Showing posts from February, 2011

An FA Cup hero's extraordinary past

IN PAPERBACK _____________ FOOTBALL BOOKS It is 55 years since the Manchester City goalkeeper Bert Trautmann famously completed an FA Cup final despite breaking a bone in his neck yet the story retains its fascination, as publishers Yellow Jersey discovered when Catrine Clay’s new take on the tale proved an unexpected hit with sports book readers after it was published in hardback last spring. Trautmann's Journey: From Hitler Youth to FA Cup Legend won critical acclaim, too, making the shortlist of six for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.  Yellow Jersey will be looking for another surge of interest this week when the book is released in paperback. The focus of Clay’s interest in the German footballer is away from the field of play, however.  The part of his life for which Trautmann is best known is largely confined to the final two chapters.   It is the life that preceded the event that brought him to England -- his capture as a prisoner of war in 1945 -- th

Olympic hopeful Tom Daley to show off his skill with a camera

The talents of Britain’s Commonwealth and World champion Tom Daley do not end with what he can do from a 10 metre diving board.  The precociously talented 16-year-old also harbours ambitions in photography and will show off his skill with the camera in an illustrated memoir to be published in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics in London.  Michael Joseph has acquired world all-language rights to the book after striking a deal with literary agent Jonathan Harris of Luxton Harris on behalf of Daley’s agent, Jamie Cunningham, of Professional Sports Group. Daley said: "I am delighted to be working with Michael Joseph on my first book. The aim was to develop a concept involving photography at its core. Photography is part of my A Levels but also a hobby away from diving. I am really looking forward to creating a fun but interesting memoir of my sport, life, family and build up to London 2012." Daley, who started diving at the age of seven, won two gold medals at the Commowealth

Crawley at Old Trafford stirs memories of FA Cup magic

FOOTBALL BOOKS Crawley’s historic date with Manchester United in the FA Cup this weekend will restore a little of the great competition’s faded magic as the Blue Square Premier team attempts to pull off the unthinkable at Old Trafford. It also brings to mind a couple of books about the FA Cup to entrance those football fans who believe that the world’s oldest knockout competition ought to be celebrated with enthusiasm rather than be left to wither as the Premier League and the Champions League grow ever more gargantuan. Paul Harrison’s FA Cup Giantkillers, published by The History Press, recalls the finest hours of minnows through history, from the victories of Boston Town and Spennymoor United in the 1920s to the more recent exploits of Tamworth and Burscough. Football historian Harrison has combined much research with good use of photographs, newspaper cuttings and memorabilia to produce a lavishly illustrated book that takes an affectionate look at the who secured famous victo

Moore's black history makes compelling reading

IN PAPERBACK _____________ RUGBY BOOKS Beware of the Dog: Rugby's Hard Man Reveals All The winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year award in November, Brian Moore’s dark autobiography was published in paperback soon afterwards and was among the best-selling sports books in the run-up to Christmas, and beyond. And with good reason; as a candid confession from deep within the soul of a sports star, the rugby hardman’s story has few peers. The former England hooker turned rugby writer and commentator was guaranteed to make headlines through his revelations about the sexual abuse he suffered as a schoolboy at the hands of a male teacher.   Given the popularity of so-called “misery memoirs”, Moore’s bleak and terrifying experience was an obvious selling point. As such, even though the victim in this case has a high public profile, it is not a new theme.  What sets Moore’s tale apart -- and clearly impressed the William Hill judges -- is the depth of the author’s per

Neville ready to tell all

FOOTBALL BOOKS Gary Neville’s retirement as an active footballer clears the way for the publication of his autobiography later this year. The Manchester United captain and former England international defender signed a deal with publishers Transworld at the beginning of last year on the understanding that the project would be completed only after he finished playing. Given his reputation for outspoken comment, you suspect the delay in going to press might have less to do with needing time to put the finishing touches to his story than not wishing to meet some of his opponents on the field again once they have read what he thinks of them. Neville has never been afraid to speak his mind, to the extent that he was prepared even to take on Sir Alex Ferguson as the Professional Footballers’ Association representative in the Old Trafford dressing room, the players’ equivalent of a shop steward. He took it upon himself to be the players’ spokesman in the England team, too, once threat

Hayden digs in to tell his story

NEW CRICKET BOOKS Gideon Haigh’s authoritative reporting of England’s Ashes triumph -- due out later this month -- is not the only sports title in Aurum Press’s spring catalogue. Cricket fans can also look forward to the publication in England of the fearsome Australian batsman Matthew Hayden’s autobiography, Standing My Ground , which hit the bookstands Down Under last year.  Hayden’s retirement two years ago has been an important factor in the end of Australia’s dominance of international cricket. Hayden has been a controversial character, known almost as much for his unrelenting sledging from the crease or the slips.  His batting, which enabled him at his peak to take Brian Lara’s record for the highest Test score (before the West Indies star claimed it back), won him many admirers, but his character meant many cricket fans counted him among the players they most loathed. The Queenslander opens up to Sydney Herald-Sun cricket writer Robert Craddock, who ghosted for him, and i