Adebayo Akinfenwa has scored over 180 goals in nearly 600 appearances for clubs in Lithuania, Wales and England. He currently plays for Wycombe Wanderers. According to the FIFA video game series, he is the strongest professional footballer in the world.
Reed Albergotti is a white-collar crime reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the son of a fanatic amateur cyclist who served as the director of cycling competition in the 1984 Olympics. An accomplished bike racer himself, Reed speaks the sport's odd language.
James Allen is familiar to millions in the UK and around the English-speaking world as the lead commentator for ITVs Formula One coverage. He has worked in the sport as a journalist and broadcaster since 1990. James replaced Murray Walker as the voice of motorsport in 2001 and, through his extensive work for the Financial Times, has established himself as one of the most authoritative writers in Formula One. In 1995 he co-wrote Nigel Mansells bestselling autobiography THE PEOPLE`S CHAMPION.
David Beckham is one of the most decorated footballers in the sport's history.With Manchester United (the club he supported as a boy), he won six Premier League titles, two FA Cups and - unforgettably - the Champions League when United claimed their famous Treble at the climax of the 1998-99 season.In also winning championships in Spain with Real Madrid, in the USA with LA Galaxy, and in France with PSG, Beckham became the first Englishman to win league titles in four different countries.His 115 international appearances are a record for an English outfield player, and he is also the first England player to score at three World Cup finals.
Rafa Benitez began his football coaching career at Real Madrid before going on to manage Real Valladolid, Osasuna, Extremadura and Tenerife. But it was at Valencia where he really made his name, managing the club to the Spanish La Liga title twice - in 2002 and 2004. Appointed manager of Liverpool in 2004, in Rafa's first year in charge he delivered the Champions League trophy, courtesy of an astonishing second-half come-back against AC Milan that came to be known as 'The Miracle of Istanbul'. His time at Anfield also brought four consecutive seasons in the Premier League top 4, the European Super Cup in 2005, and the FA Cup and Community Shield in 2006. But it was the Champions League record which marked him out as an absolutely outstanding operator - he won it once, finished runner-up once, and reached another semi-final and another quarter-final. Benitez left Liverpool to join Inter Milan in 2010, where he won the Italian Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup, before he departed Italy in 2011.
Born in Northumberland in 1960, Steve Bruce played for Gillingham and Norwich City before being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for Manchester United. He quickly became Sir Alex's captain and talisman, leading United to three Premier League titles, two FA Cups, one League Cup and one European Cup Winners' Cup. Bruce became a true Old Trafford legend in his 9-year spell in Manchester.His playing career finished with Birmingham City and Sheffield United, after which he managed the latter, then Huddersfield Town, Wigan Athletic and Crystal Palace. A six-year spell in charge of Birmingham City brought two separate promotions to the Premier League. Bruce took the reins at Wigan Athletic for two years, keeping them in the PL, then Sunderland for a further two years. He then achieved two further promotions to the PL as manager of Hull City. With Aston Villa he got to within one match of the top flight. He is now manager of Sheffield Wednesday.
East London-born Jimmy Bullard joined the club he supported as a boy, West Ham, from non-League Gravesend & Northfleet in 1999. He never played a first team game for The Hammers and moved to Peterborough United on a free transfer in 2001, where he started to make a name for himself under manager Barry Fry. A move to Wigan Athletic followed in 2003 and Bullard played his part in securing promotion to the Premier League in 2005 and a League Cup final appearance in 2006. He left The Latics to join Fulham but his time there was blighted by injury, as was his spell at Hull City, the club he joined in 2009. Brief spells at Ipswich Town and Milton Keynes Dons ensued, but Bullard brought his career to an end by announcing his retirement in October 2012. As far as international football was concerned, Bullard was called into the England squad in August 2008 for the World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Croatia, but did not feature in either match.In September 2016 he was appointed manager of Leatherhead.
Daniel Carter, born and raised in Southbridge, New Zealand, is widely touted as the best rugby player in the world. He has been crowned the record points scorer in Test rugby and the most capped All Blacks fly-half of all time. Upon retirement, he had played 112 Tests for his country and scored 1,598 points in their legendary jersey. He has three times been named World Rugby's Player of the Year, most recently the day after his Man of the Match performance in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final. He will now play for Racing 92 in France.
Ronnie Esplin is an experienced sports writer with a number of best-selling books to his name.
