Related to: 'Firestarter'

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.

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Where Am I?

Phil Tufnell
Authors:
Phil Tufnell
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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.

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My Life in Football

Bobby Charlton
Authors:
Bobby Charlton

Bobby Charlton is arguably the most popular sporting icon this country has ever known and MY LIFE IN FOOTBALL is a fitting celebration of his remarkable career. Combining both his Manchester United and England playing days, the book is structured chronologically and focuses on the key incidents in Sir Bobby's football story - the famous, and the less well-known - illustrated with photographs of the very moments in question. These photographs, many of which have rarely been seen, are accompanied by extended captions to bring them to life. Every shot tells a wonderful story and offers an insight into the character of the man, providing a remarkable visual commentary of a phenomenal sporting life.

Ben Stokes

Born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1991, Ben Stokes moved to Cumbria with his family at the age of 11. He made his debut for Durham CCC in 2009, and just two years later pulled on an England shirt for the first time.The highlights of his explosive England career to date have included scoring the fastest ever Test century at Lord's (against New Zealand in May 2015) and England's fastest ever Test double-century (against South Africa at Cape Town in January 2016). His bowling spell of 6-36 at Trent Bridge in August 2015 helped England to regain the Ashes. He has also played for the Melbourne Renegades in Australia's Big Bash League, and Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League.He has a partner and two young children.

Billy Vunipola

Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1992 to a father who was a Tongan rugby legend, Billy Vunipola moved to Wales as a child before settling in England and gaining a scholarship to Harrow School.After a spell at Wasps, he joined Saracens in 2013 and has never looked back. His England debut followed that same year, and he has already won 34 caps at the tender age of 24. After a disappointing World Cup in 2015, England - with Vunipola as the spearhead - swept to their first Grand Slam for thirteen years in the 2016 Six Nations. Eddie Jones' rejuvenated side then recorded their first ever Test series in Australia, whitewashing the Wallabies 3-0, with Vunipola again very much to the fore, and then reclaimed their 2017 Six Nations crown.Vunipola was selected in Warren Gatland's British & Irish Lions squad for the tour to New Zealand, but had to withdraw due to injury.

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.

Dietmar Hamann

Born in Waldsassen in Germany in 1973, Dietmar Hamann played professional football for Wacker Munich, Bayern Munich, Newcastle United, Liverpool, Manchester City and Milton Keynes Dons. In club football, Hamann is much decorated, having won two Bundesliga titles, two UEFA Cups, two FA Cups and a Champions League winners` medal. At international level, he won 62 caps for his native Germany and has a 2002 World Cup runners-up medal for his efforts. In 2010 Hamann became player/coach at Milton Keynes Dons, and in 2011 he joined Leicester City as a first team coach. He has recently been appointed as Manager of Stockport County.

Graeme Souness

Graeme Souness was born in Edinburgh in 1953. His career begun as an apprentice at Tottenham Hotspur under Bill Nicholson, after which he spent six seasons at Middlesbrough and won a promotion to the First Division in 1973-74. His seven seasons at Liverpool brought incredible success, including three European Cups, five First Division championships and four League Cups. Skippering the team for much of his time at Anfield, he made 358 appearances and scored 56 goals before leaving for Sampdoria in Italy in 1984. He won the Coppa Italia there, for the first time in the Genoa club's history. He returned to Britain in 1986 as player-manager of Rangers, ushering in 'The Souness Revolution' and bringing with it four Scottish Premier Division titles and four Scottish Cups.Souness returned to Anfield as manager in 1991, delivered the FA Cup in 1992, then managed Galatasaray (where he won the Turkish Cup and Super Cup), Southampton, Torino, Benfica, Blackburn Rovers (where he won the League Cup and achieved promotion to the Premier League) and Newcastle United.Souness was awarded 54 caps for his country, and played at the 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cup finals.He now writes a column for The Sunday Times and is a pundit on Sky Sports.

Ian Marshall

Ian Marshall published sports books for more than 20 years, including 15 editions of the Playfair Cricket Annual, before going on to write books himself. He regularly plays cricket during the summer, and has toured India, Sri Lanka and Africa.

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.

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.

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.

Paul Canoville

Paul Canoville was born in Hillingdon, London. Starting out playing for non-league Hillingdon Borough, Canoville signed for Chelsea in 1981. He made his debut against Crystal Palace in April 1982 aged 20. He joined Reading in 1986, where his career ended due to injury. He now lives in London, he is an ambassador for the 'Kick it Out' campaign and regularly talks to schools about his experiences.

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.

Rafa Benitez

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.

Sam Allardyce

Sam Allardyce was born in Dudley in the West Midlands in 1954, and supported Wolverhampton Wanderers as a boy.Between 1973 and 1992, he played for Bolton Wanderers, Sunderland, Millwall, Tampa Bay Rowdies, Coventry City, Huddersfield Town, Preston North End, West Bromwich Albion and Limerick.His coaching and managerial career has been even longer. As a manager he has served at the helm of Blackpool, Notts County, Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland, England and Crystal Palace. He kept Sunderland and Crystal Palace in the Premier League in season 2015-16 and 2016-17 respectively. He resigned from Palace in May 2017.As a player, Allardyce won the Second Division with Bolton in 1978. As a manager, he won the First Division in Ireland with Limerick in 1992, the Third Division with Notts County in 1998, the First Division Play-off final with Bolton in 2001 (where he also reached the League Cup final in 2004), and the Championship Play-off final with West Ham in 2012. In addition, he has won the Premier League Manager of the Month award on six separate occasions.

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.

Warren Gatland

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 this summer against the mighty All Blacks. 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.

Wendy Robertson

Wendy Robertson has written short stories, some journalism and many novels - the latest being Sandie Shaw and the Millionth Marvel Cooker and The Woman Who Drew Buildings - all now available as ebooks. She has built up a substantial following on her blog LIFE TWICE TASTED (www.lifetwicetasted.blogspot.com). It averages 2,500 visitors a month - 33,000 since she started. You can also find her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @lifetwicetasted.