Showing posts from January, 2012

Clough: Confidential, by Dave Armitage: Sequel to popular 150 BC reflects perennial appetite for Brian Clough stories

FOOTBALL BOOKS Clough: Confidential Given that everyone in football of a certain vintage seems to have a Brian Clough story to recall it is not surprising that there have been around 20 books written about the late former Derby County and Nottingham Forest manager. From the first biography, penned by broadcaster Tony Francis in 1987, to the latest -- and certainly longest -- account of his life and career, exhaustively researched and painstakingly documented by Jonathan Wilson , Clough has remained an enduring source of fascination. Wilson manages to explode a few anecdotal myths in his 566-page tour de force but it is hard to imagine that the appetite for Brian Clough stories, apocryphal or otherwise, will ever be sated. Midlands football writer Dave Armitage found that to be the case when he assembled 150 gems gleaned from press room colleagues and a host of figures from within the game under the imaginative title 150 BC . It was a collection of amusing, amazing and

Stuart Broad signs two-book deal as Simon & Schuster add more cricket books to their catalogue

CRICKET BOOKS England cricketer Stuart Broad is hoping his popularity within the game and beyond will be reflected in substantial book sales when Stuart Broad’s World of Cricket is published this autumn. The book is the first product of a two-book deal the 25-year-old fast-bowling all-rounder has signed with publishers Simon & Schuster UK. Simon & Schuster are making a strong push in sports books this year, particularly books about cricket, with the autobiography of Broad’s England teammate James Anderson due out in September, which is also the scheduled publication date for a biography of spin bowling legend Shane Warne by the fine Australian cricket writer, Gideon Haigh. Executive director Kyle MacRae described Broad as “the undoubted star of the current English cricketing generation.” “Stuart’s professionalism and appeal across all age groups makes him the number one choice for people who want to learn about the game, his world and the wider areas of international

Inside the Divide: Richard Wilson gets to the heart of Celtic v Rangers rivalry

The rivalry between Celtic and Rangers has seldom been less than intense since they first squared up to one another on May 28th, 1888.  Explosions of hatred between opposing supporters have been commonplace but the 2010-11 season will be remembered as particularly poisonous. It was a season in which Celtic fans protested against the poppy, in which Celtic’s continuous complaints against referees led the officials to go on strike, in which Uefa fined Rangers for sectarian chanting and a Celtic fan was jailed for racially abusing the Rangers player, El-Hadji Diouf. It was a season in which an Old Firm game of three red cards, 13 yellows and 34 arrests inside Celtic Park ended with rival managers Ally McCoist and Neil Lennon having to be dragged apart but which then sank to even lower depths as death threats were made against Celtic boss Lennon, who received bullets and explosives in the post.  Lennon was subsequently attacked by a Hearts supporter on the touchline during a televis

Paul Kimmage to ghost Brian O'Driscoll autobiography for Penguin Ireland

News Award-winning writer Paul Kimmage is to ghost the autobiography of Ireland’s Grand Slam-winning rugby captain, Brian O’Driscoll. Dublin-born Kimmage, who recently won the William Hill Irish Sports Book of the Year prize for Engage: The Fall and Rise of Matt Hampson , has been signed up as part of the deal that landed Penguin Ireland the O’Driscoll story. O’Driscoll, who was voted world player of the decade by Rugby World magazine in January 2010, is one of only two men to captain Ireland to a Grand Slam.  He has also led them to four Triple Crown triumphs and is Irish rugby’s all-time highest international try scorer with 46. Kimmage, who recently left the Sunday Times , said he was honoured by the invitation to write O’Driscoll’s book. "It's incredibly flattering to be asked to do it,” he said. “Brian is one of our (Ireland’s) genuine superstars.” Yet admirers of the 38-year-old former professional cyclist will not be at all surprised at Penguin’s eagerness

Arthur Kinnaird - a philanthropic nobleman and unsung football pioneer

Recommended in football books During the 1870s and 80s, when he appeared in a record nine FA Cup finals for Wanderers and Old Etonians, Arthur Kinnaird was almost as colossal a figure in football as W G Grace had become in cricket. There were even physical similarities.  Grace was easily identified by his ‘yeoman figure and shaggy beard’ -- the precise words used by the editor of Athletic News to describe Kinnaird. And just as Grace had his trademark yellow and red cricket cap, Kinnaird’s white trousers and blue and white quartered cap made him easy to pick out on the football field. But where the life of Dr Grace, and his importance in the development and popularity of cricket, has been documented many times, the role of Kinnaird -- he inherited the title of Lord Kinnaird in 1887 -- was less well researched until sports historian Andy Mitchell decided to investigate. Yet quite apart from being a considerable player in his day -- he has been described as football’s ‘first s