Related to: 'Commitment'

Alex Ferguson

Born in Glasgow in 1941, Sir Alex Ferguson was playing football at an international level as a school boy. He began his professional playing career in 1958 with Queen's Park. Four times winner of Manager of the Year, he has been the manager of Manchester United for thirteen years during a time when they have become the most successful and richest club in the world. MANAGING MY LIFE was awarded the British Book Awards' Book of the Year in 1999.Sir Alex Ferguson was born in 1941 in Govan, Scotland. A goal-scoring centre-forward, he was later transferred to Rangers for a Scottish record transfer fee. In 1974, he entered management with East Stirlingshire and St Mirren before joining Aberdeen, where consistent domestic success, followed by victory in the 1983 Cup Winners' Cup over Real Madrid, brought him wider attention.Arriving at Manchester United in 1986, he went on to accumulate 38 trophies, including five FA Cups, 13 Premier Leagues and two Champions Leagues. He was knighted in 1999, following Manchester United's remarkable Treble campaign, and his overall haul of 49 trophies makes him the most successful British manager of all time. Sir Alex announced his retirement in 2013, but he continues to serve United as a director and is a Fellow to the Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School.

Andrew Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff was born in Preston in 1977. An aggressive fast bowler and hard-hitting batsman, he made his County Championship debut for Lancashire in 1995 and won the first of his 79 England Test caps in 1998. As an all-rounder, he played a vital part in England's celebrated Ashes victory in 2005.Widely considered to be the best all-rounder of his generation, Andrew was named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2004, and Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World the following year. Also in 2005, he was awarded the title of BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Andrew became captain of the national team in 2006, only to have the captaincy removed after England's disappointing performances in Australia in 2006-07 and in the 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean. Having put those setbacks behind him, he overcame a series of injuries to help England, under Andrew Strauss, regain the Ashes in 2009. Shortly afterwards, he called an end to his playing career and embarked on a varied new one in television, as a presenter, documentary-maker and team captain on the BAFTA award-winning A League of Their Own. In 2012, Andrew Flintoff unexpectedly turned to sport again, this time as a boxer, winning his one bout as a professional. In the summer of 2014, after five years out of the game, he made a surprise return to cricket, playing for Lancashire in the NatWest T20 Blast and then for Brisbane Heat in Australia's T20 Big Bash. In 2015, he took part in Australia's version of I'm a Celebrity ... Let Me Out of Here!, and was crowned King of the Jungle.In May 2014 when it was announced that Andrew would play for Lancashire again. Following on from such a successful stint with Lancashire in October 2014 it was announced that Andrew would continue his professional cricket comeback in Brisbane in the Australian T20 Big Bash league. In March 2015 Freddie was crowned the King of the Jungle in the first series of the Australian version of 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here', and was bowled over by the support of the Australian public.After launching his very own podcast with friend and TV producer Clyde Holcroft in 2014, it was announced that Freddie and Clyde will celebrate the ten year anniversary of England's Ashes win with a live tour which will travel the length and breadth of the country including at the Edinburgh Festival.

Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke was born in Northern Ireland in 1968. In 2000, he became the first European to win one of the World Golf Championships events. He went on to become the only player, apart from Woods, to have more than one WGC success to his name when he won the 2003 NEC Invitational in Ohio by four shots. In 2002, he also became the only player to win the English Open three times. He is also one of few players to have beaten Tiger Woods in a 36 hole Match Play final (Accenture 2000), and was unbeaten in the 2006 Ryder Cup.

David Tossell

David Tossell is the author of fourteen previous sports books, five of which have been short-listed in the British Sports Book Awards and two for the MCC/Cricket Society Book of the Year. Formerly executive sports editor of the Today newspaper, he has been head of public relations in Europe for the National Football League (NFL) for the past two decades. As a boy, he played for school football and rugby teams wearing Alan Ball-endorsed white boots.

Derek Pringle

Derek Pringle was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, where he first learnt to play cricket on matting pitches. He attended St Mary's School Nairobi then Felsted School in Essex before reading Geography and Land Economy at Cambridge, where he captained the University at cricket and won three Blues. While still an undergraduate he was selected to play Test cricket for England in 1982, a feat achieved previously by Ted Dexter, 24 years earlier. He also appeared, briefly, in the Oscar-winning film "Chariots of Fire," as Cambridge's vice-captain of athletics.He played 30 Tests and 44 One-day Internationals for England appearing in two World Cups, one as a losing finalist in 1992. His cricket career at Essex, which spanned 15 years, included five County Championship titles, three John Player League titles, a NatWest Trophy and countless friendships. He retired from the game in 1993.A second career, as a journalist, saw him appointed cricket correspondent for The Independent then The Telegraph, a role he fulfilled until 2014. He now works as a freelance writer. His hobbies include photography and collecting vinyl records of which he has several thousand - the latter perhaps explaining why he has never married. He has a son whose musical tastes he is trying to shape. He lives in Cambridge.

