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.
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.
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.
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.
Jonathan Northcroft is Football Correspondent of The Sunday Times, a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live's football programmes, and a regular guest on Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement show. He is co-author of the Manchester United Opus.Inaugural winner of the Jim Rodger Memorial Award for young sports writers in Scotland, he was shortlisted for Feature Writer of the Year at the Sports Journalists Association awards in 2006 and Football Writer of the Year in 2016.
Vanessa O'Connell, an award-winning reporter at The Wall Street Journal for seventeen years, has covered tobacco, alcohol, guns, insider trading, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. She has a knack for exposing the nature of corporate America and how it sometimes manipulates the score in making its money.
Richard Purden grew up in Edinburgh but with family roots in Limerick and the west of Scotland he always felt a strong connection to Irish literature, culture and of course, Celtic FC. While studying at the University of Stirling he began to write arts reviews for student magazine Brig and on graduating he was first published in the Celtic View, Scotland on Sunday, The Scotsman, The Irish Examiner and The Irish Post. More recently he has contributed to Four Four Two, the Sunday Mail and the award-winning Herald Saturday magazine.
Jack Rollin was soccer columnist for the Sunday Telegraph for 21 years and has worked on all but three editions of SKY SPORTS (ROTHMANS) FOOTBALL YEARBOOK as well as editing PLAYFAIR FOOTBALL ANNUAL with his daughter, Glenda Rollin. He is the most prolific compiler of football fact books in Britain.