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.

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.

Michael Moritz

Sir Michael Moritz was born in Cardiff, studied at Oxford and became a journalist at Time magazine in the US in the late 1970s. It was during this period that he met the young Steve Jobs and wrote the first book about Apple, The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer. Moritz co-authored a second business book, Going for Broke: The Chrysler Story, and in 1986 joined Sequoia Capital, in Silicon Valley, California.Sequoia Capital's close alliances with young founders have been transformed into companies now worth nearly $1.5 trillion - the most of any private investment firm in the world. These include the first investments in companies such as Apple and Cisco and, more recently, YouTube, Airbnb, Dropbox and WhatsApp. Michael Moritz has been a member of the Board of Directors of Google, Yahoo!, PayPal and LinkedIn. In 2012 he became chairman of Sequoia Capital and was knighted in 2013. His family's philanthropic work includes Europe's largest scholarship programme for low income university students. The son of refugees from Nazi Germany, he lives in San Francisco with his wife, Harriet Heyman.

Michael Parkinson

Michael Parkinson was born in Cudworth, near Barnsley. He began his career as a journalist, but later moved to television where he worked for Granada on current affairs programmes before joining the BBC 24 hours team. In 1965 he began writing a weekly sports column for The Sunday Times. A passionate interest in film led to the publication of A Pictorial History of Westerns, his favourite film genre. His chat show Parkinson ran for 11 years, from 1971 until 1982 and he has interviewed almost everybody who was anybody with the exception of Frank Sinatra - a lasting regret. From 1979 to 1982 he also presented Parkinson for ABC and Channel 10 in Australia, and in the 1980s he was one of the founder members of TV AM.From 1990-92 he presented the Michael Parkinson Show on LBC, a daily, live three hour radio show. From 1986-87 he presented Desert Island Discs on Radio 4 and from 1994-96 he presented Parkinson on Sport for Radio 5. In 1996 Michael launched a Sunday morning show, Parkinson's Sunday Supplement on Radio 2, with music and guests which is still on air today.In 1990 Michael Parkinson joined the Daily Telegraph, writing a regular weekly column on sport. He has won numerous awards including, in 1995, Sports Feature Writer of the Year at the British Sport Journalism Awards. In 1998 he won awards for his work in three different branches of the media - a feat thought to be unique. He won a Sony Radio Award for Parkinson's Sunday Supplement, he was named Sports Writer of the Year at the Press Gazette British Press Awards and Media Personality of the Year by the Variety Club. In June 2000, Michael was awarded a CBE and Parkinson was named one of the top ten favourite British TV programmes of all time. A new series of Parkinson began on ITV in 2004 and continued till November 2007. He was awarded a knighthood for services to broadcasting in the 2008 New Year's honours list.Happily married to his wife Mary for nearly fifty years, they have three sons, and liv

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.

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.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand is a former England footballer who also played football for Manchester United during Sir Alex Ferguson's time as manager. Rio played 81 times for England and in 3 World Cups, and is one of the most decorated footballers of all time. He had his first son with Rebecca in 2006 and they married in 2009, going on to have two more children before her death in May 2015 from cancer. Rio is now a TV football pundit for BT Sport and as well as his BBC documentary on bereavement, Being Mum and Dad, has made a short Heads Together charity film with Prince Harry on mental health. He is also working alongside Child Bereavement and Jigsaw.

Rob Andrew

Born in 1963, Rob Andrew was educated at Barnard Castle School, County Durham, where he was a contemporary of Rory Underwood. He then went on to Cambridge University where he became a double blue, not only playing rugby for the university but captaining the cricket side. Rob was a star player for Wasps, Newcastle, England, and the British & Irish Lions. After retiring from playing he went on to be Director of Rugby for Newcastle and then Director of Elite Rugby at the RFU. He is currently the CEO of Sussex County Cricket Club.