The best sporting autobiographies have something to teach us all, whatever sports we most enjoy. These are stories of ambition, of the will to make it happen – stories of success against the odds, of people who carved out their own destinies and changed the face of sport as we know it today. If you’re a player, they’ll teach you lessons you can apply in your own career. If you’re a fan, they’ll enrich what you watch as well as giving you great insights to share with your mates. These are some of the best on the market today.
Sir Alex Ferguson: My Autobiography
He’s the man whose management gave Manchester United its greatest glories, who made Aberdeen one of Scotland’s most successful teams and who also briefly managed the Scottish national team. Knighted for services to football, he’s had a astonishing career, especially in light of his humble beginnings as the working class son of a shipbuilder. In this inspiring book he talks about the struggles he faced along the way, the resolve it took to achieve so much, and the joy he felt doing a job he really loved.
Lance Armstrong: It’s not about the Bike
It’s not all about the cyclist either, as we now know, and the revelations that have emerged since this book was written may cast doubts on the authenticity of parts of it. That notwithstanding, there’s no doubt that it’s a fascinating read, perhaps in part because it provides a glimpse into the psyche of a man who would do anything – including breaking the rules – to win. The sheer ego of the now disgraced former Tour de France champion is striking to observe – and in the world of sport, that’s really saying something!
Max Mosley: Formula One and Beyond: the Autobiography
One man whose achievements have never been disputed is Formula One’s Max Mosley. The former FIA president gave up a promising career in law to devote himself to promoting the sport he loved as an amateur. Max Mosley’s books have already explored aspects of his career in great detail but this one brings everything together and places it in the context of a personal life that has also presented its fair share of challenges. It’s an enthralling portrait of the man behind the myth.
Jimmy White: Behind the White Ball: My Autobiography
Sometimes it’s the story of the nearly man that really fascinates. Jimmy White is undoubtedly one of the greatest snooker players ever to have graced the game, yet despite six World Championship appearances he has never succeeded in lifting the coveted silver trophy. This book fills in the personal side of the story, from his early years as a pool hall hustler to his wild times with the Rolling Stones, revealing the strength of character it took to keep on coming back.
There’s a lot of great reading in these books and they’ll deepen your understanding of key figures who have, each in his own way, contributed to shaping the sporting world we know today.