked and saddened by the death of Dutch legend Johan Cruyff in March this year. Widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, he inspired the likes of Ajax, Barcelona and the Netherlands to glory.

    In his autobiography, My Turn, Johan tells the story of a truly unbelievable sporting career. A player who was synonymous with total football, he helped change the way teams played football and inspired players to break the shackles of convention and play in any position on the pitch. He talks about starting out at Ajax, where he won eight national titles and three European Cups, before moving on to Barcelona, where he quickly won La Liga.

    As well as club success, he also won many individual awards and inspired his country to a World Cup final appearance in 1974. While his playing career went from strength to strength, his off-the-field life was more turbulent - he encountered bankruptcy and was even the victim of a kidnapping attempt. He then followed this up with a trophy-laden managerial career. This is his story in his own words.
  • Unguarded - Hardback - 9780751565140 - Jonathan Trott
    UNGU
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    One of the most popular English cricketers of recent times, Jonathan Trott's Unguarded is an autobiography that not only looks at his sporting successes but also finds him opening up about mental health issues.

    A mainstay during one of England's most successful periods, Jonathan scored a century on his debut to clinch the Ashes in 2009. Despite being a regular and pivotal part of the team, Jonathan left the 2012-13 Ashes tour of Australia as he was suffering from a stress-related illness.

    In this eye-opening memoir, readers will find themselves transported right into the heart of the England dressing room - and into the heart of what it is to be a professional sportsman. From the successes on the field that were followed by a sharp decline to the dangers that pressure and expectation can bring, this is a book all about the rewards and risks that sports stars take...
  • This Mum Runs - Hardback - 9780224100427 - Jo Pavey
    MRJP
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    An Olympian who won the 10,000m at the European Championships (her first ever Gold!) in 2014 at the age of 40, Jo Pavey has quite the story to tell...

    On 10 May, 2015, Jo achieved the seemingly impossible by winning the 10,000m just eight months after giving birth and in 'a running vest older than most of the girls I was competing against'. In this inspiring autobiography, the athlete dubbed 'Supermum' reveals how she has managed to combine parental responsibilities and an elite sporting career with such success.

    From pushing a buggy on training runs to leaving the kids to build sandcastles in the long jump pit while she hits the track, there are so many situations that will feel familiar to any career parents who try to balance work and life. A positive and uplifting read, this is the story of a mum that runs and a runner that mums.
  • Don't Stop Me Now - Paperback - 9781472921536 - Vassos Alexander
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    A member of Chris Evans' Breakfast Show team on BBC Radio 2, Vassos Alexander is one of the UK's best-known and most-loved sports broadcasters. In this light-hearted memoir of 26.2 chapters, he reveals the highs and lows of falling in love with running.

    From his first efforts of trying to reach the end of his street to completing marathons and triathlons in the same weekend, it's an incredible journey. Vassos talks about how part of the appeal of running is the childlike joy of reaching top speed when you could just walk.

    Funny, inspiring and honest, the book also features a running-themed song to accompany each of Vassos' achievements and the book provides a fascinating insight into how the likes of Paula Radcliffe, Steve Cram and the Brownlees first started out.
  • Mountain - Steve Backshall - Hardback - 9781409144038 - Steve Backshall
    OUNT
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    A popular adventurer and wildlife presenter with all ages, Steve Backshall has been climbing since his teens and has a genuine love for the mountains.

    This book is peppered with anecdotes of his climbs and is a celebration of the power of natural landscapes and how they can make us feel very small but also very alive. Despite breaking his back while climbing in 2008, Steve was not put off and managed to seek a variety of new challenges.

    He looks back at some of his greatest achievements while climbing including the first ascent of Mount Kuli in the Bornean rainforest, his trek up K2 in Karakorum and describes the terror of a travelling companion's fall into a crevasse while trailing a snow leopard.

    Exciting, inspiring and sure to make you feel on top of the world, this is a stunning autobiography about Steve's incredible achievements.
  • IOTM
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    Taxi! This hardback book tells the astonishing story of three mates, the taxi they drunkenly purchased and a 43,000 mile-round trip of global misadventure.

