Related to: 'Alan Ball: The Man in White Boots'

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.

Alexander Armstrong

Alexander Armstrong is a presenter, comedian and actor and part of the comedy duo Armstrong and Miller. He presents the hit BBC show Pointless with Richard Osman. As well as regular appearances on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You, he also presents a show on Classic FM and writes a column for the Telegraph.

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.

Barry Johnston

Barry Johnston appeared with the vocal group Design on over fifty TV shows in the 1970s. He presented the breakfast show on KLOA-AM in California and has broadcast regularly on BBC radio. He now runs Barn Productions and has produced more than eighty audiobooks including the number one bestsellers AN EVENING WITH JOHNNERS and THE WIT OF CRICKET. He has also edited several books and is the author of biographies of Kenneth Horne and of his father, Brian Johnston.

Ben Coates

Ben Coates was born in Britain in 1982, lives in Rotterdam with his Dutch wife, and now works for an international charity. During his career he has been a political advisor, corporate speechwriter, lobbyist and aid worker. He has written articles for numerous publications including the Guardian, Financial Times and Huffington Post. ben-coates.com

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 Johnston

Brian Johnston was one of the best loved figures on radio and television and will always be remembered as 'The Voice of Cricket'. He commentated on such events as the Coronation and the Boat Race, and presented over 700 episodes of 'Down Your Way', but he was probably known for his years on 'Test Match Special'. When he died in 1994 John Major paid him the tribute: 'Summers will never be the same'.

Chrissie Manby

Chrissie Manby is the author of twenty five romantic comedies including A PROPER FAMILY HOLIDAY, THE MATCHBREAKER and SEVEN SUNNY DAYS. She has had several Sunday Times bestsellers and her novel about behaving badly after a break-up, GETTING OVER MR RIGHT, was nominated for the 2011 Melissa Nathan Award. Chrissie was raised in Gloucester, in the west of England, and now lives in London. Contrary to the popular conception of chick-lit writers, she is such a bad home-baker that her own father threatened to put her last creation on www.cakewrecks.com. She is, however, partial to white wine and shoes she can't walk in. You can follow her on Twitter @chrissiemanby, or visit her website www.chrissiemanby.co.uk to find out more.

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.

Duncan Hamilton

Duncan Hamilton is a journalist who has won two William Hill Sports Book of the Year Prizes. He has been nominated on a further four occasions. He has also claimed two British Sports Book Awards and is the only writer to have won the Wisden Cricket Book of the Year on three occasions. His biography of the Chariots of Fire runner Eric Liddell, For the Glory, was a New York Times bestseller. He most recently collaborated with Jonny Bairstow on the cricketer's autobiography, A Clear Blue Sky. He lives at the foot of the Yorkshire Dales.

Elisabeth Smith

Elisabeth Smith was born and educated in Germany. She studied English at Hamburg University with a teaching career in mind, and well before EU days was offered her first assignment at a London prep school. While on contract in Africa she became sidetracked by commerce. She spent the next ten years learning about printing and publishing in Zambia before joining a publishing house in Johannesburg where she ultimately became the company's chief executive. In spite of climbing the corporate ladder she never lost her interest and skills in teaching languages. During the last 30 years she has taught French to English children, English to Zambian students, German at evening classes and Italian to her daughter "just for fun".Since moving to Spain she had to learn Spanish in a hurry - cutting across traditional learning methods. This gave her the inspiration for thehighly successful "Teach Yourself Instant..." series currently offering eight titles with a further four to be published in early 2001.Elisabeth Smith now lives in Marbella like a "proper" author with a volatile PC and two cats.

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. He also had a successful partnership with England Spin Bowler, Graeme Swann. Henry now tours the country with his one man show.

Ian Wooldridge

Born on 14 January, 1932, Ian Wooldridge was educated at Brockenhurst Grammar School. Despite leaving with just two O-levels in English and Art, he went on to become the most prestigious sports journalist of his era - if not of all time. His first job was with the New Milton Advertiser, but his talent saw him swiftly moving on to greater things and after spells at the Bournemouth Times, the News Chronicle and Sunday Dispatch, he found his spiritual home at the Daily Mail in 1961 where he remained until his death in 2007.The accolades to his prodigious talent are seemingly endless: winner of the British Press Awards' Columnist of the Year in 1975 and 1976; four times winner of Sportswriter of the Year Award- 1972, 1974, 1981 and 1989; Sports Council Sportswriter of the Year in 1987, 1988 and 1996; and the Sports Council's Sports Feature Writer of the Year in 1991 and 1997. In 2006 he won the London Press Club's Edgar Wallace Award for his lifetime's contribution to journalism. As well as his articles he made television documentaries for the BBC, and wrote six books: Cricket, Lovely Cricket (1963); Mary P with Mary Peters (1974); MCC: the Autobiography of a Cricketer with Colin Cowdrey (1976); The Best of Wooldridge (1978); Travelling Reserve (1982); and Sport in the Eighties (1989).He married married twice - to Veronica Churcher in 1957 with whom he had three sons, and then to Sarah Chappell Lourenço in 1980, his wife for the rest of his life.

Jimmy Greaves

James Peter 'Jimmy' Greaves is an English former football player, England's third highest goalscorer, and more recently a television pundit.

John Wilcockson

John Wilcockson has been writing about cycling for four decades. He has been the editor of five cycling magazines, was the first cycling correspondent for The Times, and has won awards for his journalistic services. He has written more than a dozen books. A graduate of the University of London, Wilcockson now lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Julian Stockwin

Julian Stockwin was sent at the age of fourteen to Indefatigable, a tough sea-training school. He joined the Royal Navy at fifteen before transferring to the Royal Australian Navy, where he served for eight years in the Far East, Antarctic waters and the South Seas. In Vietnam he saw active service in a carrier task force. After leaving the Navy (rated Petty Officer), Julian practised as an educational psychologist. He lived for some time in Hong Kong, where he was commissioned into the Royal Naval Reserve. He was awarded the MBE and retired with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He now lives in Devon with his wife Kathy. More information can be found on his website at www.julianstockwin.com.

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.