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Arena Sport Books

Birlinn Limited
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Arena Sport - bringing you the best of modern sports writing with a distinctive twist: you know it's a winner. An imprint of Birlinn Ltd.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Discover 26 tales of triumph, hope, and determination in this collection of personal stories from London Marathon runners.The London Marathon is an event unlike any other. It is twenty-six-point-two miles of iconic landmarks, cheers, tears, sweat, pain and courage. It is triumph over adversity on a colossal scale. Running The Smoke tells the story of this legendary race since its inception in 1981 through the perspectives of twenty-six fascinating and inspiring participants.Here are the stories of people both ordinary and extraordinary. You’ll read about Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave, one of the marathon’s most prominent participants; John Farnworth, the soccer freestyler who completed the marathon while juggling a soccer ball the entire way; Jamie McAndrew, who ran just three years after becoming a quadruple amputee following a climbing accident in the French Alps; and many others.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    What happens if you chase a dream . . . and then that dream comes true?When Zak isn’t scoring goals for his local football team, Redwood Rovers, he is endlessly working on his freestyle videos with his dad. And when one of those videos goes viral, his whole life changes. As the views come rolling in, everyone wants a piece of him. A major sports brand wants him to shoot an advert with his footballing heroes. Suddenly his face is on every sports channel. But as his celebrity status grows, Zak begins to realise that online fame isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.Tekkers is an amusing and entertaining story about the power of social media with the core message that followers are great, but friends are even better.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Rugby World Cup 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, stats, stories, personalities and trivia — perfect for all fans of rugby from around the world.From the genesis of the tournament in 1987 all the way through to the present day, the Rugby World Cup’s rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent — but always affectionate — guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have taken place in rugby’s marquee event. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for rugby lovers everywhere.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Welsh Rugby 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, stats, stories, personalities and trivia — perfect for all fans of Welsh rugby.From the very first Test match against England in 1881 all the way through to the present day, Welsh rugby’s rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent — but always affectionate — guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have taken place in the Principality over the years. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for those who follow Wales’s exploits on the field and love to bask in the light of its glorious (and sometimes inglorious) past.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Scottish Rugby 101 is a compendium of fascinating facts, quotes, stats, stories, personalities and trivia — perfect for all fans of Scottish rugby.

    From the very first Test match in 1871 all the way through to the present day, Scottish rugby's rich history is distilled into 101 facts, stats and stories. This entertaining volume is an instructive, if sometimes irreverent — but always affectionate — guide to some of the groundbreaking firsts, controversies, innovations, characters, achievements and disasters that have shaped the game north of the border. Whether an expert or a novice, this is the perfect companion for those who follow Scotland's exploits on the field (and may serve as a handy distraction when things inevitably start to go pear-shaped).
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    ‘The perfect book for any parent to read with their kids. I absolutely loved it!’ — Sam Warburton, Wales and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘James Hook has nailed it. A book packed with positive messages — what young rugby fans have been waiting for’ — Alan Pearey, Rugby World
    ‘Jimmy Joseph is one to watch. Kick Off does what is says on the cover: kicks off a great new series about a young rugby player’s life on and off the pitch. I can’t wait to read more’ — Tom Palmer, award-winning children’s author
    ‘A great read, brilliantly written. It teaches lessons about rugby, both on and off the field’ — Leigh Halfpenny, Wales and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘I read this with my rugby-mad son and we both enjoyed it immensely — it really is a book for all ages’ — Shane Williams, Wales and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘A great read. The perfect book to encourage kids to follow their rugby dreams’ — Tommy Bowe, Ireland and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘This book is a go-to every night before bed with my rugby-adoring sons. A great read for young and old’ — Greig Laidlaw, Scotland and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘Loved this book! It’s so good, even I might have struggled to get into this school team!’ — Mike Phillips, Wales and the British & Irish Lions
    ‘Smashing stereotypes, this brilliant book is worth more than a bonus point. Moving and magnificent, as well as one of the most exciting and confidence-inspiring stories I’ve read. Guaranteed to be a grand slam series; essential reading for rugby fans whatever your age’ — Scott Evans, The Reader Teacher and #PrimarySchoolBookClub
    Small, skinny, short-sighted . . . and dazzlingly talented.Jimmy Joseph loves rugby. All he dreams about is one day playing for his country in a World Cup, or winning a Test series for the Lions with a last-minute drop-goal. But when he kicks an up-and-under in the schoolyard and accidentally hits his new teacher, Mr Kane, on the head, he makes a powerful enemy.Jimmy and his best friends — Kitty, Manu and Matt — try to prove their worth on the rugby field, but to no avail. Mr Kane has it in for them — and life is already hard enough as they struggle to deal with the antics of team captain Mike Green, well known as the school bully.Can Jimmy and his friends overcome the tyranny of Mr Kane and help Mike see the error of his ways? Or will the combination of bullying, pressure and dirty tactics derail the friends’ rugby careers before they have even begun?An epic new rugby series begins here!
