Great Sporting Stories to Inspire You these Summer Holidays

by |December 15, 2014

Whether on the field, the pitch, the track or commentating from the sidelines, these men are amongst the biggest names in sport today. Their inspiring stories are a must for any sport fanatics summer reading collection.

Pushing the Limits

by Kurt Fearnley with Warwick Green

When Kurt Fearnley was a kid, he would leave his wheelechair at the front gate and go exploring with his brothers and sisters. ‘You’re going to have to be stronger than we are,’ they told him, ‘and we know you will be.’

The kid from Carcoar was raised to believe he could do anything. At fifteen, he won his first medal. Then he conquered the world, winning three Paralympic gold medals, seven world championships and more than 35 marathons. A world-beater in and out of his wheelchair, Kurt is a true Australian champion.

Inspiring, exhilarating and highly entertaining, Pushing the Limits takes us inside the mind of a kid with a disability growing up in a tiny town, a teenager finding his place in the world, and an elite sportsman who refuses to give up, no matter how extreme the challenge.

World-beater Kurt Fearnley was born without the lower portion of his spine. He grew up in tiny Carcoar in NSW, and took up wheelchair racing in his teens. He has gone on to be a three-time Paralympic gold medallist and has won marathons all around the world, including the prestigious New York, London and Chicago marathons multiple times. His exploits are not confined to wheelchair racing – he has crawled the Kokoda track and the Great Wall of China and sailed with a winning Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race crew. Kurt’s exploits both in and out of sport saw him recognised as the 2009 NSW Young Australian of the Year. He lives in Newcastle with his wife and son.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


KP: The Autobiography

by Kevin Pietersen

The long-awaited autobiography of England’s most colourful cricketer.

The fascinating life story of professional cricketer Kevin Pietersen, MBE, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket. Kevin was dropped from the England squad in February of this year, seemingly calling time on an international career that began nearly ten years earlier. The decision puzzled many observers – although the England team had failed miserably in the Ashes tour of 2013-14, Kevin was the tourists’ leading run scorer across the series, and he remains the country’s highest run scorer of all time across all formats of the game.

This autumn Kevin will reveal all in his autobiography, telling the stories behind the many other highs and lows of his incredible career. Giving readers the full story of his life, from his childhood in South Africa to his recent experiences as one of the leading lights in the world of international cricket, this will be an autobiography that entertains and fascinates readers in equal measure.

Kevin Peter Pietersen is a 34 year-old professional cricketer, and the highest England run scorer in all international forms of the game combined.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


The Second Half

by Roy Keane with Roddy Doyle

In an eighteen-year playing career for Cobh Ramblers, Nottingham Forest, and Manchester United (under Sir Alex Ferguson) and Celtic, Roy Keane dominated every midfield he led to glory. Aggressive and highly competitive, his attitude helped him to excel as captain of Manchester United from 1997 until his departure in 2005. He played at an international level for nearly all of his career, representing the Republic of Ireland over fourteen years, mainly as team captain, until an incident with national coach Mick McCarthy resulted in Keane’s walk-out from the 2002 World Cup.

Since retiring as a player, Keane has managed Sunderland and Ipswich and become a notably contrarian pundit for ITV. He is assistant (to Martin O’Neill) manager of the Ireland team. The TV analyst reflects the manager, the player, and the man himself, the unique Roy Keane – Keano. As part of a tiny elite of football players, Roy Keane has lived and experienced what very few people could ever imagine. His status one of football’s greatest stars is undisputed, but what of the challenges beyond the pitch? How did he succeed in coming to terms with life as a former Manchester United and Ireland leader and champion, reinvent himself as a broadcaster, and cope with the psychological struggles this entailed? This book is a personal odyssey, a blend of anecdote and reflection which re-evaluates the meaning of success.

In following his personal struggle to reinvent himself, confronting a few demons along the way, The Second Half blends memoir and motivational writing in a manner which both disquiets and reassures in Roy Keane’s original voice, in a stunning collaboration brilliantly captured with Man Booker Prize-winning writer Roddy Doyle.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


Adam Gilchrist: The Man. The Cricketer. The Legend.

by Adam Gilchrist

Going in first or seventh, wearing whites or colours, Adam Gilchrist was the most exhilarating cricketer of the modern age.

This is the most complete, intimate and fascinating illustrated autobiography of ‘Gilly’, one of the most loved sportsmen of his generation.

Featuring personal photographs, stories and precious keepsakes from Gilchrist’s private life and illustrious career, this book provides unprecedented access to Gilly, on and off the field. Peppered with anecdotes, reflections and jibes from friends, family and many of the biggest names in Australian and world cricket, this is the ultimate collection for sporting enthusiasts.

Many critics believe Adam Gilchrist is the greatest wicketkeeper/batsman to have played the game, but Adam’s huge popularity does not rest solely on his incredible track record. To his millions of fans around the world, it is the way he plays the game – rather than simply the sum of his achievements – that marks him out as one of the best-loved cricketers of his generation. He is both a swashbuckling batsman and record-breaking wicketkeeper, yet perhaps his true impact has come from the manner in which he plays his cricket – with an integrity and sense of values that many thought had departed the game forever.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Captain’s Diary

by Michael Clarke

The inside story of the 2013 – 14 Ashes triumph.

