Related to: 'Commitment'

Alan Shearer

Alan Shearer grew up in Newcastle, leaving home as a teenager to pursue a career in professional football with his first team, Southampton. He has enjoyed a meteoric rise to football stardom with a world-record-breaking transfer to Newcastle United in 1996 and international success as the Captain of England. He now lives in Newcastle with his wife and children.

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.

Alexander Gustafsson

Alexander Gustafsson was raised in Arboga, a small town in Sweden by his father, a farmer. His troubled and complicated youth led to him often ending up in fights as a teenager and aged 18 he was sentenced to prison for aggravated assault. One year later when he was released he decided to turn his life around; finding mixed martial arts, moving to another city and leaving the trouble behind him. He has widely credited MMA as being the movement that finally changed his life for the better. This is his first book.

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.

Bob Wilson

Bob Wilson was born in Chesterfield in 1941, to Scottish parents. He joined Arsenal in 1963 as an amateur, and spent 39 years with the club, becoming a coach in 1976. He joined the BBC as a presenter in 1974, and after 20 years moved to ITV, where he stayed until 2002.

Bobby Robson

Bobby Robson was born in 1933 in the heart of the mining community in Sacrison, County Durham. Soon afterwards, his family moved to Langley Park, where Bobby's footballing career started, and where he became an apprentice electrician in the mines at the age of fifteen. In 1950, he joined Fulham, followed by West Bromwich Albion in 1956. He won twenty caps for England before embarking on a management career with Ipswich Town, which lasted for thirteen years. He left the club in 1982 to take up the position of England manager, and then coached in Holland, Portugal and Spain before taking over at Newcastle from 1999 until 2004.Bobby Robson was born in 1933 in the heart of the mining community in Sacrison, County Durham. Soon afterwards, his family moved to Langley Park, where Bobby's footballing career started, and where he became an apprentice electrician in the mines at the age of fifteen. In 1950, he joined Fulham, followed by West Bromwich Albion in 1956. He won twenty caps for England before embarking on a management career with Ipswich Town, which lasted for thirteen years. He left the club in 1982 to take up the position of England manager, and then coached in Holland, Portugal and Spain before taking over at Newcastle from 1999 until 2004.

Brian Wilson

Brian Wilson, best known for his work with the Beach Boys, is one of popular music's most revered figures. The main creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history and one of the most influential composers of the last century, Wilson became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2007. A father of seven, he lives with his wife in Beverly Hills, California.

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.

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.

Geoff Hurst

Sir Geoff Hurst played football for West Ham United from 1957-72, before going on to Stoke City and West Brom. He then moved into management at Telford United and Chelsea, after which he left football to pursue his business interests. He won 49 caps for England, scoring 24 goals. He was knighted in 1998 for his services to football, and was a key member of England's World Cup 2006 bid.

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.

Henry Blofeld

Henry began writing about cricket, for The Times, in May 1962 and in 1972 he started his long career as a commentator with the BBC's Test Match Special. During his career he has written for numerous papers and broadcast for both radio and television for many networks around the world especially in Australia and New Zealand. Between 1991 and 1993 he joined Sky Television before returning to Test Match Special after the death of Brian Johnston early in 1994. Since 2002 Henry Blofeld has performed in his humorous one-man show in theatres all round the country, and later he teamed up with his former TMS producer, Peter Baxter, for more than 250 two-man shows. His current two-man show team-mate is former England off spinner, Graeme Swann.

Jimmy Hill

Jimmy Hill began his career as a footballer with Brentford and Fulham. Following stints at management level, he was Chairman of the PFA. He was later Head of Sport at LWT for five years, after which he moved to the BBC.

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.

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 the youngest ever player for Newcastle, making his debut at 16. However, things soon turned sour and his football career ended as quickly as it had begun. Paul returned to Newcastle United where he remained as a physiotherapist for 13 years. He studied law and left to become a barrister before returning to the club once more as part of Alan Shearer's management team.Paul now runs a successful health and fitness business.

Paul Gascoigne

Gazza made his league debut for Newcastle in 1984-85, moving to Spurs in 1988 in a huge £2 million deal. He was one of England's key figures in the 1990 World Cup, and moved to Lazio in Italy in 1992. He then played for Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley and briefly in China. He won 57 caps.

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.

Richie Benaud

Richie Benaud captained Australia and was one of the most successful ever Australian cricketers. Since retiring from playing, he established a reputation as the doyenne of cricket commentary, and his global popularity grew with broadcasts on the BBC, Sky and many other networks.