Related to: 'David Beckham'

September Book of the Month

WHEN I'M WITH YOU - EXCERPT

A sizzling excerpt from When I'm With You, Book 2 in Beth Kery's captivating Because You Are Mine series.

Headline

Bomb

Adam Jones
Authors:
Adam Jones

In rugby, there are the Flash Harrys and the Glory Boys: the fly-halves who run, kick and dazzle; the scrum-halves who nip and dart; the wingers who step and glide. These are the players who get the crowd on their feet, who set stadiums abuzz. But they only get to do these things because other, less glorified figures do all of the donkey work. Adam Jones is one such figure. And for a decade he was one of the world's best. On many occasions when George North or Shane Williams were careering under the posts to score a try, and the crowd was engulfed in rapturous joy, Adam Jones would be hauling himself up from the turf, spitting blood and mud, and massaging his aching neck. He hadn't scored the try; but more often than not it was his graft and strength which had made it. This is the story of 'Bomb': the self-effacing manual labourer from the Swansea Valley who traded laying paving slabs for running out in some of the world's most imposing sporting citadels. He rose to the pinnacle of his sport, winning virtually everything there was to be won: Grand Slams, Six Nations Championships, Lions tours, Pro12 titles. In a nation of rugby heroes, Adam Jones has become a legend. Only six Welshmen can say they've won three Grand Slams. He is one of them: not just as a bit-part player, but as the beating heart of the most successful squad in Welsh rugby history. His was one of the first names on the team sheet. He was - literally and metaphorically - the cornerstone of this Welsh side. In his autobiography, Jones reveals exactly what goes on in the murky depths of the front row: the tricks, the techniques, the physical and psychological warfare; and the mental fortitude it takes to endure in one of the hardest positions, in one of the world's toughest contact sports.

Adam Hurrey

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'.

Alan Mullery

Alan Mullery MBE made his Fulham debut at 17. He signed for Spurs in 1964 and captained them to FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup successes. He won 35 England caps and played in the 1970 World Cup finals in Mexico, scoring in the classic quarter-final match against West Germany. A final spell at Fulham featured a cup run to Wembley, alongside Bobby Moore. 'Mullers' then became a manager, notably with Brighton where he steered them to two promotions in five years, plus Charlton, Crystal Palace and QPR before joining Sky Sports as a successful TV pundit.

Andrés Iniesta

Andres Iniesta is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers of his generation.After graduating from La Masia, the fabled Barcelona youth academy, Iniesta made his first-team debut in 2002, aged 18. He became a regular in the 2004-05 season and has remained in the side ever since, helping Barca to an amazing string of trophies, including eight La Liga and four Champions League titles.At international level he has well over a century of caps, and has twice won the European Championships. In 2010, he scored the winning goal to hand Spain their first World Cup victory.

Bobby Charlton

Sir Bobby Charlton was born in 1937 in Ashington, Northumberland. He joined Manchester United as a professional in 1954 and made his first team debut in October 1956. He was voted European Player of the Year in 1966 and won the FA Cup, three Division One championships and the European Cup with United. He joined the board of the club in 1984, a position he still holds today. Bobby Charlton was a key member of the victorious England World Cup side of 1966. He was awarded the OBE in 1969, the CBE in 1973 and was knighted in 1994, the first footballer to gain such an honour since Sir Stanley Matthews in 1965.

Colin Shindler

Colin Shindler is a leading TV writer and producer. He was responsible for the series Lovejoyand Madson, as well as the film Busterand won a BAFTA for his production of A Little Princess. His first book, MANCHESTER UNITED RUINED MY LIFE, was a big bestseller and was shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year prize; and his second, FATHERS, SONS AND FOOTBALL, also hit the bestseller list. He is the author of two novels.

Jeff Stelling

Jeff Stelling is a lifelong supporter of his hometown side, Hartlepool United. He was a presenter on LBC's Sportswatch programme in the early 1980s before moving to BBC Radio 2's Sport on 2. He later spent time as a sports newsreader before moving to Sky in 1992 to present coverage of horse racing, snooker and darts. Three years later Jeff became presenter of what is now called Soccer Saturday. In 2010 he was voted Sports Broadcast Journalist of the Year for the fifth year running, and he is the presenter of Channel 4's Countdown programme. In 2011 he started hosting Sky Sport's coverage of the Champions League.

Jimmy Bullard

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.

Jonathan Northcroft

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.