After a three year losing streak in the Ashes, complete with a painfully recent 3-0 loss in England, facing the victorious English cricket team so soon was never going to be an easy battle. The public’s faith in the young Australian team was waning.

Despite their failures, captain Michael Clarke records in his diary a feeling of hunger in his team: a hunger to strike back, a hunger to prove their talent to the world. A hunger to return the urn.

Michael Clarke led his team to an Ashes victory at home in a 5-0 triumph over the 2013-14 summer. Along the way, the tide of public affection turned in his favour for the first time. Clarke had previously been respected for his deeds as a batsman, but had not truly won the hearts of sports fans.

This Ashes series changed that. Clarke showed the grit, talent, charisma and aggression Australian sports fans look for in their leaders. Revealing and insightful, Clarke once again puts his unique mark on the sport, giving us his account of how he rallied both the team and public behind him to bring the urn home.

 

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Iron Eagle

by Dean Cox & Digby Beacham

In the tough, adrenaline-fueled world of Australian Football, Dean Cox is a legend.

In 2014, the big man from the Dampier Archipelago played his 15th season of AFL, having played more games for the West Coast Eagles than any other man. To fans, Coxy was – and always will be – the Iron Eagle. Iron Eagle is Dean Cox’s incredible and inspiring autobiography – a no-holds-barred chronicle of a wild childhood in the Pilbara that evolved into a glorious career in the AFL and placed him front-and-centre in one of Australian sport’s most amazing rise-and-fall stories.

Tough, loyal, relentless and gifted, the two-metre-tall, seemingly indestructible Eagles ruckman rose from his humble beginnings to fuel the fast and unlikely rise of Western Australia’s first team in the AFL and became a lynch-pin in the Eagle’s famous 2006 premiership, a one-point win over Sydney. With unflinching honesty, Cox’s autobiography Iron Eagle takes us inside West Coast’s glory years – the big games, magic moments and epic battles, including the thrilling clashes with Sydney where just 13 points separated the sides over six amazing games – and also lifts the lid on the off-field scandals that left the Eagles and their fans stranded in a dirty world of drugs, death and heartbreak.

Bullishly upfront and admirably candid, full of up-close revelations and earthy humour and tall-but-true tales, Dean Cox’s Iron Eagle is the uplifting tale of a bush kid with a gift, an Eagle who dared to dream, and a big man who flew into the record books and became an AFL legend.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


Playing It My Way

by Sachin Tendulkar

The autobiography of the highest scoring batsman of all time.

The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an astonishing 24 years at the top. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he received the Bharat Ratna Award – India’s highest civilian honour – on the day of his retirement. Now Sachin Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story – from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill. When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long Sachin Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers.

Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked Mumbai. His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings.

Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain. Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local Bookstore


Cricket as I See it

by Allan Border

The forthright, fascinating and informed views and thoughts on world cricket by former Australian captain, Allan ‘A.B.’ Border.

In the twenty years since Allan Border retired as Australian cricket captain he’s been one of the game’s closest and most astute observers. His views on cricket – based on his experiences as a player, a captain, a selector and a commentator – are fascinating, forthright and informed by more than three decades of involvement at the game’s highest level.

In Cricket as I See It he gives us his wisdom and opinions on the game he loves – from epic Tests, the rising power of India, and the Twenty20 revolution, through to his thoughts on captaincy, and the essential arts of batting, bowling and sledging. He reflects on the great players and contests of his generation, as well as controversies such as the underarm bowling affair, the turbulent events that led to him shouldering the captaincy, the rebel tour of South Africa, Steve Waugh’s dropping as one-day captain, and the divisive ‘Monkeygate’ scandal. With cricket, Allan calls it as he sees it, and the result is a book to be savoured and enjoyed by cricket lovers everywhere. overdue.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local


The Voice

by Ray Warren & Andrew Webster

Ray ‘Rabbits’ Warren is the legendary voice of Australian sports commentary. People tell him he must have drunk a bottle of scotch and smoked a packet of cigarettes every day to have the voice that he has. That’s not the case – at least, not anymore . . .

The son of a railway worker, Ray placed his first bet on a horse called Playboy at the age of just six, and won. A lifelong love of the track – and the punt – was born.

During his remarkable broadcasting career, which has now spanned almost five decades, Ray has called three Melbourne Cups, Commonwealth and Olympic Games swimming, and countless rugby league matches alongside his mates Fatty, Sterlo and Gus.

Here, for the first time, Ray reveals the man behind the microphone. He speaks of the great highs and devastating lows of his career and life in the same way he calls every sporting event: with great passion, colour and candour.

Ray “Rabbits” Warren in Junee, New South Wales is an Australian sports commentator, most famous for his coverage of televised professional rugby league matches on the Nine Network. On occasion he is referred to as “The Voice of Rugby League”. Ray also calls the action for Australian swimming team events. On Saturday mornings, he is a member of the panel on Triple M Sydney’s radio sports program Dead Set Legends. Warren also writes columns for sports website The Serve.

Order a copy from Booktopia, Australia’s Local

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