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Category: Books

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‘He became our best friend’: how we survived Larry Nassar’s systematic abuse

Olympic medalist Tasha Schwikert and US national team member Jordan Schwikert reveal their experience as sisters and survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse, including an unthinkable week Tasha spent in the predator’s homeAt first we found it hard to believe…

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‘I was a dangerous person’: Casey Legler on life as a teenage Olympian – and raging alcoholic

At 19, Legler broke the Olympic freestyle swimming record. But she was also an alcoholic and drug dealer who had suffered years of abuse from her trainers. She is surprised she is still alive, she saysOne day, when she was a teenager, Casey Legler woke…

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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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Rocky of the Rovers: success of Roy’s sister a sign of changing times | Giles Richards

Rocky’s adventures at the Women’s World Cup have unfolded in real time, with readers voting on where the story goesWhatever happens to the Lionesses against Norway on Thursday night, a dramatic finale will follow for one Englishwoman at the World Cup –…

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‘Surreal’ time in the TMS booth that came about by accident | Vic Marks

In another extract from his new book, Vic Marks explains how his time with TMS started in India and why his favourite commentator was Tony CozierWorking on Test Match Special has never been my main job and on most days it does not feel like a job at al…

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From Caster Semenya to Martina Navratilova: the best books on sporting outliers

Sports writer Alex Hutchinson picks the best books that explore sex, gender and the nature-nurture debateThe essential goal of sport, according to the bioethicist Thomas Murray, is the “virtuous perfection of our natural talents”. But what counts as “n…

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From Tiger Woods to World Cup memories: our favourite sports books of 2018

The story of the 1936 Olympics, tales from the soul of English cricket, a charlatan footballer called Kaiser and the remarkable Doddie Weir all take pride of place on our bookshelvesIn the crowded world of sporting fame, to be known universally by a si…

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How did the sports book of the year fail to select a winner? | Mark Lawson

Literary prizes aren’t meant to split decisions, but as a judge I felt it made sense for Paul Gibson and Tom Gregory to draw, just as it had when I helped decide the Booker Cricket and football matches often end as draws, and individual sporting events…

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William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize shared for first time

• Paul D. Gibson and Tom Gregory win joint prize• Award has never been shared before in 30-year historyFor the first time in 30 years joint winners of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award have been announced, with Paul D. Gibson’s The Lost So…

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William Hill award has done so much to help sports writing leap off the page | Sean Ingle

For the past 30 years the Sports Book of the Year has brought joy, sometimes bewilderment, and quite often a spike in sales as it forced a neglected genre to raise its gameThere was a time, a generation or so ago, when high street bookshops were a wast…

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The Road Book – cycling’s new Wisden – is good news for a sport in flux | Richard Williams

Cycling may be facing an uncertain future but a Ned Boulting-edited new tome offers thoughtful writing and a mass of facinating statisticsIn earlier times, Geraint Thomas would have been a shoo-in for this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year awar…

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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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Gareth Southgate prompts new round of an old game: cash-in books

His redemptive World Cup performance has set publishers chasing after a time-honoured goal: getting a hot topic on to shelves while it’s still warm. But can anyone beat a Michael Jackson biography written in 48 hours?Not content with winning the hearts…

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When the Kop worshipped a saint | Brief letters

Arthur C Clarke | Vegan tropes | Hadrian’s Wall | Honoured Liverpool FC players | Morris MinorsAs with so many things, Arthur C Clarke foresaw the contamination of other worlds (Letters, 14 June) in his short story Before Eden, published in Amazing&nbs…

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And they’re off! Martin Amis’s Gamblers – in pictures

Documentary photographer Martin Amis has spent 13 years visiting racecourses to capture the idiosyncratic tribe of horse-racing enthusiasts, united only by their hope of finding the next winner Continue reading…

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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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The AFL has come a long way in past 30 years and shows no signs of stopping | David Hill

In an extract from his new book, The Fair And The Foul, David Hill examines the unrivalled strength of Australia’s indigenous football code

On every measure – crowds, financial strength, TV rights money, and sponsorship – the AFL is winning the battle of the Australian football codes and pulling further away from its rivals. In 2015, Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Sports, teaming with Seven West Media and Telstra, secured the rights to broadcast the AFL.

At a press conference announcing the six-year, record $2.5bn deal, the media magnate made his feelings clear about the appeal of league compared with Australian rules football. “We’ve always preferred Aussie rules and we’ve always believed this is the premium code in Australia.”

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Mark Viduka: the Socceroos great whose Croatian roots ran deep | Joe Gorman

In an extract from his forthcoming book, The Death and Life of Australian Soccer, Joe Gorman delves into the striker’s profound connection to Croatia

The winter of 1992 brought Mark Viduka and Mark Rudan together for the very first time. They were both 16 had spent most of their lives at the Croatian soccer clubs of Melbourne and Sydney, and had both been awarded scholarships to the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

“What nationality are you?” Viduka asked Rudan. “Croatian,” came the response.

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The semiotics of Sepp Blatter’s beef with white wine | Letters

Police officers and their pay | James Bond and the former Fifa president | Going tabloid in the 19th century | Borrowings by Robert Louis Stevenson and Bob Dylan | From Trump Street into Russia Row

Your editorial on public sector pay (Nurses teachers and firefighters are long overdue a rise, 20 June) was disappointing for a couple of reasons. First, you exclude police officers from the headline, when they have suffered similar pay freezes and cuts, compounded by pay-scale freezes and the largest raid on pensions. Second, you use the sexist term “policemen” when referring to officers running into danger – are you suggesting policewomen run the other way? The perfectly respectable gender-neutral alternatives “officer” and “constable” have been in satisfactory use for many decades.
DCI Louise Fleckney
Broughton, Northamptonshire

James Bond in From Russia with Love, to his enemy Donald “Red” Grant: “Red wine with fish. Well, that should have told me something.” Sepp Blatter, lunching with David Conn (G2, 19 June), ordered white wine with côte de bœuf. Doesn’t that tell us something?
Clifton Melvin
Chalfont St Giles, Buckinghamshire

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When Old Etonians won the FA Cup | Brief letters

Football in private schools | Welsh history | Police as protectors | Plastic bag recycling

On Cup final day, I enjoyed reading DJ Taylor’s article on the football novel (Review, 27 May). However, in discussing the first wave of football fiction, largely describing boys’ school stories, he noted that their “real-life, public-school attending equivalents would, of course, have played rugby”. This perpetuates the error, which I thought had been laid to rest, that independent schools shunned football. As an example, before professionalism took hold, Old Etonians contested no fewer than six FA Cup finals, winning two of them. One of their losses was against Old Carthusians.
Ed Lilley
Bristol

• Comforting though it is to see that Oxford students will have to study for exams on “non-British, non-European” topics (Report, 29 May), I wonder whether they might consider studying non-English “British” topics? What does the average student know, for instance, about the Rebecca Riots, the Treason of the Blue Books, Tryweryn, Senghennydd, Pont Trefechan? But then it’s only Wales, so it doesn’t matter, does it?
Dr Meg Elis
Caernarfon, Gwynedd

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