In a field of their own: the best sports books ofPlease refresh the page and retry. W hat makes a champion? Even as a boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay had the will to succeed. Boxing gave him that to spare — not just fame, as Muhammad Ali, but riches too, and a life filled with fascinating characters, from Malcolm X to the loathsome promoter Don King. Ali was undoubtedly charismatic, but his behaviour towards his wives was grotesque. He coerced his second wife, Belinda, into booking motel rooms for his extra-marital sex bouts with prostitutes; he hit his third wife Veronica so hard that her whole face swelled up. After his third fight with Joe Frazier, he urinated blood for weeks.
Sports books of the year 2018: Our verdict on the best reads of the last 12 months
Does a great sports book have to transcend sports? The answer is subjective. One man's meditation on human frailty is another man's analysis of a batting slump. The selections below of our favorite sports books of the year speak to the disparate tastes within the hallowed halls of The Loop. Golf is in our DNA, but we also love basketball and hockey, memoirs and fiction. There was no set criteria, other than it had to be a book from this year, and it had to have at least a foothold in sports.
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The renowned Irish former jockey had a near-death experience in when an accident caused his skull to shatter in 12 places. This William Hill-shortlisted book tells his life story with a particular focus on his long and miraculous road to recovery. While football fans get endless exposure to millionaire Premier League players, the vast majority of aspiring stars end up seeing their dreams go unfulfilled. The identity of the most successful manager ever is always going to be up for debate, but in terms of achievements in a relatively short time period, few people warrant comparison to Paisley. As a manager during a nine-year timeline, he won six league titles, three League Cups and three European Cups.