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We Could Be Heroes: One Van, Two Blokes and Twelve World Championships [Paperback]

Tom Fordyce , Ben Dirs
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 2009

Ben: Do you ever worry you’ll die without having left a mark?

Tom: What about when you won that 3 a.m. break-dancing battle with the overweight Australian girl?

Ben: It’s not enough. I want to go down in history.

Tom: You’re called Ben Dirs. You will.

Finely-tuned triathlete Tom Fordyce and hopeless smoker Ben Dirs have made a living blogging for the BBC about the triumphs and tribulations of sport at its highest level – but they will never be World Champions themselves. Well, unless they can find some really pointless sporting challenges…

From the gripping slow-motion drama of the World Sauna Championships to the Cotswold Olympicks, in which ‘competitors, wearing boots, attempt to kick each other,’ We Could Be Heroes is a collection of brilliantly funny gonzo despatches from the frontline of sport. If you can race Ben Fogle up a Yorkshire hillside carrying a sack of coal, or kick the shin out of Rory McGrath, you could be the Champion of the World – and what’s more, you’ll have very, very sore shins, my son.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan (3 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230736157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230736153
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 13.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'A fascinating and hilarious insight into the surreal world of alternative sport' -- Steve Cram, World Champion Athlete

'A one-punch-to-the-chin, knockout read. I haven't laughed this hard in years' -- David Haye, World Champion Boxer

'The true comedy value of this book is Fordyce and Dirs themselves, their contrasting characters proving the framework for a book of real quality.
-- Rugby World

'This travelogue is an entertaining and engaging read which will make you want to start practicing your egg-throwing.' -- Lincolnshire Echo

`The dual narrative works well and there are plenty of laugh-out-loud moments.'
-- Waterstones Books Quarterly


'A fascinating and hilarious insight into the surreal world of alternative sport'

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Customer Reviews

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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cover, better book! 9 July 2009
By BallBoy
A brilliant, hilarious read. I was a big follower of these boys on the BBC Sport website, but wasn't sure their writing would translate to book wrong can one man be?!

Judging by my girlfriend's laughter when she stole it, not just one for the boys either.

Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant !! 19 Feb 2010
I have been a fan of the text commentary that Ben (in particular) does on the BBC Sport website for ages and was very excited when I found this book. I saved it for my holiday and was looking forward to getting going on it more than I was looking forward to going on holiday !! I was not disappointed, the writing style is just as I had hoped it would be.

I am a fan of the Tony Hawks / Danny Wallace / Dave Gorman genre of books and while there is a nod to all of these authors in the style of this book, this stands out as a very good book in it's own right. Both guys have an excellent writing style and a real way with words. While they are both very different characters, they both have the ability to make you laugh out loud with a particularly descriptive bit of writing.

It was one of those books that you don't want to put down because you are enjoying it so much yet you don't want to read too much because you don't want it to end, and for me they don't come around very often. The only warning I would give is that my wife got annoyed with me sniggering and chuckling while I was reading this in bed.

Can't wait for the next offering chaps.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quality read! 8 July 2009
This is one funny book. I picked it up purely because of the front cover, but couldn't put it down once i started reading it!

These guys really are hilarious!
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5.0 out of 5 stars I bloody love this book 11 Sep 2013
By F Ashby
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of Dirs's bloggs on the beeb website, and started following him after his and Tom's tour of France during the rugby world cup. I fould that they had written the book purely by chance. I headed to Corfu this year on holiday and found it the perfect holiday read. I laughed at their witty prose and the way they banter with each other. As many have said if you like their bloggs you will love the book. For me the worst thing was the missus not appreciating me giggling like a school girl every 5 mins.
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5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining read 30 Jan 2012
By drchris
The boys from the BBC sports website (love their cricket commentary!) bring you a very entertaining journey around the country's slightly mad sports in an attempt to be world champs...or is it chumps...great fun!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Laugh-out-loud funny 10 Jun 2011
If you like their writings on BBC Sport, you'll love this book. A genuinely funny look at the world of alternative sport, with moment that will make you laugh out loud. Who ever thought that stone-skimming or coal carrying could be taken so seriously? The contrast between ultra-competitive Fordyce and unapologetic there-for-the-craic Dirs makes for a great duo, and an excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ultimate xmas gift for my uncles! 11 Dec 2009
This is very funny and also you learn alot. A perfect gift for uncles instead of socks or ties.... they will thankyou for it...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Two blokes in a quest for glory 13 Nov 2009
Nearly all sports have World Championships. Many of these World Championships are big events, full of hype & razzamatazz and are given extensive coverage by the media. The individual World Champions become household names. They also make themselves a bob or two in the process.

Some World Champions don't though, because instead of being athletes, boxers or even darts players their sport of choice is slightly more obscure - maybe shin kicking, wife (or coal) carrying, cheese rolling or even egg catching.

Just because these `sports' aren't quite as well known doesn't mean that it is an easy thing to become the World Champion at them though, as Ben Dirs and Tom Fordyce tell us in this extremely entertaining book.

After reporting on numerous sporting events for the BBC, Dirs and Fordyce decide that they too would like to see what it was like to become a World Champion. They reasoned that whilst it would be impossible for them to become best in the world at a major sport, maybe they just could become World Champion pea-shooter, nettle eater or stone skimmer. Selecting eleven World Championships they begin their quest for glory.....

Okay, it may not be great sports journalism like the stuff that the Brian Glanville's or the Ian Wooldridge's of this world have churned out over the years, but who cares because this book is fun.

Some might describe as being a bit laddish (or bloke-ish), but I don't agree; even if it is it's laddish in a mild, good natured way. Excellent.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars We: Could be Heroes: One van, two blokes and twelve world...
I bought this for my brother, but he said it was brilliant, funny, well written and entertaining! Just like all the reviews so far really.
Published on 16 Oct 2009 by Rachel Gabiola
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly balanced banter, brings online flare to print
Whether you have read these boys on BBC Sport or are new to their talents you'll love this light, fast-paced giggle-jerker. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2009 by Mr. Ad Meredith
5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking read!
I was thoroughly impressed by this book, which is nothing like what I would normally read. Good interaction between the authors and amusing anecdotes, without ridiculing the... Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by Robert Edward Maldonado
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply...brilliant.
This book ensured that I was the single most annoying person on the London Underground for a good 2 weeks, crying with laughter to myself every journey to and from work. Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by R. Appleton
4.0 out of 5 stars Lot of laughs
This is a great little book that gave me a lot of laughs.

The authors do text commentaries for the BBC Sport website, and so I was a bit apprehensive about this book... Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2009 by M. J. Betts
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Hilarious
Was a big fan of these guys from their BBC text commentary so was very keen to pick up a copy of this asap. The whole book had me in turn chuckling (World Snail Racing? Read more
Published on 19 July 2009 by Ms. C. E. Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars A right 'Kicking' read!
I could not wait to get a copy of this book. I was at the 2008 World Shin Kicking Championship and reading the section on it had me rolling on the ground it was so funny and so... Read more
Published on 18 July 2009 by Amazon Customer
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