In early 2006, Chuck Ramkissoon is found dead at the bottom of a New York canal.
In London, a Dutch banker named Hans van den Broek hears the news, and remembers his unlikely friendship with Chuck and the off-kilter New York in which it flourished: the New York of 9/11, the powercut and the Iraq war. Those years were difficult for Hans – his English wife Rachel left with their son after the attack, as if that event revealed the cracks and silences in their marriage, and he spent two strange years in New York’s Chelsea Hotel, passing stranger evenings with the eccentric residents.
Lost in a country he’d regarded as his new home, Hans sought comfort in a most alien place – the thriving but almost invisible world of New York cricket, in which immigrants from Asia and the West Indies play a beautiful, mystifying game on the city’s most marginal parks. It was during these games that Hans befriends Chuck Ramkissoon, who dreamed of establishing the city’s first proper cricket field. Over the course of a summer, Hans grew to share Chuck’s dream and Chuck’s sense of American possibility – until he began to glimpse the darker meaning of his new friend’s activities and ambitions.
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Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run. Her first attempt did not end well.
Six years later, she has run five marathons in two continents.
But, as her dad says, you run with your head as much as with your legs. So, while this is a book about running, it’s not just about running.
You could say it’s about ambition (yes, getting out of bed on a rainy Sunday morning counts), relationships (including talking to the intimidating staff in the trainer shop), as well as your body (your boobs don’t have to wobble when you run). But it’s also about realising that you can do more than you ever thought possible.
Very funny, very honest and very emotional, whether you’re in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who after wine and crisps for supper a few too many times thinks they might . . . just might . . . like to run like a girl.
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When Lance Armstrong fought back from life-threatening cancer to win the 1999 Tour de France – the so-called ‘Tour of Renewal’ – it seemed almost too good to be true. It was. Sunday Times journalist David Walsh was one of a small group who was prepared to raise awkward questions about Armstrong’s seemingly superhuman feats. And so began a 13-year battle to reveal the truth that finally ended in October 2012 when the cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour victories and banned from the sport for life.
Walsh’s gripping and moving personal account of his struggles is a revealing insight into the murkier end of professional cycling – a place where having the right doctor can make all the difference and where there existed a conspiracy of silence.
In this updated edition, covering Armstrong’s confession to Oprah, Seven Deadly Sins takes the reader into a world of doping and lies, but shows that there is always hope for a better future. Buy this book for £1.49 today.
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After a playing career that spanned more than 15 years, and took in golden spells in the sixties with Chelsea and Spurs, it was almost inevitable that Terry Venables would move into management.
He returned to England to take charge of Spurs, where he helped save the club from financial troubles, and formed an ill-fated partnership with Alan Sugar. After leaving the England job, he has subsequently worked in numerous different roles. A charismatic and gregarious personality, Venables is widely viewed as one of football’s great tacticians and is the most successful English manager of recent years. His story is sure to fascinate and entertain all followers of the game, providing a unique insight based on more than 50 years at the top.
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When Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean collapsed to the ice at the climax of their routine to Bolero in the 1984 Winter Olympics, the judges could find no fault, awarding them 12 maximum scores of 6.0, while 24 million viewers watching at home in Britain simply looked on in amazement.
Despite intense interest in them, Torvill & Dean kept their lives private, with many still wondering if the pair were really a couple.
Now Torvill & Dean finally open up about the challenges they have faced and the pressures of life in the public eye: Jayne speaks candidly about her struggle with husband Phil to start a family, while Chris reveals the heartache in his family story. And of course, there is the skating, and the stories about what inspired their famous routines, and what the pair hope to achieve in the future as the approach their fortieth anniversary working together. It is the book their millions of fans have been waiting to read. Buy it today for only 99p.
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In the years leading up to the First World War, the Rugby grounds of Britain became training grounds for war. The Final Whistle plays tribute to the pivotal role Rugby played in the Great War by following the poignant stories of fifteen men who played for Rosslyn Park, London.
They came from diverse backgrounds, with players from Australia, Ceylon, Columbia, Ireland and South Africa, but they were united by their love of the game and their courage in the face of war. Stephen Cooper follows them from London to the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Italy and Dublin, through some of the war’s fiercest battles.
The Final Whistle is a must-read for any rugby enthusiast or First World War historian. Buy it today for only 99p.
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What makes a champion? Olympic champion Bob Richards says it’s the will to win no matter what the odds. In The Heart of a Champion, he shares the incredible stories of athletes who have overcome hardship, disability, racism, sexism, and more to become the best the world has ever seen. A celebration of hard work and the indomitable human spirit, this book captures Richards’s contagious enthusiasm for individual greatness as well as the beauty of working as a team.
These inspirational true stories have been loved for fifty years. Now repackaged for a new generation of athletes and coaches, The Heart of a Champion is poised to influence thousands more with its message of hope and perseverance. Buy this book today for only 48p.
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An epic journey from Depression-era America to the heart of Hitler’s Berlin.
The Boys in the Boat is the story of Joe Rantz, a charismatic young man born dirt poor in the woods of Washington State, who dreams of escaping the challenges of the Great Depression, and a complicated family life full of painful memories. What follows is an extraordinary journey, as Joe and eight other young men exchange the sweat and graft and dust of ordinary life for the purer rigours of sport at its very highest level — a journey at the end of which lies a gold medal rowing race at the Berlin Olympics of 1936, in front of Hitler himself.
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When James Cracknell and Ben Fogle decided to compete in the Atlantic Rowing Race, they thought they knew what awaited them: nearly three thousand miles of empty ocean, stormy weather and colossal physical stress. But their epic journey would become a living hell that tested the strength of every fibre of their being. Forty nine days later James and Ben were the first pair to cross the finishing line.
They had pushed themselves physically, psychologically and emotionally to the limit. They had survived without water rations, lost the few clothes they had in a freak wave, capsized, hallucinated, played games, wept, fought, grown beards, nursed blisters and rowed 2,930 miles. They will never be the same again.
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An anecdote-driven narrative of the classic footballer’s ‘DOs and DO NOTs’ from the ever-popular Arsenal legend and football pundit Paul Merson, aka ‘The Merse’.
When it comes to advice on the pitfalls of life as a professional footballer, Paul Merson can pretty much write the manual. In fact, that’s exactly what he’s done in this hilarious new book which manages to be simultaneously poignant and gloriously funny.
Merson was a prodigiously talented footballer in the 80s and 90s, gracing the upper echelons of the game – and the tabloid front pages – with his breathtakingly skills and larger-than-life off-field persona.
His much-publicised battles with gambling, drug and alcohol addiction are behind him now, and football fans continue to be drawn to his sharp footballing brain and playful antics on SkySports cult results show Soccer Saturday.
The book delights and entertains with a treasure chest of terrific anecdotes from a man who has never lost his love of football and his inimitable joie de vivre through a 25-year association with the Beautiful Game.
How Not to be a Professional Footballer is a hugely entertaining, moving and laugh-out-loud funny story. Buy it today for
£2.99 now £3.99.
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