The Best Sports Autobiography Books of All Time

best sports autobiographies

Great athletes frequently lead unusual lives because they are competitive, determined, and have an amazing capacity for mental endurance. The best sports books provide us the chance to learn the complete backstory behind the accomplishments, records, and medals. They also enable us to comprehend the broader influence of the sports world off the field.

Mr Betting‘s trophy cabinet of the best sports biographiesย ever written contains some of the finest sports books competing for space on the shelves, from the gritty autobiographies of Olympic athletes and a multiple Ballon d’Or winner to investigations into the cultural effect of football and marathon running. Sports fans, keep reading down below to find out the best sports biographies about your favourite athletes.


The Best Football Books

Giles Elliott – The Little Red Book of Klopp

Widely regarded as the greatest Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp’s success on the field and his charisma off it are two different things. Famous for his fascinating press conferences and endearing touchline antics, Klopp has successfully returned Liverpool to winning ways in both the Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. Sports fans of all ages can enjoy reading all of Klopp’s most famous quotes, from witty one-liners to scathing jabs, which are collected in The Little Red Book of Klopp.

David Goldblatt – The Age of Football

Football is considerably more than simply a game to a large number of people worldwide. Sports historian David Goldblatt expands on this and shows how football affects politics, the economy, and popular culture in his book The Age of Football. David highlights the breadth of the influence of modern sport on society, addressing topics as disparate as Recep Erdogan’s presidency, the role of beautiful games in the Arab Spring, and prison football in Uganda.

Kevin Keegan – My Life in Football

Kevin Keegan, sometimes known as “King Kev,” has demonstrated his abilities on the field and off it. He is the only Englishman to have won the Ballon d’Or twice, and he has helped Liverpool win European championships. He has also guided Newcastle from the depths of the Second Division to the verge of premier league triumph.  The highs and lows of a remarkable career are described in his memoirs, including his run-ins with Sir Alex Ferguson and his return to Newcastle during the contentious Mike Ashley spell.  

Tony Adams – Addicted

Perhaps one of the most popular players ever for his openness about his struggles with addiction, upon the release of his startlingly candid autobiography at the beginning of the 1998โ€“1999 season, Adams was still a regular for both Arsenal and England. Despite ruining his personal life, his drinking habit didn’t seem to have an impact on his football career; in fact, using garbage bags underneath his training gear helped him sweat out the alcohol. 

This whirlwind of a biography tells the compelling story of Adams and teaches the reader what you sometimes have to sacrifice and what it takes to be the best and stay on top of the game, even if you sometimes lose yourself along the way.


The Best Tennis Books

Serena Williams – My Life: Queen of the Court

Having won every major tennis trophy to date, one of the greatest of all time tennis players Serena Williams hardly needs an introduction. Serena has amassed a large following despite facing criticism for her unconventional style of play and handling the tragic shooting of her elder sister. She played on glass-streaked courts as a child in Compton and went on to become the best tennis player in the world. She considers her incredible journey in her book My Life.

W Timothy Gallway – The Inner Game of Tennis

For over half a century, tennis players of all skill levels have considered this best-selling book to be a must-read. Bill Gates recently named it one of his “all-time favourite books,” while Billie Jean King called it her “tennis bible.” Gallwey addresses our “inner game,” or our attempt to overcome uncertainty and play with mental clarity, as opposed to focusing on technique. “This is the finest tennis book I have ever read,” Gates declares, “and its insightful guidance can be applied to many other aspects of life as well.” 


The Best Boxing Books

John Fury – When Fury Takes Over

Big John Fury comes from a long history of bare-knuckle boxers; his parents were Irish travelers. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that, at an early age, he too started fighting outside the ring. Before turning pro, John practiced fighting in the traveling community throughout his formative years in Manchester. John’s focus is always on the ring, and he has been an invaluable mentor and cornerman to his son Tyson Fury, the two-time British heavyweight champion. This is the only book ever written about the Fury family, and here’s Big John Fury, the Gypsy Warrior, in his own words and completely uncensored, from Netflix’s At Home With the Furys. 