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Writing your CV or getting ready to do an interview for a job? Chances are you have lots of questions. Should I? What if? How can I? Help! This book gives highly practical and instantly actionable advice on 101 issues, questions and scenarios most frequently encountered by people when applying and interviewing for jobs. When you don’t have your own personal CV and interview coach on speed dial this book is the next best thing . . . and costs a lot less. Straight-talking, instructive and using templates and worksheets to help you give the employer exactly what they want to see and hear, it will make the task of securing your ideal job significantly easier and a lot less stressful.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    A history of the longstanding US-vs.-Europe golf competition—told by those who have participated. Includes numerous photos.Go inside the locker room for a history of the Ryder Cup as you’ve never experienced it before. Ranging from the origin matches that preceded the first official trans-Atlantic encounter between Britain and America at Worcester Country Club in 1927 through to the fortieth installment at Gleneagles, this is the history of the Ryder Cup—told by the men who have been there.With extensive research and exclusive new material garnered from interviews with players and captains from across the decades, Behind the Ryder Cup unveils the compelling truth of what it means to play in golf's biggest match-play event, where greats of the game have crumbled under pressure while others have carved their names into sporting legend.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    With 49 trophies won — 38 of them at Manchester United — during a glittering 39-year managerial career, Sir Alex Ferguson will be remembered as the most successful coach in world football. At the age of 71 he finally brought the curtain down on his time in football management at the conclusion to the 2012/13 season; in Ferguson: The Legacy, Michael Grant and Rob Robertson extract three key profiles from their best-selling book The Management: Scotland's Great Football Bosses to examine the three-tiered legacy of Ferguson's time at Old Trafford — the influences of Sir Matt Busby, his own career, and the career of the man that he hand-picked to be his successor, David Moyes. This is a must-read for all football fans, whether Manchester United supporters or not, as the authors explore one of the most fascinating stories in the beautiful game.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    From being the most dominant club in Scottish football history, Rangers F.C., one of the most famous and powerful names in British sport, was sold to venture capitalist Craig Whyte in 2011 . . . for £1. When Whyte walked through the gates at Ibrox, the club was mired in debt and plagued with a toxic culture which seeped everywhere — from the corridors of power to a sectarian hard core in the stands. The ‘great Whyte hope’ was touted for a time as Rangers’ saviour but he was soon hung out to dry as the fall guy for Rangers’ misery as the unthinkable happened. The club was plunged into liquidation and the reformed club suffered the indignity of demotion to the third division, the lowest echelon of Scottish professional football. The demise of Rangers saw Whyte’s reputation eviscerated on the pages of every newspaper in the country, his name vilified on radio shows, TV programmes and blogs as every aspect of his professional and personal life was picked over. In 2012 he was arrested and accused of fraud. He was put on trial where he faced the full might and resources of the government for his role in the downfall of the club. Although he was ultimately acquitted of all charges, he had to endure years of false accusations from some media outlets and multiple death threats from obsessed fans. Full of startling revelations, this is the previously untold story of greed, corruption and scandal at the heart of Rangers F.C., told, definitively, by the man who was at the very centre of the storm.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Busby’s Last Crusade is the never to be forgotten fable of Manchester United’s rise from the ashes of Munich in 1958 to the European Cup win 10 years later … and the humble Scot who led them there.With words from best-selling author Jeff Connor and over 200 images, many of them new to the public, this is one man’s search for his personal Holy Grail, and his determination to get there. This is not a eulogy for Sir Matt Busby. As Connor points out his roles as a club director after 1968 will always be questioned and that King Arthur would never have succeeded without his knights: Duncan Edwards, Roger Byrne, Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law and, above all, Jimmy Murphy. All of these, and others, lighten the pages of a book certain to be seen by fans everywhere as a permanent memoir of an unforgettable era.