In the absence of live sports and with many of us now having an abundance of time to ourselves, it’s a great opportunity to get back into reading. We’ve put together a list of some fantastic sporting titles to dive into – some you may already have on your shelves, but we think the rest are well worth ordering or downloading for devouring with a cuppa. Let us know if there are any favourites of yours we should be reading!

Fever Pitch

by Nick Hornby

A seminal book twice adapted into films, Nick Hornby’s first title chronicles the author’s relationship with football. Beginning with Hornby’s childhood as a young Arsenal fan and travelling through his life until his thirties, this is a love letter to football.

Playing the Enemy

by John Carlin

Go inside South Africa’s era and country-defining 1995 Rugby World Cup win. Author John Carlin interviewed many of the players and coaches from the final, in addition to members of Nelson Mandela’s bodyguards and ANC staff. An astounding story.

Rain Men

by Marcus Berkmann

An ode to the wonderful and singular madness of cricket, this charming book brings to life all the peculiar obsessions of the cricket fan – from grass roots right up to the top. Anyone who’s ever silently marvelled at a well-timed cover drive or pored over a meticulously kept scorecard should own this book.

A Good Walk Spoiled

by John Feinstein

In this revealing and perhaps surprisingly evocative portrait of life on the professional golf circuit, Feinstein travels with the world’s top players to see their quest for perfection up close and gets a real insider's insight into what makes the greats great.

This Road I Ride

by Juliana Buhring

There are lots of revealing portraits of cycling’s better known characters that are worth a read, but this personal, moving and at times shocking account of Buhring’s quest to become the fastest woman to cycle the globe is truly inspiring.

Football Against the Enemy

by Simon Kuper

Over the course of this entertaining tome, Kuper travels to 22 different footballing nations to investigate how the Beautiful Game has played a part in culture and politics around the world, with funny, bizarre and at times heart-breaking results.

Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sporting History

by Molly Schoit

Containing pages of beautiful never-before-seen photographs and uncovering some of the most profound and inspiring stories in all of sports, this is a must-read for any serious sports fan. 

Provided You Don’t Kiss Me

by Duncan Hamilton

Brian Clough may be one of the most storied and best known characters in sports, but there’s still plenty to learn about the iconic manager in this wonderfully written book. Hamilton spent 20 years as a reporter at Nottingham Evening Post, building an unrivalled relationship with Clough.

Friday Night Lights

by Buzz Bissinger

Famously adapted for the screen, this wonderful book details the 1988 football season at Permian High in Odessa, Texas. It’s a vivid portrait of the school and its characters, and takes an unflinching look at racism, culture and the perils of those teenage years.

Senna versus Prost

by Malcolm Folley

Relive one of the greatest rivalries in sports by way of this engaging and fascinating book that includes the thoughts and insights of many of F1’s biggest names – including Martin Brundle, Bernie Ecclestone, Damon Hill and Sir Frank Williams.


by Shehan Karunatilaka

This controversially-titled novel is half the story of a journalist’s dying quest to track down a legendary spin bowler, and half the story of a war-torn Sri Lanka and its people. It’s a fantastically written book that contains humour and warmth that will delight even non-cricket fans.

The Illustrated History of Football

by David Squires

Guardian cartoonist David Squires brings football well and truly to life in this ground-breaking piece of football literature, which is both factual and fun. This is a genuinely funny and easy to consume book that’s perfect for these troubling times.