‘The Man in the Middle’ and ‘No Nonsense’ Longlisted for Autobiography of the Year
Howard Webb’s The Man in the Middle and Joey Barton’s No Nonsense, co-written with Mike Calvin, are both in the running for this year’s Cross Sports Autobiography of the Year Award, part of The British Sports Book Awards.
The British Sports Book Awards highlight the most outstanding books within the sports category of the previous calendar year, rewarding and recognising those who have shone and showcasing their merits.
The Cross Sports Autobiography of the Year Award’s final shortlist will be announced on April 27th 2017.
The Man in the Middle:
The long-awaited autobiography of Howard Webb, the man who refereed the World Cup final. Webb’s first game as a match official came when he was just 18 and his father’s verdict was blunt: ‘Useless – he doesn’t know his arse from his elbow.’ It wasn’t the last time his performance would come under fire. But Webb progressed through the ranks, and his natural calm authority made a good impression on players and administrators alike, and soon he was being offered the top matches and the toughest fixtures.
The policeman went on to take charge of some of the most important games, including the 2009 FA Cup final, the 2010 Champions League final and – the biggest of the lot – the 2010 World Cup final. Now, in this superb and honest memoir, Howard Webb reveals what it is like to be at the heart of the action in the modern-day game where every decision can be unpicked by television cameras. He explains how he learned to handle some of the game’s superstars. Refereeing is a hard business, but Webb shows just why he enjoyed it so much and provides fascinating insights into how he dealt with the most challenging situations. With his unique perspective on the game, and the characteristic honesty he has displayed as a pundit on BT Sport, Webb has written a book that reveals the game – and the man himself – in a new light.
So, you think you know Joey Barton. Think again. No Nonsense is a game-changing autobiography which will redefine the most fascinating figure in British football. It is the raw yet redemptive story of a man shaped by rejection and the consequences of his mistakes. He has represented England, and been a pivotal player for Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and now Glasgow Rangers, but his career has featured recurring controversy. The low point of being sent to prison for assault in 2008 proved to be the catalyst for the re-evaluation of his life.
No Nonsense reflects Barton’s character – it is candid, challenging, entertaining and intelligent. He does not spare himself, in revealing the formative influences of a tough upbringing in Liverpool, and gives a survivor’s insight into a game which, to use his phrase, ‘eats people alive’. The book is emotionally driven, and explains how he has redirected his energies since the birth of his children. In addition to dealing with his past, he expands on his plans for the future. The millions who follow his commentaries on social media, and those who witnessed him on BBC’s Question Time, will be given another reason to pause, and look beyond the caricature.
No Nonsense and The Man in the Middle were both published by Simon & Schuster, on 22nd September and 20th October 2016 respectively.