Search for your sports books:

Featured Publisher: Pitch Publishing
The incomparable range of sports books produced by Pitch Publishing over the past few years has ensured they’ve secured a place as one of the UK’s leading publishers of sporting material.

From the unashamedly nostalgic Got, Not Got and the thought-provoking If Only: An Alternative History of the Beautiful Game, to Andrew Murtagh’s superbly-written Gentleman and a Player, Pitch Publishing are always likely to come up with something different. Take a look at their current range: www.pitchpublishing.co.uk




Read Review
<back to archive

Connie The Marvellous Life of Learie Constantine By Harry Pearson

Release date: 03rd June, 2018
Publisher: Little, Brown

List Price: £18.99
Our Price: £15.99
You Save: £3 (15%)
Buy Now

Those of us who vividly remember the menacing West Indies pace attack which almost destroyed English cricket in the 1970s did not shed too many tears when the roles were reversed at the start of the century. West Indies failed to win a Test match against England between 2000-17, a run which restored a modicum of Three Lionsí pride, although cricket fans began to crave some competition and were relieved when the visitors finally overhauled England at Headingly last year.

It could be argued that we may have missed West Indiesí fluctuating fortunes were it not for one man, Learie Constantine, or Connie, as he was affectionately known, after three thumping defeats in 1928 led Wisden to question whether they had been elevated to Test status too soon.

At first glance, Connieís Test record appears ordinary: he took 58 wickets at an average of 30.1 and posted a batting average below 20, but cricket provided him with an unlikely platform, enabling him to tackle some of the racial barriers hindering black people during mid-twentieth century Britain. Connie would go on to receive a knighthood and take his seat in the House of Lords as the first black peer.

Such recognition would be enough for some folks, but Connie managed also to become an all-time great of the Lancashire League.

He was an extraordinarily powerful hitter of the ball as well as an outstanding fielder. Ironically, it was following that disastrous 1928 tour that Connie, one of West Indiesí rare successes, won a professional contract with Nelson, a small, cloth-manufacturing town in Lancashire, where he would spend nine seasons, becoming one of the highest-paid sportsmen in Britain.
Connie was a hit from the moment he arrived (thereís a blue plaque on the front of the house where he lived), a star attraction who drew record crowds to Nelson's and rival grounds.

If thereís an anomaly in Constantineís career, itís that he occasionally committed to club cricket instead of representing his country, although itís worth noting that West Indies sides were often selected on the basis of which island was hosting a touring side.

Nelson, by contrast, embraced Connie and was free of internecine politics which affected the national team. In Nelson, Connie wrote, 'a cricketer is just a cricketer and nothing elseí.
Constantine struggled to adapt to Trinidadian political life, although he continued to advocate Caribbean independence after returning to the UK where he contributed to a huge improvement in race relations. "The country we live in would be a much diminished place had he stayed in Trinidad," writes Pearson, a statement with which itís difficult to argue.


<back to archive


MoneyMapp


SBOTM Current Top 10

The Autobiography By Alastair Cook With Michael Calvin
Michael Joseph
Read Review Buy Now
Joe Louis The Rise and Fall of the Brown Bomber By Tom Myler
Pitch Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Money Canít Buy Us Love: Everton in the 1960s By Gavin Buckland
DeCoubertin Books
Read Review Buy Now
The Boxerís Story: Fighting for My Life in the Nazi Camps By Nathan Shapow with Bob Harris
Biteback Publishing
Read Review Buy Now
Smokiní Joe The Life of Joe Frazier By Mark Kram Jr
Blackstone
Read Review Buy Now
Astroball The New Way to Win it All By Ben Reiter
Backpage
Read Review Buy Now
The Great Romantic Cricket and the Golden Age of Neville Cardus By Duncan Hamilton
Hodder & Staughton
Read Review Buy Now
Guiding Me Home and Away By Dave Thomas
Hornet Books
Read Review Buy Now
The ĎGot Not Gotí Football Gift Book by Derek Hammond & Gary Silke
Conker Editions
Read Review Buy Now
The Three Kings The Makers of Modern Football By Leo Moynihan
Quercus
Read Review Buy Now

Amazonís top 6 best-sellers

© Sharks Media Ltd 2004 Ė 2012. Site designed and maintained by Marcus Hamblett for Furydesign.