Fletcher's England career spanned 1968-82. In the mid-1970s he was regarded as one of the top middle-order batsmen in the world. He was made captain for the 1981-82 Indian tour and in the early 1990s was appointed England coach. At county level, Fletcher played for Essex, captaining them to three championships in the 70s and 80s. He was head coach of Essex until October 2001 and is currently involved in the development of excellence and identifying future talent at the club.
CARL FOGARTY won seven world titles, including four World Superbike championships, in a glittering motorcycle racing career. Add three Isle of Man TT victories and Carl's iconic status in the sport is undisputed. After retiring from racing in 2000 following a career-ending crash in Australia, Carl's career took an unexpected turn when he won the 2014 series of I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! He is the father of two daughters, Danielle and Claudia, and lives in Blackburn with his wife, Michaela.
Dr Richard Freeman was Head of Medicine at Bolton Wanderer's Football Club and the English Premiership, before moving on to become team doctor at British Cycling and Team Sky between 2009 and 2017. Dr Freeman's patients in professional cycling have inspired a generation and are now household names: Sir Chris Hoy, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavandish, Chris Froome, Geraint Thomas, Ed Clancy, Victoria Pendleton, to name just a few.Dr Freeman is now enjoying a quieter life, returning to family medicine and spending time with his four grandchildren.
Bill Frindall was the world's leading cricket statistician, and a core member of the BBC's Test Match Special team, for whom he scored every home Test from 1966 to 2008.
Born in Hamilton, New Zealand, in 1963, Warren Gatland played rugby for the provincial side Waikato for eight years, and made 17 non-international appearances for the All Blacks, before turning to coaching.He was the Head Coach of the British & Irish Lions squad which recorded an epic and thrilling Test series draw against the mighty All Blacks in 2017. The result was the first time the Lions had not lost a series in New Zealand since 1971.Gatland also led the Lions on their triumphant tour of Australia in 2013, and he served as Assistant Coach on the 2009 tour of South Africa.He has been Head Coach of Wales since 2007, and in that time the Welsh have won the Grand Slam twice and the Six Nations three times.During his career, Gatland has also coached Connacht and the Irish national team, as well as Wasps.
A Chelsea fan for almost forty years, Rick Glanvill has written more than 15 books, including the best-selling RHAPSODY IN BLUE - THE CHELSEA DREAM TEAM, the official biography of Sir Matt Busby and the award-winning URBAN MYTHS collection, serialised in the GUARDIAN.An experienced journalist, broadcaster and researcher in publishing, TV and radio, he has over ten years' association with the club and writes for the matchday programme and the Onside/Chelsea magazine.
Dan Hardy is an MMA and UFC competitor and now commentator and analyst for BT Sport and Fox. Part Reptile is his first book. He lives in Leicestershire.
Oliver Holt worked on the Liverpool Daily Post and Echo for three years before moving to The Times in 1993. He was Motor Racing Correspondent, Chief Football Correspondent and Chief Sports Writer. He joined the Daily Mirror as Chief Sports Writer in 2002. He is now Chief Sport Writer at the Mail on Sunday. His previous books include Miracle at Medinah and GoodFella, with Craig Bellamy.
Adam Hurrey is a London-based football writer. He created the Football Clichés blog in 2007 while working as a TV listings editor and has since contributed articles about the unique language of football to the websites of the Guardian and the Telegraph, among others. He also had trials for Swindon Town as a youngster, but was genuinely rejected for being 'too small'.
Ian Marshall took over as Editor of the Playfair Cricket Annual in 2009, having previously worked on 15 editions of the annual in his role as a book publisher. During his 30-year publishing career, he has worked with some of cricket's greatest players, including Mike Atherton, Sir Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Stuart Broad, David Gower, Justin Langer, Dennis Lillee and Sir Garry Sobers. He still occasionally plays cricket, and has toured Africa, India and Sri Lanka.
David Matthews is a bestselling writer and journalist. He has written for various newspapers and publications, including the OBSERVER, SUNDAY TIMES, GQ and ESQUIRE and has reported for the BBC and Channel Four. His first book, LOOKING FOR A FIGHT, was shortlisted for the 2001 William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize; and his BBC series, THE TROUBLE WITH BLACK MEN, was shortlisted for the 2005 Royal Television Society best documentary award. MAN BUYS DOG is his second book.