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Muhammad Ali is one of the most remarkable sports personalities and celebrities of our time. He is a legend who transcended boxing and rose above all sport. A man of mythic proportions, Ali rose to become a prominent feature of our cultural landscape.Through exclusive accounts from family members, close friends, associates and adversaries, Fiaz Rafiq has compiled a compelling and intriguing insight into a sporting legend. Muhammad Ali's story is an epic one, one of bravery, courage, hope, skill and indomitable will. Muhammad Ali: The Life of a Legend is the ultimate tribute to one of the greatest icons in world sport.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    In Life in La Liga, football writer Rab MacWilliam delves to the heart of one of Europe's most historically and politically complex nations to explore its rich football history, examining its deep-rooted rivalries and internecine vendettas, and the undoubtedly impressive standard of its football clubs.
    From the big five of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic Bilbao, Atletico Madrid and Valencia, to the likes of Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Deportivo de La Coruna, Real Zaragoza, Celta de Vigo, Espanyol, Real Betis and Sporting Gijon, McWilliam laces an entertainingly informative narrative with short biographies of the Spanish game's main participants, players, and characters, as well as reflections on the humorous, tragic and pivotal events that have taken place since the Spanish league's origins in the late nineteenth century on its journey to becoming the dominant force in the global game that it is today.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Labels such as ‘icon’ or ‘legend’ are rarely attached to one individual to the degree that they are to Bruce Lee. He only made a handful of films, yet four and a half decades after his untimely death at the age of 32, the Little Dragon’s influence on culture is as strong as ever.Named among Time magazine’s 100 most influential people of the 20th century, Lee wasn’t just an actor and martial artist, but a director, inventor, husband, father and philosopher. His martial art, jeet kune do, is still practised around the world, while UFC champions credit him with inspiring the growing sport of mixed martial arts. His films kick-started a global kung fu boom and retain the power to awe today, while his thoughts — collected in a series of books from Lee’s own notes — still inspire.Bruce Lee: The Life of a Legend is a unique oral biography that combines the memories of Lee’s original students, close friends, co-stars and colleagues — those who knew him best — to provide a candid view on the action movie star adored by millions, capturing the essence of a complex man in a way no straightforward narrative ever could. Further, for the first time ever in print, legendary professional boxing, bodybuilding and MMA champions and personalities from the motion picture industry pay homage to Lee, giving a blend of unique perspectives on a man who changed the face of their respective sports.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Andy Bollen has created a fantasy football museum to collect together a treasure trove of Scottish football exhibits that ranges from Jimmy Johnstone’s oar to Aggie the tea lady's trolley. Learn why Puskas and Socrates should’ve been Scottish, the versatility of the pie and Napoleon’s links to Bovril and explore all the wonders of the game north of the Border — from Arthur Montford to the phone-in, Think Tanks, Buckfast, vanishing cream for referees, Twitter, VAR technology and flares (pyrotechnics, not 1970s attire). These exhibits distill the beauty of Scottish football into an entertaining volume that will make the perfect gift for any fan. Taking a satirical swipe at the beautifully flawed game, A History of Scottish Football in 100 Objects covers the mayhem, mavericks and bric-a-brac from the magic sponge, to the pie, hair weaves to tattoos. Bollen is the perfect curator: impeccably informed, passionate and insightful.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    Butch Wilkins and the Sundance Kid chronicles the author’s decade-long obsession with televised sport during his teenage years in the 1980s. Charting similar waters to Nick Hornby’s classic Fever Pitch, but with the hopeless devotion of a teenager faithfully following his team around the country replaced by the hopeless devotion of a teenager faithfully following sport (any sport) around the TV schedules.It is memoir intertwined with nostalgia, ruminations on the changing face of sport during this time, portraits of its heroes and villains, and reflections on teenagehood and impending adulthood.Sweet, wise and witty, Butch Wilkins and the Sundance Kid is a hymn to televised sport in the 1980s — as well as to the decade itself — combining humour, insight and poignancy to vividly depict the way sport can transcend the television screen to impact on wider life, hopes and ambitions.