Related to: 'Rugby: The Game of My Life'

Coronet

Game and a Half

Rob Andrew
Authors:
Rob Andrew

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.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs grew up in Lancashire and emigrated to Australia, but still visits the UK regularly to see her family and do research, something she loves. She is addicted to writing and figures she'll have to live to be 120 at least to tell all the stories that keep popping up in her imagination and nagging her to write them down. She's also addicted to her own hero, to whom she's been happily married for many years.She is the bestselling author of over eighty novels and has been shortlisted for several awards, and Pride of Lancashire won the Australian Romantic Book of the Year Award in 2006.You can find out more on her website, www.annajacobs.com or on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Anna.Jacobs.Books.

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 Daily 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.

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.

Ian McGeechan

Sir Ian McGeechan has excelled at every level of the modern rugby game. One of the best centres ever to put on a Scottish shirt, he won 32 caps for his country, and 8 for the Lions - he was a core element of Willie John McBride's all-conquering 1974 Lions tour in South Africa. Turning his hand to coaching, he coached Headingley from 1980-83 and was involved in coaching Scotland U21s and Scotland Bs before taking over as head coach of his national team in 1985. He quickly adapted their playing style to their free-running strengths. Against all odds, they prized the Grand-Slam from England in 1990. Moving back to the club game Ian coached Northampton Saints from 1994-99 and Wasps from 2000-05 The true highlight of 'Geech's' coaching career has to be the sensational 1997 Lions tour to South Africa, where a 2-1 victory was won against arguably the toughest team in the world on their home turf. He has been head coach on four separate occasions, most recently 2009 and coached the mid-week side in 2005. In 2010 he was knighted for services to Rugby.

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.

James Haskell

James Haskell is an internationally renowned athlete and professional rugby player, with extensive experience of playing at the highest level all around the world. Well known for his performances on the pitch, it is James's elite athleticism and commanding physique that has seen him become one of the most recognisable sportsmen of his generation.James's rugby career has seen him play for leading teams in London, Paris, Japan and New Zealand, and to date he has earned 70 (and counting!) international caps for his country. His globetrotting endeavours have seen him work closely with some of the world's best coaches, trainers and nutritionists, allowing him to amass a wealth of knowledge that enables him to remain at the very top of his game. James's passion for nutrition and training has held the key to his continued success; and it is this burning passion that has seen the development of one of the most cutting-edge, dynamic fitness brands in the world today - James Haskell Health and Fitness.

Jonathan Clegg

Jonathan Clegg is an editor for The Wall Street Journal, his work has also written for the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, and FourFourTwo magazine.

Joshua Robinson

Joshua Robinson is the European sports correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, and has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post and Sports Illustrated.

Kirsty Wark

Kirsty Wark is a journalist, broadcaster and writer who has presented a wide range of BBC programmes over the past thirty years, from the ground-breaking Late Show to the nightly current affairs show Newsnight and the weekly Arts and Cultural review and comment show, The Review Show. She has conducted longform interviews with everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Madonna, Harold Pinter, Elton John, the musician Pete Doherty, Damien Hirst, George Clooney and the likes of Toni Morrison, Donna Tartt and Philip Roth.Kirsty has won several major awards for her work, including BAFTA Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, Journalist of the Year and Best Television Presenter. Her debut novel, The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle, was published in March 2014 by Two Roads and was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of the Year Award, as well as nominated for the 2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award. Her second novel, The House by the Loch, has been inspired by her childhood memories and family, particularly her father.Born in Ayr, Scotland, Kirsty lives in Glasgow.

Lloyd Jones

Lloyd Jones is the author of several novels and short story collections which include Mister Pip, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize best book award and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007, The Book of Fame and Hand Me Down World, which was shortlisted for the Berlin International Prize. He has also published a memoir, A History of Silence. He lives in New Zealand.

Matthew Syed

Matthew Syed is a leading columnist and feature writer for The Times and the host of the UK's biggest podcast: Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy on BBC Radio 5. Matthew also gives business talks to major international corporate clients including. Before becoming a writer Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade, three times Commonwealth Champion, and he twice represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games.Matthew Syed's first book, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice, was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. His second, Black Box Thinking, was a Sunday Times No.1 bestseller. He has also published a collection of his award-winning sports columns in The Greatest.

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.

Paul Carter

Paul Carter was born in England in 1969. His father's military career had the family moving all over the world, relocating every few years. Paul has worked in the oil industry now for fifteen years, relocating every few years (old habits). Paul has lived, worked, gotten into trouble and been given a serious talking to in England, Scotland, Germany, France, Holland, Norway, Portugal, Tunisia, Australia, Nigeria, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, Columbia, Vietnam, Thailand, Papua New Guinea, Sumatra, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, China, USA and Saudi Arabia. Today he lives in Perth with his wife, baby daughter and two motorbikes. But who knows where he'll be tomorrow . . .

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.

Richard Osman

Richard Osman is a creative director for Endemol UK. He has worked as an executive producer on numerous shows including 8 Out of 10 Cats and 10 O'Clock Live. Richard rose to fame presenting Pointless with Alexander Armstrong. Richard's popularity and tremendous knowledge of trivia led to him presenting his own BBC quiz, Two Tribes along with Insert Name Here and Child Genius. He is also a regular on panel shows such as Have I Got News For You and writes a column for the Radio Times.

Sally Hepworth

Sally Hepworth is the bestselling author of three previous novels, and a human resource professional. A graduate of Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, Sally started writing novels after the birth of her first child. Sally has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the UK, and Canada, and she now writes full-time from her home in Melbourne, where she lives with her husband and two young children.