Arena Sport Books

Birlinn Limited
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 Limited
Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Bookslast year
‘Takes the reader as close as it is possible to get, short of invading the pitch’ – The Scotsman ‘A gem of a book’ – The Herald ‘remarkable . . . an unmissable tome’ – The Evening News From rugby union’s first ever Test match all the way through to the present day, David Barnes, Peter Burns and John Griffiths delve to the heart of Scottish rugby as the greatest players recount their experiences of representing their country at Murrayfield and around the world. Featuring the thoughts of 175 players who have represented Scotland since that first match at Raeburn Place in 1871, Behind the Thistle gives a unique insight into the drama and emotion of playing for Scotland – it is a story of great joys and heart-breaking lows, of victories against the odds and of shattering last-gasp defeats; but above all it is a story of unity, friendship and the unbreakable bonds of a brotherhood. This is a history of Scottish rugby like no other – told, definitively, by the men who have been there and done it.
Birlinn Limited
Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Bookslast year
Access inside the changing room and behind the scenes that any journalist or writer would kill for… Perarnau's insights are astonishing' – Graham Hunter 'Write about everything you see. Be as critical as you like' – Pep Guardiola to Martí Perarnau, Summer 2013 Martí Perarnau was given total access to Bayern Munich during season 2013–14. This book represents the first time in the modern era that a writer has got this close to one of the elite teams of world football. At the invitation of Pep Guardiola, he shadowed the Catalan, his staff and his superstar players during training and on matchdays. Bayer smashed domestic records on their way to the double, but were humiliated by Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-final. Perarnau was with them every step of the way. Perarnau is with Guardiola as he is courted by the world's greatest clubs during his sabbatical in New York. We hear Guardiola explain in detail the radical tactical moves which transform Bayern's season and reprogramme the players who will win the World Cup with Germany. Perarnau talks exclusively and in fascinating detail with an array of players, including Arjen Robben, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm, Thiago Alc?ntara and Bastian Schweinsteiger. Pep Confidential is much more than the story of a season – it is also a lasting portrait of one of the greatest coaches in sport.
Birlinn Limited
Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Books19 days ago
Stuart Barnes has spent over forty years of his life immersed in rugby union, remembered as one of the most controversial playing names during the dying days of the English amateur era and now regarded as a controversial observers in the media — on both television and in print — with over two decades of broadcasting and journalistic experience to draw upon.Sketches from Memory combines autobiography with an objective and off-beat study of the sport from the author’s childhood in the 1970s, through the revolution of the transition to professionalism in the 1980s and 1990s, right up until the present day.Eschewing the more traditional form of the sports book, Barnes abandons chronology to allow past and present to mingle, presenting his memoirs as an alphabetical soup with the letters of the alphabet and not the numbers, dates and years of his life leading the narrative. It is a refreshing, beguiling and absorbing approach that allows the dedicated reader to complete the book in sequence, or the bed-side reader to flick from one letter to the next without losing the thread.Honest, insightful, funny and wise, Sketches from Memory is a fascinating study of the game of rugby union, exploring its myriad enchantments, controversies and world-famous characters like no other book has done before.
Birlinn Limited
Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Bookslast month
Butch Wilkins and the Sundance Kid chronicles the author’s decade-long obsession with televised sport during his teenage years in the1980s. Charting similar waters to Nick Hornby’s classic Fever Pitch, but with the hopeless devotion of a teenager faithfully following histeam 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, andreflections 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, hopesand ambitions.
Birlinn Limited
Birlinn Limitedadded a book to the bookshelfArena Sport Bookslast year
Fernando Ricksen is a fighter. As a footballer, he carved out a fearsome reputation for Rangers, Zenit St Petersburg and the Netherlands. Throughout his time at Ibrox, his aggressive approach won him hero status among the Rangers fans, and off the field he was just as dynamic a force, finding himself on the front pages of the national newspapers as often as in the sports sections. After leaving the club in 2006 and signing for Zenit St Petersburg, he went on to defeat his former teammates in the final of the 2008 UEFA Cup and established as wild a reputation in Russia as he had in Glasgow. In a career that saw him win twelve caps for Holland and an array of silverware and titles for Fortuna Sittard, AZ Alkmaar, Rangers and Zenit St Petersburg, Ricksen has stood out both on and off the field with the sheer force of his personality and his never-say-die attitude. In late 2013, Ricksen was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, and here he candidly reveals his battle with the deadly disease, once again displaying the fighting spirit for which he is famed. He has experienced a rollercoaster of highs and lows in both his personal and professional life and now reveals all in this extraordinary story, an explosive exposé of football, alcohol, drugs, sex, violence and corruption.
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