Dickie Bird

Born in 1933, the son of a miner, Dickie Bird has spent a life 'married to cricket'. He was signed up to play for Yorkshire age 19, and played on the county circuit for the next 13 years. In 1979 he became a Test match umpire. The announcement that he would umpire his final Test at Lord's in June 1996 signalled the end of an international career which has won him worldwide affection as the finest umpire in cricket history.

Didier Drogba

Didier Drogba played for English club Chelsea as a striker, and is the all-time top scorer and former captain of the Ivory Coast national team. He is best known for his career at Chelsea, for whom he has scored more goals than any other foreign player and is currently the club's fourth highest goal scorer of all time. In October 2012, he was voted by Chelsea supporters as the club's greatest ever player. He has also been named African Footballer of the Year twice, winning the accolade in 2006 and 2009.After playing in youth teams, Drogba made his professional debut aged 18 for Ligue 2 club Le Mans, and signed his first professional contract aged 21.In the summer of 2004, Drogba moved to Chelsea for a club record £24 million fee, making him the most expensive Ivorian player in history. In his debut season he helped the club win their first league title in 50 years, and a year later he won another Premier League title. With a career record of scoring 10 goals in 10 finals winning 10 trophies at club level, Drogba has been referred to as the 'ultimate big game player'.An Ivory Coast international between 2002 and 2014, Drogba captained the national team from 2006 until his retirement and is the nation's all-time top goalscorer with 65 goals from 104 appearances. On 8 August 2014, he announced his retirement from international football.

Duncan Hamilton

Duncan Hamilton is an author and journalist and two-time winner of the prestigious William Hill Sports Book of the Year award. He first won the award in 2007 for his memoir Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years With Brian Clough. The book also won the 'Best Football Book' category of the 2008 British Sports Book Awards.In 2009, Hamilton won a second William Hill Sports Book of the Year award for his biography of the outstanding fast bowler Harold Larwood, who was a protagonist in the controversial 'Bodyline' series between Australia and England in 1932-33. The book also won the 'Best Biography' category of the 2010 British Sports Book Awards. More recently, Duncan was the co-writer for England cricketer, Jonny Bairstow's bestselling memoir, Under a Clear Blue Sky. Going to the Match is Duncan's eleventh (tbc) book.

Graeme Swann

Graeme Swann is a former international cricketer for England. He was primarily a right-arm offspinner, and also a capable late-order batsman with four first-class centuries, and often fielded at slip. After initially playing for his home county Northamptonshire, for whom he made his debut in 1997, he moved to Nottinghamshire in 2005. He made his debut for England in 2000 but didn't play again until 2008 when he became an essential part of the team in all formats. In 2011 he was part of the team that claimed the number one world Test ranking spot. Graeme was involved in three Ashes tours, winning the Ashes in 2009 and 2011, he retired from all formats during the 2013 Ashes series. Since retirement Graeme has made the transition into commentary and is a summariser on Test Match Special and BT Sport cricket coverage.

Ian Robertson

Ian Robertson is a Scottish broadcaster, writer and former international rugby player. He is best known as a rugby union commentator for BBC Radio.Robertson played rugby union for Cambridge University, Watsonians, London Scottish, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (1968-70) and the Barbarians. The most memorable moment of his playing career was Scotland's 1970 Calcutta Cup victory over England. At 25 he suffered a serious knee injury that ended his sporting career.Robertson joined the BBC in 1972 and since April 1983 he has been the Corporation's official rugby union correspondent, covering the sport not only on radio but also on television. Robertson has written over thirty books and a number of biographies, including those of Bill Beaumont, Andy Irvine, and actor Richard Burton.

Jessica Ennis

Jessica Ennis was born in Sheffield in 1986. Jessica attended King Ecgbert Secondary School where she first met her fiancé Andy Hill. In the school holidays Jessica attended local athletics camps, and at the age of thirteen Jessica had her first coaching session with Toni Minichiello. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Sheffield, Jessica became a professional athlete; her greatest achievement to date has been winning heptathlon gold at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Jessica was appointed MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours list in 2011 and lives in Sheffield with Andy and their chocolate labrador, Myla.