Jonny Wilkinson

Jonny Wilkinson became England's youngest international for 71 years when he made his debut at 18 in March 1998. He has since won 70 caps for his country and is the leading point-scorer in test rugby. In the 2003 World Cup he scored the drop goal that won the tournament. He endured a succession of injuries that kept him out of international action for over three years but he returned to kick the England rugby team to the final of the 2007 World Cup. He has also won five British Lions caps. He was awarded the MBE in January 2003, and the OBE a year later.

Kieron Dyer

In an 18-year career in professional football, Kieron Dyer played for Ipswich Town, Newcastle United, West Ham United, QPR and Middlesbrough. He won 33 caps for England. In 2015 he was a contestant on I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!

Lawrence Dallaglio

Lawrence Dallaglio has been a Wasps player all his club career, signing in 1990 and becoming captain in 1995 for 12 years until his retirement in 2008. He has won a hat-trick of Premiership titles and was also a member of the triumphant England Sevens team which won the World Cup at Murrayfield in 1993. He has captained his country and is regarded as one of the world's greatest ever back-row forwards - he was the only player to play in every minute of every match during the victorious 2003 World Cup campaign. He has won 85 caps for England and 3 Lions caps.

Luis Suarez

Luis Alberto Suarez Diaz was born in the Uruguayan city of Salto on January 24 1987. His family moved to Montevideo when he was seven. After several years of struggle he broke into the first team of local side Nacional, and then earned the right to take his chance in Dutch football - first with Groningen and then with giants Ajax, where he amassed a century of goals for the club and was named Footballer of the Year in 2010.In January 2011 Liverpool paid £22.8m to take Suarez to Anfield, then the club's record signing. Suarez scored on his debut in front of the Kop, and proceeded to write himself into Merseyside folklore, scoring 82 goals in just 133 appearences. He finished the 2013-14 season with 31 League goals from 33 matches, sharing Europe's Golden Shoe with Cristiano Ronaldo, and being named Footballer of the Year by the FWA and Players' Player of the Year by the PFA. On 11 July 2014, Barcelona announced that they had signed Suarez.At international level, he is Uruguay's alltime record goal-scorer, and in 2011 he fired his country to victory in the Copa America.Suarez is married with two children.

Oliver Holt

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.

Paul Gascoigne

Gazza made his league debut for Newcastle in 1984-85, moving to Spurs in 1988 in a huge £2 million deal. He was one of England's key figures in the 1990 World Cup, and moved to Lazio in Italy in 1992. He then played for Rangers, Middlesbrough, Everton, Burnley and briefly in China. He won 57 caps.

Phil Tufnell

Phil Tufnell, aka "Tuffers", played 42 Test matches and 20 One-Day Internationals for England between 1990 and 1997. Following retirement in 2002, Tufnell became a hugely popular TV personality. He was the winner of ITV1's "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" in 2003, and enjoyed a long run in BBC1's "Strictly Come Dancing" in 2009. Current broadcasting commitments include being team captain on BBC1's "A Question of Sport" and regular features on BBC1's "The One Show". He remains a star turn on Radio 4's iconic "Test Match Special" show.

Rick Glanvill

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.

Rio Ferdinand

Born in Peckham, Ferdinand signed for West Ham as a schoolboy, turning professional at the age of 17. He played 158 games for the Hammers before transferring to Leeds United in November 2000, with whom he reached the Champions League semi-final in 2001. Following his star performance in the 2002 World Cup, he joined Manchester United. He made his England debut in November 1997 and was one of the team's best performers in the 2006 World Cup. He has won 72 caps.

Sir Jackie Stewart

Jackie Stewart was born in Dumbarton. In the early 60s he dominated the British club and European F3 racing scenes and in 1965 he partnered Graham Hill in F1. At Monza that season he scored the first of his 27 Grand Prix victories. Teaming up with Ken Tyrrell in 1968 he went on to win three World Championships - 1969, '71 and '73. He retired from the circuit after competing in 99 F1 races. Since then he has built a hugely successful international business career. In 1997, Jackie entered the Stewart Grand Prix Racing team into F1, securing second place at Monaco in its fifth race and in September 99 a win at the Nurburgring. He was awarded an OBE in 1972 and a knighthood in 2001 and is actively involved in numerous charitable trusts.

Steven Gerrard

Steven Gerrard is Liverpool FC's most talented player for a generation, and one of their all-time greats. He has clocked up nearly 600 appearances for the Anfield side he supported as a boy, the club he joined as an eight-year-old.During his illustrious Liverpool career, Gerrard has won the Champions League, the League Cup three times, the FA Cup twice and the UEFA Cup, as well as being awarded the PFA Playerof the Year (2006) and FWA Footballer of the Year (2009). There's also the small matter of nearly 100 caps for England.