Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Kenny Dalglish’s relationship with Liverpool Football Club is one of the great love stories of sport.
From the moment he first set foot in the Anfield dressing room nervously asking for autographs while having a trial at the club, Dalglish felt a passion for Liverpool stir within him. After joining from Celtic in 1977, the supremely gifted striker was embraced by Liverpool fans, for the goals and the glory, and most especially for the three European Cups.
The Kop’s adoration of King Kenny has never ebbed. Every game, they still sing his name. Liverpool fans have never forgotten how Dalglish held the club together through two tragedies, the first at the Heysel stadium in Brussels in 1985 and then at Hillsborough in 1989. Both disasters are explored at length and in emotional detail by Dalglish in My Liverpool Home.
Eventually, for the sake of his health and his family, Dalglish resigned and Liverpool have not won the title since. Although Dalglish walked alone, away from Anfield, in his heart he never really left and has now returned, playing a pivotal role in this turbulent period in the club’s history.
My Liverpool Home is the story of Dalglish’s epic love affair with Liverpool, tracing the highs and lows, the characters, the laughter, the triumphs and the many tears. For football fans, this revealing book about one of the game’s greatest players is a must. For those fascinated by how a very private man suffered after very publicly supporting his community, Dalglish’s emotional story makes compelling reading.
The book’s release date is September 13th but it is available for pre-order at Amazon.co.uk
This book will forever change the way you think and feel about professional sport.
The Fix is the most explosive story of sports corruption in a generation. It presents compelling evidence that some of the highest soccer matches in the world may have been fixed: European Champions League, Olympic and World Cup tournaments.
Intriguing, riveting, and compelling, it tells the story of an investigative journalist, Declan Hill, who set out to examine the world of match-fixing in professional soccer.
Hill came face-to-face with the multi-billion dollar illegal Asian gambling industry. Over four years, he interviewed more than two hundred people, including professional gamblers, Mafia hitmen, undercover cops, top-level international soccer players, referees, and officials. He met men who claim they have bribed their way into fixing the results of some of the biggest matches in the sport. Initially very sceptical, Hill travelled across four continents to corroborate their stories. He found soccer leagues where mobsters have fixed more than eighty per cent of the games. But most chilling, he met and then was adopted by a small group of match-fixers.In The Fix, Hill explains the structure and mechanics of illegal gambling syndicates, what soccer players and referees do (or not do) to affect the outcome of their games, why relatively rich and high-status athletes would fix games, how and why club officials would bribe the opposition and how they get referees “on their side.” Perhaps most shocking is Hill’s discovery that gambling fixers have successfully infiltrated the game, all the way to the top international matches.
The book, however, is not just about match fixing in soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Throughout the text, Hill uses examples from other sports – tennis, hockey, even rowing – to show that the credibility of professional sport now lies on a fragile foundation, and it provides enough hints to suspect that all sports above amateur level should look nervously over their shoulder.
From the Introduction:
“”Understand how gambling fixers work to corrupt a soccer game and you will understand how they move into a basketball league, a cricket tournament, or a tennis match (all places, by the way, that criminal fixers have moved into). My views on soccer have changed. I still love the Saturday-morning game between amateurs: the camaraderie and the fresh smell of grass. But the professional game leaves me cold. I hope you will understand why after reading the book. I think you may never look at sport in the same way again.”
I’ve recently finished a book which I’d like to recommend to you. “Talk don’t run” written by Paul Kimmage is an assemblage of interviews with various sport stars which the author did for the “The Sunday Times” during the years 2002 and 2009.
Paul Kimmage has spoken to stars like Tony Adams, Boris Becker, Flavio Briatore, David Coulthard, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Jackie Stewart, Eddie Jordan, Jenson Button, Rafael Nadal, Pete Sampras, also the former Liverpool FC player Stan Collymore and many more!
The author understands it like none other to speak with the sportsmen and women and disclose their secrets, desires and decision they made in the past. In this book, Kimmage is giving some very interesting answers on questions which a sport fan always wanted to get answered, and also describes some details about the sportsman/woman which the reader often didn’t know. I can only recommend this book.
Paul Kimmage(born 7 May 1962 in Dublin, Ireland) was a professional cyclist before he turned to journalism, twice competing in the Tour de France. His book Rough Ride is widely acknowledged to be the most honest account of life in the professional ranks. He has been named Sports Interviewer of the Year at the past five Sports Journalists’ Association awards.
