Fifty Recommends: Sports Books

It comes as no surprise that we’re missing live sport. However as the nation remains under lockdown, now’s the chance to read that book that’s always been on your list. The best part? You can still get your sporting fix by taking a look at Fifty Digital’s ten recommendations of top sporting reads. 

Le Métier – Jim
Roughly translated as ‘The Job’ or ‘The Craft’, this book is an outsiders insight into the clique of the pro peloton, how tough a profession being a pro cyclist is, and explains all the old traditions and idiosyncrasies of cycling’s history up until the present day. 

Open by Andre Agassi Sophie
The best autobiography I’ve ever read, a brutally honest recount of how one of the most gifted athletes in his sport could be driven to hate tennis more than anything else in his world. It shows what is required to reach the top, but also the price that can be paid if it’s done in the wrong way.

Paula Radcliffe: My Story So Far – Imogen
It’s an excellent insight into who was, at one point, the fastest female marathon runner in the world. She writes so well on training, her anti-doping values and her own personal battle with asthma. Both engaging and inspiring!

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight – Maddie
It’s a classic in the sport and business world, but reading first hand about the highs, lows, dominance and shortcomings of the biggest brand in the world, Nike, makes for a great read. An honest account of setting up a business, the impact on relationships both personal and professional, and seeing how Nike evolved to what it is today is inspiring and memorable.

What If I Had Never Tried It by Valentino Rossi – Lara
Valentino Rossi is undoubtedly an idol of mine, and this gives a real look into who he is, where he came from, and how he got to be one of the world’s most talented riders. I also have to comment on some of the baby pictures included and how adorable he was!

The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peter – Tom
Not a sports autobiography, but if you’ve read many you’ll see psychological performance and often the Chimp Model referred to as key to many successful athletes’ success, including in books written by Steven Gerrard, Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Brendan Rodgers. An amazing book that has transformed my own ability to manage my mind and get the best out of myself.

Fever Pitch by Nick Hornby – Ben
There are plenty of great autobiographies out there to inspire you, but this one might do an even better job of filling the fandom void in your life. It’s a great insight into the life of a fanatical sports fan, rather than a top athlete, so I always found it very relatable.

Reboot by Michael Owen James
Apart from being an honest and open account, giving you a different perspective of Michael Owen, this book led to a Twitter feud with Alan Shearer which was entertaining, so definitely worth a read to find out why!

How Not To Be a Professional Footballer by Paul Merson – Max
I’ve been cracking up watching Merse for years on Soccer Saturday, so when his book came out, I knew it was going to be entertaining. Full of anecdotes from his time at some of the biggest clubs in England, this shows the highs and lows that come with fame and fortune.

Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski – Adam
Absolutely fascinating stuff if you’re interested in why certain teams and countries are consistently successful at football. This book also looks at the economics of transfers – what makes a good buy, and a bad buy – and even predicts which nations will dominate world football in years to come.