    Like many, Paul, Johno and Leigh had plans to travel the world. Little did they know that when they bought themselves a London cab, they'd end up embarking on a journey that took them off the beaten track to some of the most fascinating, dangerous and deadly places on Earth.

    From altercations with the Iranian Secret Police to a terrifying experience with the Taliban, the trio had all kinds of experiences on their fantastic, thrilling and dangerous journey. They even managed to break two World Records along the way!

    With its crazy premise and some colourful language, this highly entertaining and quirky memoir will delight fans of Dave Gorman and Danny Wallace.
  • Walking the Himalayas - Hardback - 9781473626249 - Levison Wood
    WKTH
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    An explorer and writer that has led expeditions on five continents, this inspirational book follows Levison Wood as he attempts to walk the entire length of the Himalayas.

    Tying in with a hit Channel 4 show, this is a powerful and enigmatic tale of survival and endurance. Levison reveals how he managed to form strong bonds with local guides, porters, mountain men, soldiers, farmers, smugglers and shepherds as he embarked on his quest.

    By travelling on foot and following the same footpaths as the locals, Levison uncovers hidden stories that reveal the history of the Himalayas and stretch back over two millennia of exploration.
  • Travelling Light - Hardback - 9781408708521 - Alastair Sawday
    TRLG
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    Campaigner, publisher and wanderer Alastair Sawday has spent his life travelling all around the world and in this book he celebrates the joys of slow travel. His musings will inspire you to take a breath and embrace all the beauty that surrounds you on your next trip away.

    This travelogue finds Alastair looking back on his own travels and recalling stories from those who have travelled to provide ruminations and reflections about people, places and ideas. He contemplates how much slow journeying adds to the appeal of France profonde, the darker side of Sicily and even the woodland, flora, fauna, views and silence of rural Britain.

    This is the perfect book for armchair travellers who haven't climbed mountains, swam in rivers and don't really change, but are eager to understand our world and its infinite variety of joys.
  • Broadside: How We Regained the Ashes - Hardback - 9781471101595 - Stuart Broad
    SBBR
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    In his brand new book Broadside: How We Regained the Ashes, England international cricketer Stuart Broad explains how the England cricket team bounced back from a very disappointing World Cup to rediscover the form and passion that led them to an unexpected Ashes triumph and provides a revealing portrait of the life at the top of international cricket.

    Only a few weeks before, there had been calls for captain Alastair Cook to step down, and for Kevin Pietersen to be recalled to the side, while Broad himself appeared to be struggling to regain his pace after an injury. After a moderate series in the Caribbean, England began to find a new approach against New Zealand, which they carried through to devastating effect to win the Ashes.

    A fiery competitor on the pitch, Broad is extremely eloquent off it and his insights into the game and the key moments that spurred England to Ashes success will delight cricket fans of all ages.
  • AHTOJ
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    Now an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon and directed by Dallas Buyers' Club's Jean-Marc Vallee, Wild is the extraordinary true story of Cheryl Strayed - a 26-year-old who decided to escape her crumbling life by walking the 1100 miles of the west coast of America.

    After losing everything, Cheryl decided to do something impulsive to help aid her worries and grief - and this long-distance walk took her from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon and eventually into Washington. Despite having no experience of hiking, she was determined to do it alone - following a line on a map!

    Wild gives readers an insight into the mental and physical agonies this journey of self-discovery gave Cheryl, while also showing how it helped heal her worries and find redemption. Simply, quite an incredible human story!
  • ALULK
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    A harrowing true story that was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher is a devastating and intriguing read that will appeal to those who have read We Need to Talk About Kevin and watched Argo and Captain Phillips.

    Billionaire John du Pont recruits Olympic gold medalist Mark Schulz to help him train the USA's next generation of world-class wrestlers... When du Pont also recruits Mark's older brother Dave to assist with the training, the aristocrat begins to become ever more paranoid, manipulative and controlling. Nothing is quite what it seems - and the Schultz brothers are trapped.

    In this book, Mark Schultz looks back at the events that lead to a tragic and harrowing climax on the Foxcatcher estate in January 1996. It's a powerful memoir that looks at the destructive and unstable nature of humanity.