Christmas sports books reading list
Many of us enjoy gifting books at Christmas, so here’s a rundown of 10 Christmas sports books worth delving into over the next couple of months.
I’ve chosen these reads to get stuck into over the Christmas and New Year period.
The books can be bought through the SFJ store over on Bookshop, which supports local, independent booksellers, in particular need during these uncertain times.
Orders for any of these Christmas sports books should be placed by Dec 16 to allow for delivery.
The Rodchenkov Affair
The 2020 winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, this looks like a cracking read. Written by whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov, it’s a book that has won rave reviews across the media.
Running The World
The act of running can often be a lonely pursuit. So try taking on a challenge like this. At the start of 2018, ultra runner Nick Butter embarked on a bid to run a marathon in every country. And in 2019 he achieved the feat, leading to this memoir of his time on the road.
Harry Kane: The Ultimate Fan Book
Spurs and England striker Kane is among the world’s top footballers. His goalscoring exploits continue to see him break records and he is firmly hunting down Alan Shearer’s all-time Premier League total. Billing itself as the ‘ultimate’ guide is pressure itself, but it should make a good gift for any Kane-mad kids (or big kids) in your household.
30-day kick start plan
A prominent figure in this year’s battle to keep the nation active, Joe Wicks churns out books like he does crunches. This latest offering is timed perfectly for that post-Christmas, full-of-good-intentions New Year period. I guess the idea is to do it and then chuck the book away after 30 days right?
Morgan’s Men: The Inside Story of England’s Rise from Cricket World Cup Humiliation to Glory
Ah, that halcyon time of happier days in 2019. England’s one-day cricket side, led by captain Eoin Morgan swept all before them in last year’s Cricket World Cup. The dramatic ‘Super Over’ triumph against New Zealand in the final in July features heavily in this book. And plenty of great action photography too.
Thou Shall Not Pass: The Anatomy of Football’s Centre-Half
As a past central defender myself, this book looks very appealing. It takes its name from a quote by former England warrior Terry Butcher. Author Leo Moynihan delves into the mentality of those who ply their trade in the position. Well I can reveal how I landed at centre-back – it came from a youth team boss just sticking the tall lad at the back. Nothing tactical with that! It’s not out until Feb 2021 but pre-orders are being taken.
Mud, Maul, Mascara: How I Led My Country, and Lived to Tell the Tale
This looks like one of those great Christmas sports books. Written by former England rugby skipper Catherine Spencer, it tells a tale from the heart of competitive women’s sport, an area overlooked for too long in the literature world.
Top of Your Game: Eating for Mind and Body
Admitedly I’ve gone leftfield here. Snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan won his sixth world title in 2020 and finally made it onto the SPOTY list. He’s also written this book to show that it’s not all just down to mercurial talent on the baize. As Ronnie says: “My game is only as good as I am, so making that link between my mental and brain health and my physical fitness was a lightbulb moment for me and I hope this book will be a wake-up call for you too.”
This is esports (and How to Spell it)
Esports is a growing sector and continues to filter across into mainstream sport. Many football clubs now have some sort of esports presence. It’s handy then that this book, which made the sports book of the year longlist, has arrived. There’s no excuse not to brush up on your knowledge now.
Basta: My Life, My Truth
Make no mistake, Marco van Basten was a great footballer. I remember watching the Dutch side of the 1990s, with Gullit, Koeman et al. I mean just look at this volley in the Euro 88 final! This is a ‘warts and all’ autobiography from the master frontman.
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