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    In the 1980s and 1990s, Serie A was known as ‘Il campionato più bello del mondo’ — the most beautiful championship in the world — and had the highest match attendances in Europe. The stadiums were not only full of people, but full of colour, flags, songs and rituals. Italy hosted World Cup 1990 and the stadia and stars on show in Serie A became iconic. Across a ten year period from 1989 to 1999 a remarkable 10 different Serie A clubs occupied nearly half the places in the finals of the Champions League and Europa Cup. They were dominant.But then in the 2000s they began to fall behind and despite the Azzurri winning the World Cup in 2006 and Inter Milan winning the Champions League in 2010, Italian football was on a downwards trajectory that saw the national team fail to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, their first absence from the tournament since 1958.What happened and why? In this extraordinary book, Steven G. Mandis investigates. Given unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to Italian clubs and key decision makers and players, Mandis is the first outside researcher to rigorously analyse both the on-the-pitch and business aspects of a club and league. What he learns is completely unexpected and challenges popular explanations and conventional wisdom.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    The story of a football club born in a poverty-stricken corner of Glasgow—and its powerful rise to champion status and worldwide renown. Celtic is a club like no other. Its story is a unique one, of a football club founded to raise money to help alleviate poverty within the predominantly Irish immigrant community of Glasgow’s East End. Yet, from its inception, Celtic has been a club open to all. From those humble and charitable origins, Celtic have gone on to become one of the most famous names in world football. In 1967, they became the first British club to win the European Cup, while domestically they have won, to date, 47 league titles, 36 Scottish Cups, and 16 League Cups. The story of Celtic continues—a story of success on the field, backed by a strong organization off it, and all underpinned by a commitment to remain true to the charitable roots of the club.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    The British sportswriter goes inside some of Europe’s best soccer clubs—from Bilbao to Bavaria and beyond—to reveal their winning secrets.In The European Game, Daniel Fieldsend travels across Europe to discover the methods for success used at some of the continent’s biggest Football clubs—from Ajax, Juventus and Benfica to Bayern Munich, A.C Milan, Lyon, Athletic Bilbao and many more. At every stop, Fieldsend pulls back the curtain to reveal what makes each club tick, speaking to everyone from scouts and academy coaches to first team managers, analysts and board members.Insightful, ambitious and compelling, The European Game is about more than just a game. It’s about community, identity and attachment. It explores leadership, tactics, coaching and scouting as well as politics, finance, fandom and culture. Celebrating the uniqueness of football clubs around the continent, it also investigates whether their methods can be replicated in other domestic leagues.
    Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books6 months ago
    A “delightfully quirky, witty and exquisitely rendered” account of the Edinburgh football team that won the Scottish Cup—after a 114-year dry spell (Sunday Herald).One hundred and fourteen years and no Scottish Cup for Hibernian. It could be considered the biggest curse in football. Cock-up after near-miss after not-a-hope. Over the years, fans of the rival team Hearts have even tried to get the term “Hibsing it”—to chuck away a vital game from a favorable position—included in the dictionary.Every year would come the mention of 1902, the last time Hibs had won the cup. 1902, when Buffalo Bill was still alive and the bra was newly invented. And then came 2016 and a run all the way to the final at Hampden. Hibs couldn’t finally, at long, long last, win the infernal, blasted thing . . . could they?Aidan Smith takes us on the turbulent journey that was Hibs’ 2016 Scottish Cup Campaign, through a season of peaks and troughs that, despite everything, finally delivered that elusive Cup victory Hibs fans craved for so long.
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