Here are six sports books to add to your Christmas list 5 years ago

Here are six sports books to add to your Christmas list

'Tis the season to be reading.

The period before Christmas is the prime time to release sports books because, well, people who know nothing about sport need to have options when buying presents for people who like sport.

So, while there is a good chance you may end up with one in your stocking, you might like to broaden your horizons and check out the nominees for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year.

Previous winners include Tyler Hamilton's Tour de France tell-all, 'The Secret Race', Ronald Reng's biography of Robert Enke 'A Life too Short' and Duncan Hamilton's much-loved Brian Clough-based memoir, 'Provided You Don't Kiss Me'.

This year's shortlist is an eclectic mix, featuring boxing, cricket, football and the Winter Olympics.

A Man's World - Donald McRae

books a man's world

"I kill a man and most people forgive me. However, I love a man and many say this makes me an evil person." Donald McRae tells the story of Emile Griffith, a welterweight world champion who struggled to conceal his homosexuality in a socially conservative 1960s America. When his great rival Benny Paret taunted him ahead of their third and final bout, Griffith was so enraged he pounded the Cuban into unconsciousness. He never woke up.


Fifty-Six: The story of the Bradford Fire - Martin Fletcher

books bradford

Martin Fletcher was in Valley Parade in 1985 when four members of his family, spanning three generations, died in a catastrophic fire alongside 51 more. Only 12 at the time, Fletcher has spent 30 years campaigning for answers as to the cause of this terrible and preventable disaster. The revelations in this book made front page news when it was released.

Fire in Baylon - Simon Lister

books fire in babylon

If you were an Scotsman with an interest in cricket in the 1970s, you probably supported the West Indies. An incredibly talented collection of players with some of the most fearsome bowlers in the history of the sport, they inspired a new-found confidence in the people of the Caribbean and scared the hell out of the traditional powers such as England and Australia. Simon Lister does a great job collating the personal accounts of this extraordinary team.

The Game of Our Lives - David Goldblatt

books game of our lives

More than a book about English football, David Goldblatt charts the transformation of the game from a struggling sideshow in 1980s to the centrepiece of English culture and draws some conclusions on British society in the era following Margaret Thatcher's time in power.

Speed Kings - Andy Bull

books speed kings

Telling the story of how four adventurers came together to win gold in the bobsled at the 1932 Olympics at Lake Placid, encapsulating mobsters, Broadway and the looming threat of World War II. The research undertaken by Guardian journalist Andy Bull to bring these four characters to life is phenomenal.

Living on the Volcano - Michael Calvin

books volcano

This attempt to humanise the villains and caricatures that inhabit the dugouts of English football rings so true that Arsene Wenger agreed to write the foreword. It is the Arsenal manager's description of the perils of the job that lend the book its title and Michael Calvin introduces us to the varied personalities who live in fear of the lava flow.