Every year, several books are released exploring the stories and intricacies of football. And perhaps none are more eagerly awaited than titles written by players and managers themselves, both past and present. With Leah Williamson’s You Have the Power: Find Your Strength and Believe You Can set to be released this year, experts decided to analyse reviews and rating data to determine – which is the best book written by a football personality in the past 10 years?
To do so, experts collected each book’s rating data from Amazon and Goodreads, and found an average review score for each out of 5, taking into account how many reviews contributed to both sites’ ratings.
Top 10 BEST books by football personalities in the past 10 years
|Review score (/5)
|You Are a Champion: How to Be the Best You Can Be
|Marcus Rashford, Katie Warriner and Carl Anka
|Thinking Out Loud: Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad
|Lioness: My Journey to Glory
|The Boy On the Shed: A Remarkable Sporting Memoir
|How (Not) to Be Strong
|The Greatest Games: The Ultimate Book for Football Fans
|Me, Family and the Making of a Footballer
|The World According to Harry
|Only Here for a Visit: A Life Lived to the Full – from Sporting Glories to Wild Stories
|Breakaway: Beyond the Goal
|Anything is Possible
|Hooked: Addiction and the Long Road to Recovery
The best book written by a football personality in the past 10 years is Marcus Rashford’s You Are a Champion: How to Be the Best You Can Be. Written in collaboration with performance psychologist Katie Warriner and journalist Carl Anka, the Manchester United star’s motivational work was published in 2021 to widespread acclaim. Rashford, who is known not only for his footballing abilities but also for his outspoken activism, seeks to inspire the generation of tomorrow to achieve their goals in this feel-good 224-page book aimed at children between the ages of 9 and 12.
Currently the second best-selling ‘Children’s Book on Football’ on Amazon UK, You Are a Champion won ‘Children’s Non-Fiction Book of the Year’ and the prestigious ‘Book of the Year’ awards at the 2022 British Book Awards. Based on Amazon and Goodreads ratings, the book finishes with a score of 4.53 out of 5.
In second place is a tie between two books – Thinking Out Loud: Love, Grief and Being Mum and Dad by Rio Ferdinand and Lioness: My Journey to Glory by Beth Mead. Thinking Out Loud, written by Manchester United defensive legend Rio Ferdinand in 2017, is a book that predominantly explores the themes stated in its title: love, grief, and parenting.
In 2015, Ferdinand tragically lost his wife Rebecca to cancer – Thinking Out Loud explores this loss, as well as providing advice to any reader who may find themselves in a similar unfortunate position. Lioness, on the other hand, is a more straightforward footballer autobiography, narrating the journey of Arsenal star Beth Mead, from joining a local boys’ team in North Yorkshire to winning the UEFA Women’s Euros for England in 2022. Both books share the same final score of 4.41 out of 5.
In fourth place is The Boy On the Shed: A Remarkable Sporting Memoir by Paul Ferris. Following Ferris’ story from a working-class Northern Irish family during The Troubles to becoming Newcastle United’s youngest-ever first-team player, The Boy On the Shed is described as a moving story of ‘love and fate’, and was named The Telegraph Sports Book Awards’ ‘Autobiography of the Year’ in 2019. It finishes with a final score of 4.40 out of 5.
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