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Category: Autobiography and memoir

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Newcastle bookseller bans Michael Owen memoir over slights to city

Huge sports book retailer based in city says Reboot’s account of sour relationship with the city’s team has made it the first book they will banA sports bookshop in Newcastle upon Tyne has announced that it will not stock Michael Owen’s new memoir Rebo…

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Memoirs of an Asian Football Casual: hooliganism gave me a way to fit in

He dressed smart, carried a knife and wound up in jail. As his life story hits the stage, Riaz Khan reveals how, in 1980s Britain, soccer violence was very multiculturalIt wasn’t so much the violence that attracted Riaz Khan to football hooliganism as …

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How to ghost write a football book

In 2011 I emailed football manager Stephen Constantine to ask him if he’d ever considered doing an autobiography. Six years later, our book has just gone on sale

By Owen Amos for The Set Pieces, part of the Guardian Sport Network

I first emailed Stephen Constantine in September 2010. I was organising a football tour to Nepal (a long story) and remembered, years earlier, reading about an Englishman who managed their national team in the late 1990s. I found Stephen’s website and emailed him, asking for advice. To my surprise, he replied.

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Declan Murphy: ‘When I woke up, I had no memory of my life as a jockey’

The former jump jockey reveals how he pieced together his missing years – and what it cost his friends and family

The moment that changed Declan Murphy’s life for ever arrived when he was 28. It was in 1994 at a May bank holiday meeting at Haydock Park, and Murphy, a celebrated jump jockey, was at the pinnacle of his career, riding Arcot, the favourite in the Swinton Hurdle. Heading into the last hurdle, the pair misjudged their stride and fell. While Murphy lay unconscious on the ground another horse galloped over him, one hoof hitting his head and shattering his skull in 12 places. It was an injury so severe that within days the Racing Post would run his obituary under the stark headline: “Declan Murphy dies in horror fall.”

Twenty-plus years would pass before Murphy, who spent four days in a medically induced coma and came within hours of having the life support machine switched off, felt up to revisiting his ghosts. The result, Centaur, written with Ami Rao, is not only a certain candidate for the William Hill sports book of the year but also sure to be on many non-sports fans’ end-of-year lists. Emotional and honest, Centaur is an unflinching look at how Murphy “came back from the dead” and the heavy price extracted for doing so.

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Greg Rutherford: ‘Strictly helped me to not dwell on the Rio Olympics’

The Olympic gold-winning long jumper on going off the rails, his debt to his dogs – and the fun of his nine weeks on Strictly Come Dancing

Last month you were the ninth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing. You seemed almost teary – how upset were you?
It was always going to be disappointing, because you want to go as far as you possibly can. It takes up all of your life: I was in the training room with Nat probably 10 to 12 hours a day most days. But equally, I could see there were better dancers than me. I was never kidding myself that I was some super-dancer who was going to set the floor alight.

You seemed unhappy to only win a bronze in the long jump at the Rio Olympics, after gold at London 2012. Did Strictly take your mind off that?
Yeah, I think it helped me not dwell on what happened in Rio. I didn’t get the result I was really hoping for at the Olympics, and I said I’d either do nothing until Christmas, so I’d probably get very fat eating cakes, or I could learn a new skill. The only thing is that I’d said no to Strictly for the last few years because it wasn’t the right time, and when I finally agreed to do it, it just so happens that it’s the strongest group of dancers that have ever been on.

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Greg Rutherford: ‘Strictly helped me to not dwell on the Rio Olympics’

The Olympic gold-winning long jumper on going off the rails, his debt to his dogs – and the fun of his nine weeks on Strictly Come Dancing

Last month you were the ninth celebrity to leave Strictly Come Dancing. You seemed almost teary – how upset were you?
It was always going to be disappointing, because you want to go as far as you possibly can. It takes up all of your life: I was in the training room with Nat probably 10 to 12 hours a day most days. But equally, I could see there were better dancers than me. I was never kidding myself that I was some super-dancer who was going to set the floor alight.

You seemed unhappy to only win a bronze in the long jump at the Rio Olympics, after gold at London 2012. Did Strictly take your mind off that?
Yeah, I think it helped me not dwell on what happened in Rio. I didn’t get the result I was really hoping for at the Olympics, and I said I’d either do nothing until Christmas, so I’d probably get very fat eating cakes, or I could learn a new skill. The only thing is that I’d said no to Strictly for the last few years because it wasn’t the right time, and when I finally agreed to do it, it just so happens that it’s the strongest group of dancers that have ever been on.

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Nick Skelton’s autobiography sales leap after Olympic showjumping gold

Only Falls and Horses, the out-of-print memoir of Team GB’s oldest gold medallist in Rio, becomes top search on secondhand books site

Showjumper Nick Skelton’s autobiography Only Falls and Horses has sold out at bookseller Abebooks after his gold medal win in Rio on Friday.