Joe Root

Joe Root is a product of Sheffield Collegiate, the same nursery that produced Michael Vaughan, while his patience and stubbornness at the crease had Geoffrey Boycott gushing that he reminded him of himself.The 2011 season proved to be a breakthrough season for Root as he made 1,013 runs at 36.17. His form earned him a call up to the England senior squad for their tour of India. He did not disappoint, marking his Test debut in Nagpur with 73 runs from 229 balls.Joe has become an increasingly prominent member of the England squad in all three formats of the game and in 2013 he continued his rapid international progress with a superb 71 as England defeated New Zealand by 140 runs in the first Test at Lord's. In the second Test, Joe hit a marvellous 104 to become the first Yorkshireman to score his maiden Test century at Headingley. He was subsequently named as player of the series as the home side clinched a 246-run second Test victory to win the series 2-0.Joe was promoted to opening batsman and played a prominent role as England secured their third successive Ashes victory in 2013. The highlight of his series came in the second Test, when he was named man of the match after scoring a sensational 180 at Lord's, becoming the youngest ever Englishman to do so at the home of cricket.After returning from injury he quickly scored two more Test centuries, one at Lord's against Sri Lanka where he finished with a career-best 200*.Joe scored an unbeaten 154 against India at Trent Bridge that helped England recover from 298-9 to post 496 as he and James Anderson shared a world record 10th wicket stand of 198 before scoring 149 not out in the fifth Test as his team secured a 3-1 series victory.There was yet another ton in the second Test against West Indies in April 2015, with an unbeaten 182 from 229 balls as England secured a nine-wicket win.The following month, Joe was named England Men's Player of the Year and celebrated with scores of 98 and 84 in England's first Test victory over New Zealand.Joe's performances in The 2015 Ashes Series led to him reaching the top of the ICC World batting rankings.

Kenny Dalglish

Kenny Dalglish was one of the most successful footballers of his era, winning successive tournaments with Liverpool, and then turning to management he triumphed with Liverpool and Blackburn. Since then he has managed Newcastle in a difficult spell and recently taken over the Direction of football in Glasgow Celtic. His autobiography was one of the biggest selling books of its year.

Kevin Eason

Kevin Eason was The Times' Motor Racing Correspondent since 1998. He covered 18 seasons of Formula One for the newspaper, and picked up numerous awards, including the Silverstone award for best F1 coverage.

Lewis Moody

Lewis Moody was born in Ascot in 1978. Educated at Oakham School and later De Montford University, Moody was the then youngest league debutant for Leicester Tigers, aged 18 years and 94 days. After winning seven league championships with Leicester, Lewis moved to Bath Rugby in 2010. He made his debut for England in 2001, and was a key part of the team which won the World Cup in 2003 (after which Lewis was awarded the MBE) and reached the final in 2007. Lewis was named captain in 2010, and is now the most capped England flanker of all time. Lewis lives outside Bath with his wife, Annie and their two sons.

Mesut Özil

Mesut Ozil was born in 1988 to Turkish parents at Gelsenkirchen in what was then West Germany. An attacking midfielder, his professional career began with home-town team Schalke 04 and led him to Werder Bremen and Real Madrid before he joined Arsenal for a club-record £42.5m in 2013. His honours include FA Cup success with Arsenal, a Spanish title with Real and the German Cup at Bremen. A five-time Player of the Year in Germany, he made his debut for the national team aged 20 and was a member of their World Cup-winning side in 2014.

Michael Parkinson

Born in Yorkshire, Michael Parkinson left school at sixteen with the ambition to play cricket for Yorkshire and England and to write about cricket for the Manchester Guardian. Although, he didn't manage to fulfil the first half of his ambition, he has since become one of the most successful journalists of his generation. He wrote a sports column for The Sunday Times for fifteen years and has also written for the Telegraph. He is also a legendary TV and radio presenter - his long-running chat show Parkinson was hugely popular for many years.

Mo Farah

MO FARAH was born in Mogadishu, Somalia in 1983. As a young child he spent time in Djibouti before moving to England at the age of eight. Mo initially struggled with the language barrier, but his PE teacher at Feltham Community College, Alan Watkinson, quickly spotted his potential as a runner and encouraged him to join Borough of Hounslow Athletics Club. After attending St Mary's Endurance Performance and Coaching Centre in Twickenham, Mo became a professional athlete. At the 2012 London Olympic Games he won gold in the 10,000m - Britain's first gold in this event. He followed this up with a stunning victory in the 5000m to become, in the words of Dave Moorcroft, 'the greatest male distance runner that Britain has ever seen.' Mo was appointed CBE in the Honours List in 2013. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife Tania, and their three daughters Rhianna, Aisha and Amani.

Paul Ferris

Paul Ferris was a teenage prodigy, becoming Newcastle United's youngest-ever player in 1982, only for injury to ensure his promise went unfulfilled. He later returned to the club as a physiotherapist before earning a Master's degree and beginning a successful quest to qualify as a barrister. But the lure of football was always strong and he went back for a third spell at Newcastle, as Head of the Medical Department, again working closely with a host of big-name players and managers. Paul also became a novelist and now runs a successful health and fitness business.

Phil Taylor

Phil Taylor is widely regarded as the best darts player of all time, having won more than 200 professional tournaments, including 81 major titles and a record 16 World Championships. No darts player has a winning record in matches against him.He has won the PDC Player of the Year award six times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012) and has twice been nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 2006 and 2010, finishing as runner-up in the latter. He was the first, and to date, the only person to hit two nine dart finishes in one match, in the 2010 Premier League Darts final against James Wade. He has hit a record ten televised nine-dart finishes and is ranked world number two in the PDC Order of Merit.