Duncan Hamilton - book author
Duncan Hamilton is the author of books: Provided You Don't Kiss Me: 20 Years with Brian Clough, For the Glory: Eric Liddell's Journey from Olympic Champion to Modern Martyr, Harold Larwood, A Last English Summer, Immortal, The Unreliable Life of Harry the Valet: The Great Victorian Jewel Thief, The Footballer Who Could Fly, Touch Wood, The Kings of Summer: How Cricket's 2016 County Championship Came Down to the Very Last Match of the Season, The Great Romantic: Cricket and the golden age of Neville Cardus
Many people will remember Eric Liddell as the Olympic gold medalist from the Academy Award winning film Chariots of Fire. Famously, Liddell would not run on Sunday because of his strict observance of the Christian sabbath, and so he did not compete in his signature event, the 100 meters, at the 1924 Paris Olympics. He was the greatest sprinter in the world at the time, and his choice not to run was ridiculed by the British Olympic committee, his fellow athletes, and most of the world press. Yet Liddell triumphed in a new event, winning the 400 meters in Paris.
Liddell ran--and lived--for the glory of his God. After winning gold, he dedicated himself to missionary work. He travelled to China to work in a local school and as a missionary. He married and had children there. By the time he could see war on the horizon, Liddell put Florence, his pregnant wife, and children on a boat to Canada, while he stayed behind, his conscience compelling him to stay among the Chinese. He and thousands of other westerners were eventually interned at a Japanese work camp.
Once imprisoned, Liddell did what he was born to do, practice his faith and his sport. He became the moral center of an unbearable world. He was the hardest worker in the camp, he counseled many of the other prisoners, he gave up his own meager portion of meals many days, and he organized games for the children there. He even raced again. For his ailing, malnourished body, it was all too much. Liddell died of a brain tumor just before the end of the war. His passing was mourned around the world, and his story still inspires.
In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken, For the Glory is both a compelling narrative of athletic heroism and a gripping story of faith in the darkest circumstances.
No other imposed himself so completely on to the romantic imagination. No other was so emblematic of the era during which he flourished. And no other will ever be as memorable as George Best.
On the field Best's skills were sublime and almost other-worldly. Off it, he had a magnetic appeal. He was treated like a pop icon and a pin-up; a fashion-model and a sex-symbol. Every man envied him and every woman adored him.
To mark the 50th anniversary of his debut for Manchester United, Duncan Hamilton examines Best's crowded life and premature death. But most importantly, Hamilton presents Best at his glorious peak - the precocious goals, the labyrinthine runs, the poise and balletic balance and the body swerves.
This is George Best: footballing immortal.
It would become one of the most widely reported heists of the late Victorian era, but what no one knew was that the man who committed this most daring and well planned theft had already committed nine almost identical crimes.
A man who wore bespoke suits and handmade shoes; who used a dozen pseudonyms to dust over his tracks; who belonged to three smart London clubs and lived in the luxury of West End hotels; whose staple diet was champagne and whisky; who was pursued by London's top detectives for five and a half years and - by their own admission - 'proved smarter' than them; and who fell so much in love with a women who he would steal for and lie for but who would eventually betray him.
The true story of the most notorious Victorian Jewel thief, The Unreliable Life of Harry the Valet has all the hallmarks of the finest detective fiction, but has romance at its heart and a love story which endured on Harry's part for the rest of his life, despite ultimately destroying him.
Longlisted for the 2012 William Hill Sports Book of the Year, Hamilton tells of how he was inspired by his father's devotion to Newcastle United and the heroes of yesteryear, such as Jackie Milburn, Bobby Charlton and Duncan Edwards, Hamilton recreates a distant, bygone age and charts the progress of post-war British football to the present day. From the hardscrabble 1940s and the ‘never-had-it-so-good' 50s, right through to how the dowdy-looking First Division of the 80s transformed itself into the slick, money-driven Premiership that is so familiar to us today. Hamilton writes about the some of its most sublime players, from George Best to Lionel Messi, and some of its most respected managers, from Bill Shankly to Sir Alex Ferguson.
But at the heart of The Footballer Who Could Fly, is Hamilton’s exploration of the bond between father and son through the Beautiful Game, and how football became the only live connection between two people who, apart from their love of it, were wholly different from one another.
From the two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year comes a personal and affecting story that beautifully captures one of the most important three-way relationships in a man's life. Father and son and football.
Neville Cardus described how one majestic stroke-maker ‘made music’ and ‘spread beauty’ with his bat. Between two world wars, he became the laureate of cricket by doing the same with words.
In The Great Romantic, award-winning author Duncan Hamilton demonstrates how Cardus changed sports journalism for ever. While popularising cricket – while appealing, in Cardus’ words to people who ‘didn’t know a leg-break from the pavilion cat at Lord’s’- he became a star in his own right with exquisite phrase-making, disdain for statistics and a penchant for literary and musical allusions.
Among those who venerated Cardus were PG Wodehouse, John Arlott, Harold Pinter, JB Priestley and Don Bradman. However, behind the rhapsody in blue skies, green grass and colourful characters, this richly evocative biography finds that Cardus’ mother was a prostitute, he never knew his father and he received negligible education. Infatuations with younger women ran parallel to a decidedly unromantic marriage. And, astonishingly, the supreme stylist’s aversion to factual accuracy led to his reporting on matches he never attended.
Yet Cardus also belied his impoverished origins to prosper in a second class-conscious profession, becoming a music critic of international renown. The Great Romantic uncovers the dark enigma within a golden age.