The fans voted Pepe Reina for Liverpool’s December’s star man. Fernando Torres called him the best keeper in the world and Rafa Benitez described him as the best Spanish goalkeeper. His father, Miquel Reina said: “He’s better than me” …
As a child Pepe wanted to be a winger but instead – thanks to his father’s support – became the goalkeeper for Liverpool FC. Pepe arrived in the city of The Beatles in July 2005. He came from Villareal, where he was on loan from Barcelona, the club where he had worked his way up from the junior ranks to the senior squad. He was renowned as ‘a penalty-stopper’.
Within the time at Liverpool, for three years in row (2006-2008), he won the Golden Glove award for the highest number of clean sheets in the Premier League. The goalkeeping son of a goalkeeper has become more famous than his father, gained the respect of the manager, the fans, team mates and the opponents. But the Number 25 of Liverpool isn’t only a great player, he is also a charming character, the ideal dressing room companion who can give you a boost when things are going badly or when someone is feeling down …
Pepe Reina is also Fernando Torres’ team mate in Liverpool FC and in the Spanish national team. But what does the best keeper in the world think of the best striker in the world?
Excerpt from the book “Torres” by Luca Caioli, from the author’s converstation with Pepe Reina.
What advice did you give Fernando to help him when he arrived (in Liverpool)?
Pepe Reina:“Fernando is very good at getting his head round different situations and that’s why he adapted to Liverpool so quickly and so well. (…) When I arrived at Liverpool, it was Fernando Morientes who helped me a lot and I try to do the same with whoever comes, making an open invitation to visit me at home, giving advice and making myself available for whatever they need.”
How is Torres seen from the perspective of the Liverpool goal?
P.R.: “He’s a player that makes all of us a little better. He has skill, speed and directness, which all help the team. For those who play around him, he makes their passing easier and he can turn the ball to his advantage. For me, from behind, the attacks that we have practiced are a lot easier when I can take advantage of his speed. It’s something we have talked about, we know each other well and we know when to do it in a match. In a given moment, I can find him with the ball behind the opponents’ defence.” (…) There are two footballer who, when you play against them, you always suspect that something bad’s going to happen. Those two are David Villa and Fernando Torres. I don’t know exactly how to explain it but it’s a feeling of a danger. When he has the ball, your goal isn’t safe.”
What is the quality that strikes you the most about Fernando?
P.R.: “His ambition. (…) For that reason he comes out on top. He’s never content to sit back with what he has, he’s always trying to improve himself. (…) He studies errors he’s made and works very hard to do it better the next time.”
Torres is a star of the team?
P.R.: “Yes, Stevie and Fernando are our stars and that’s how it should be because they are the two players who make the difference. Fernando has created a place for himself amongst the Liverpool greatest because he’s very charismatic, a good guy, a warm guy, a worker and that’s how the people of Liverpool see him and they really appreciate him.”
And he’s also the ‘pin-up boy’ of the team …
P.R.: “That’s not how he appears to me. Men are not my thing but I understand that Fernando has that attraction. He’s tall, strong, handsome and he’s got hair – what’s more it’s blond – not like me!”
The first post-war Football League campaign of 1946/47 was the longest and most tumultuous ever known. For Liverpool FC, it was the ultimate triumph against adversity; a First Division championship won in a style that was to set a precedent for future Anfield success. Amid the bleak austerity of a war-ravaged nation; and, food and clothes rationing, fuel and housing shortages, and the worst winter ever recorded, George Kay’s side brought some much-needed cheer to their long suffering fans with a title charge that defied the odds and silenced all those who had written the Reds off before a ball had been kicked. The season had everything; a ground-breaking tour of the USA; league debut’s for Billy Liddell and Bob Paisley; the sensational signing of Albert Stubbins; Jackie Balmer’s amazing hat-trick of hat-tricks; long queues and massive crowds; the constant threat of a players strike; quagmire pitches; frozen pitches; a thrilling FA cup run; the famous ‘goal in the snow’; squad rotation; and, an unprecedented fixture pile-up and a nail-biting championship finale that wasn’t resolved until the middle of June! When the dust finally settled it was Liverpool, the so-called ‘Crazy Gang’, who were crowned champions for a fifth time in the club’s history. Neither before or since has league title glory been achieved in such remarkable circumstances. Placing Liverpool’s title triumph in its wider social context, with match-by-match analysis, player profiles and rare photographs, this book tells the in-depth story of this almost forgotten feat for the very first time.