Nicola Adams – Believe: Boxing, Olympics and my life outside the ring

Nicola Adams is credited with revolutionising the boxing sport and culture in London in 2012 and becoming the first woman in boxing to win an Olympic gold medal for the first time ever. After winning more medals in Rio 2016, she became a national hero and competed on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. She also became an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. Believe describes her tenacity and will that led her to success.


The Best Running and Athletics Books

John Connell – The Running Book

Sports book awards-winning author John Connell, invites readers on a 42.2-kilometer marathon run around Ireland. John contemplates his life, Irish history, and the tales of his greatest running heroes in 42 chapters and 42,000 words. The Running Book is the ideal endorphin-filled sports book on the nature of happiness and how it can be discovered on foot, whether you’re an avid runner or you just want to read about what it’s like to do a marathon. 

Jessica Ennis – Unbelievable – From My Childhood Dreams To Winning Olympic Gold

For many years, one of the poster girls for female athletes has been Jessica Ennis-Hill. Yes, Jessica’s winning of the gold medal in the heptathlon was undoubtedly the highlight of the London 2012 games. However, obstacles hampered her ascent. Jessica has had to demonstrate a lot of determination to disprove her skeptics, starting with being teased as a youngster for being little to suffering a career-threatening injury just before the 2008 Olympics.

One of the most exceptional all-around athletes in the world of sports narrative is revealed in this sports autobiography. It won several sports book awards, and every sports fan will have something to learn after reading this exceptional sports memoir.


The Best Cycling Books

Daniel Friebe – Jan Ullrich: The Best There Never Was

During the Tour de France’s opening mountain stage in 1997, Jan Ullrich completely destroyed his competitors. His performance was so amazing that it shocked the cycling community. It was universally acknowledged that Jan Ullrich represented the cycling of the future. In addition, he was chosen as the all-time favourite athlete in Germany, and the most contentious Tour de France years were characterised by his rivalry with Lance Armstrong.

However, what exactly happened to the greatest person that never existed? This story tells how one person, Lance Armstrong, a morally dubious sport, a difficult background, and intolerable expectations may all work together to reroute one’s life.

Tim Lewis – Land of Second Chances: The Impossible Rise of Rwandaโ€™s Cycling Team

Lewis’s British Sports Book Award-winning tells the life stories of a group of American former professional cyclists trying to establish a cycling team in Rwanda ten years after the genocide that claimed a million lives is as complex and compelling as they come. Lewis, an editor for Esquire, traveled to Rwanda to spend time with aspiring riders, such as the gifted Adrien Niyonshuti, who lost six brothers in the genocide in 1994, and the pros who fly in to establish the national team, but who, in the case of coach Jock Boyer, turn out to have their own troubled past. 


The Best Rugby Books

Rassie Erasmus – Rassie

Rugby icon Rassie Erasmus explains his unusual path from player to coach at the highest level of the game. His important roles in legendary Springbok teams, his battles with injuries, and his innovative teaching techniques are all explored in this frank narrative. Rassie discusses his biggest contribution to South African rugby: the unheralded selection of Siya Kolisi as the country’s first black captain. The 2019 Rugby World Cup was the grand finale of his audacious ambitions for the successful racial change of the national squad, which proved to be immediately successful. 

Alun Wyn Jones – Belonging: The Autobiography

It became the autobiography of the year when it was released; the tale of Alun Wyn Jones, who became the most capped rugby player of all time after leaving Mumbles as a young lad, is told in “Belonging”. Arguably the greatest Welsh rugby player of all time, it tells the tale of what it takes to become a professional athlete. How someone might be selected as the 2021 Lions Captain after having watched the 1997 Lions Tour of South Africa while sitting cross-legged on the school hallway floor.

Eddie Jones – Leadership

Among the most prosperous sports coaches in history, Eddie Jones led three different countries to the Rugby World Cup Finals and had around 80% success rate with the England squad. Jones is a master at leading and controlling high-achieving teams, and he feels that his techniques are transferable to several fields.

In one of the best books about the popular sport rugby, Jones outlines his approach, much of which he picked up from talks with other accomplished managers and leaders like Pep Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, and Alex Ferguson. It starts with encouraging desire and ends with pursuing your curiosity. Being a leader is the best way to perform at your best in life and rugby. 

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