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Fields of Glory: The Extraordinary Lives of 16 Warrior Sportsmen Hardcover – 6 Aug 2001

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Andre Deutsch; 1st edition (6 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0233999906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0233999906
  • Product Dimensions: 15 x 2.8 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 414,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


"Hero" is the most overused words in sports journalism today. Manchester United are heroes for winning the treble, England's rugby players are heroes for beating France in Paris and Graeme Hick is a hero for scoring a century against Zimbabwe. The truth is that only a handful of international sportsmen deserve the accolade "hero". This book will tell the stories of their extraordinary lives. Chronicling the lives of 16 sportsmen from as far a field as South Africa, Australia and Great Britain, Fields of Glory will recount how they won their medals and what they achieved on the sports field. It will also examine the impact their wartime experiences had on their lives once the gunds had fallen silent. Some flourished - for example, one became Governor of Western Australia - while others turned to alcohol and died in tragic circumstances. Between them the 16 sportsmen from England, Australia, France, South Africa and Ireland won 3 VCs, 10 DSOs, 6 MCs, 2 DFCs, 1 MM and 1 DCM in conflicts ranging from the Boer War to the Second World War. The book will give a colourful, exciting and vivid account of their lives, from birth to death, embellished with photographs.

Each life will have its own chapter.

From the Publisher

The Extraordinary Lives of 16 Warrior Sportsmen
‘Life is a journey of self-discovery. I am curious to learn my strengths and weaknesses. But until they put cork on your face, a gun in your hand and point you in the direction of the beaches, you never really know what you’re made of.’ Tony O’Reilly, Ireland (29 caps) and British Lions (10 caps)

Fields of Glory is a remarkable chronicle of sixteen extraordinary lives. Both international sportsmen and fine soldiers, the men’s talents on the sports field were matched by their courage on the battlefield. They are stories characterised by the heady mix of danger, exhilaration, fear, adventure and tragedy. The book gives a colourful, exciting and candid portrayal of their lives, accompanied by personal photographs from the collections of the featured men and their families. Fields of Glory is a compelling read about men who fought hard, played hard and lived hard.

From as far afield as South Africa, Australia and Great Britain, the sixteen men between them won 5 VCs, 11 DSOs, 5 MCs, 2DFCs, 2 MM and 3 Croix de Guerre in conflicts ranging from the Boer War to the Second World War. ‘Hero’ may be a word much overused in the sports journalism of today, but it surely describes the men here...

The sportsmen featured were footballers, cricketers, rugby players, a boxer, a tennis player and an athlete including: Blair Mayne, DSO & 3 Bars, Legion d’Honneur, in WWII – one of the founders of the SAS and rugby player for Ireland and the British Lions. Charles Buchan, MC in WWI – professional footballer who played for England (6 caps), Arsenal and Sunderland. He joined the Grenadier Guards and was awarded the Military Medal in France. Arnie Jackson, DSO & 3 Bars in WWI – won the mile in the 1912 Varsity match and won a gold medal in the 1500m Stockholm Olympics of the same year. Became the youngest brigadier in the British Army aged 27, but a leg wound left him permanently lame. Fields of Glory also gives a fascinating insight into the impact the wartime experiences had on the men’s lives once the guns had fallen silent.

Gavin Mortimer is an experienced journalist specialising in sports and military subjects. He is a former rugby player, who has travelled the world to play, though not to fight. Gavin lives in Paris and is working on his third book, a history of the Balkans War through the eyes of the foreign volunteers.

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11 December 2001
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22 October 2001

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