Skelton, 58, became Britain’s oldest Olympic medallist since 1908 last week, winning the individual showjumping gold on his horse, Big Star. The rider had been forced to retire after breaking his neck in 2000, but returned to the sport two years later. In 2011, he had a hip replacement and in 2012 was part of the squad that won a gold in the team showjumping event at the London Olympics.

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Nick Skelton’s autobiography sales leap after Olympic showjumping gold

Only Falls and Horses, the out-of-print memoir of Team GB’s oldest gold medallist in Rio, becomes top search on secondhand books site

Showjumper Nick Skelton’s autobiography Only Falls and Horses has sold out at bookseller Abebooks after his gold medal win in Rio on Friday.

Skelton, 58, became Britain’s oldest Olympic medallist since 1908 last week, winning the individual showjumping gold on his horse, Big Star. The rider had been forced to retire after breaking his neck in 2000, but returned to the sport two years later. In 2011, he had a hip replacement and in 2012 was part of the squad that won a gold in the team showjumping event at the London Olympics.

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Max Mosley: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey? I’ve heard it’s very vanilla’

When a tabloid sting exposed his colourful sex life, Max Mosley – son of fascist leader Oswald and Mitford sister Diana – took on the News of the World and won. As his autobiography is published, the former Formula One boss talks openly about his politics, his parents – and his taste for S&M

The preparation for my interview with Max Mosley has been like no interview preparation I’ve ever done before. I read the subject’s new autobiography, Formula One and Beyond – so far, so normal. And then his interview cuts – ditto. And then I typed his name into YouTube and watch a video featuring covert footage of him being spanked by an assortment of partially clothed women.

Despite all his efforts, it’s still out there on the internet. It is a bit embarrassing. And that’s just for me, watching it. God knows what it’s like for him. How do you cope with knowing there’s a good chance that people you meet are already intimately acquainted with your naked bottom?

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Federer and Me: ‘I hadn’t known such excellence was possible. And the effect upon me was instantaneous’

At the age of 30, tennis fan William Skidelsky developed an obsession with Roger Federer that cast a shadow over his love life and work – but it helped him resolve issues of self-doubt that had plagued him since boyhood

London, Sunday 6 July 2014. I wake up late, with a question in my head. Will I be going to the Wimbledon final? Before yesterday, this wasn’t something I’d even considered. But now I’m desperate to make it if I can. I’ve watched Federer play live about 20 times over the years, and nine times in just the past month, but I’ve never seen him play a Grand Slam final. Surely, this is my one opportunity: he’ll never make it to another major final, at least not one I have a hope of going to. And if he does win – not likely, admittedly – how great to be able to say: I was there. All in all, it has to be done.

But how? Needless to say, I don’t have a ticket. Centre Court tickets are notoriously hard to get hold of at the best of times. For the final, they’re virtually unobtainable. The usual fallback – queuing – isn’t an option; the All England Club doesn’t release turnstile tickets from the semis onwards.

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Sachin Tendulkar launches his autobiography – video

Sachin Tendulkar looks back over his career, including winning the 2011 World Cup for India – ‘It doesn’t get any better than that in cricket’ and the dressing room was ‘flowing with champagne’ – during the launch of his autobiography, Playing It My Way, in Mumbai on Wednesday. The book has already stirred controversy for its comments about the team’s former coach Greg Chappell, who Tendulkar says targeted senior players unfairly Continue reading…

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Who said it? Quotes from Roy Keane’s autobiography quiz

The new autobiography from Roy Keane, The Second Half, written with Roddy Doyle, has collected a choice array of life lessons from the football manager. We’ve gone through Keane’s screams into the black abyss to pull out his words of wisdom, but can yo…

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Rio Ferdinand discusses Manchester United’s woes as he launches his autobiography video

Former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand talks about his footballing career at the launch of his autobiography on Thursday. Ferdinand discusses Manchester United’s troubles during David Moyes’s eight-month tenure as manager. He says …

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Terry Venables: My family values

The former England football manager talks about his hard, working-class Essex upbringing and the great pleasure his parents took in his success Continue reading…

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Running Free review – a year in the Northamptonshire countryside

Richard Askwith returns to his love of running in this compelling memoir

Couch potatoes and immovable lazybones might react in horror to Richard Askwith’s third book, an account of a year’s running through the Northamptonshire countryside, but those of a more active or curious disposition ought to race to the shops and savour his idiosyncratic, enjoyable tale. After his earlier acclaimed books about fell running and rural England, Askwith combines the two in his autobiographical tale of how his unfocused lifestyle was given shape and purpose by a running hobby that gradually turned into a near-obsession. It’s a serious book, but never po-faced. An account of how he used to be voluntarily chased through the countryside by bloodhounds in all weathers verges on the farcical, and Askwith is sensible enough to understand that not all of his more sedentary readers will necessarily understand the thrill of what he describes, so his evocative descriptions of powering through the wild, unfettered landscape go a long way to making it feel vivid. At the end he writes “each life is a journey: and in each runner’s life there is a journey within a journey”. This particular journey is never less than compelling.

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