With three Military Crosses, three Croix de guerre, a Légion d'honneur and a papal knighthood for his heroics during the Second World War, Sir Tommy Macpherson is the most decorated living soldier of the British Army. Yet for 65 years the Highlander's story has remained untold. Few know how, aged 21, he persuaded 23,000 SS soldiers of the feared Das Reich tank column to surrender, or how Tommy almost single-handedly stopped Tito's Yugoslavia annexing the whole of north-east Italy. Twice captured, he escaped both times, marching through hundreds of miles of German-held territory to get home. Still a schoolboy when war broke out, Tommy quickly matured into a legendary commando, and his remarkable story features a dizzyingly diverse cast of characters, including Winston Churchill, Field Marshal Montgomery and Charles de Gaulle.
Written by the bestselling author of The Ice Man, The Butcher is a gripping and disturbing fly-on-the-wall account of the US Drug Enforcement Administration's four-year hunt to bring down Tommy 'Karate' Pitera, a drug-dealing, murderous capo in the Bonanno crime family. In 1992, Pitera was sentenced to life in prison for murdering six people and supporting a massive drug-dealing operation. Yet this covered only a fraction of the crimes he committed. Pitera is thought to have murdered more than 60 people, cutting many of his victims into pieces before burying them on Staten Island.Exhaustively researched and written with the cooperation of the DEA agents who hunted Pitera down, The Butcher will send shivers down the spine of the most hardened reader.
Philip Carlo's successful and acclaimed books reveal the truth about notorious characters such as LA serial killer Richard Ramirez, Mafia contract killer Richard Kuklinski and crime-family boss Anthony Casso. Working closely with the DEA , Carlo also wrote the definitive account of Bonanno Mafia family assassin Tommy 'Karate' Pitera.Carlo's investigative achievements were remarkable, but what wasn't known to his readers was that, while working on The Ice Man, he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a form of motor neuron disease. Suddenly, after years of penetrating the minds of killers, Carlo was himself being pursued by the grim reaper. But rather than lying down and succumbing to the disease, Carlo continued to work right up until his death in 2010.In The Killer Within, Carlo provides an intimate account of his relationships with Ramirez, Kuklinski and Casso and reveals intriguing information about writing his bestsellers while simultaneously coping with ALS as it slowly began to steal his life away.
Using a golf pencil sharpened on a cell wall, Shaun Attwood wrote one of the first prison blogs, Jon's Jail Journal, excerpts of which were published in The Guardian and attracted international media attention.Brought up in England, Shaun took his business degree to Phoenix, Arizona, where he became an award winning stockbroker and then a millionaire day trader during the dot-com bubble. But Shaun also led a double life. An early fan of the rave scene in Manchester, he formed an organisation that threw raves and distributed Ecstacy. Before being convicted of money laundering and drug dealing, he served 26 months in the infamous jail system run by the notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Hard Time is the harrowing yet often darkly humorous account of the time Shaun spent submerged in a nightmarish world of gang violence, insect infested cells and food unfit for animals. His remarkable story provides a revealing glimpse into the tragedy, brutality, comedy and eccentricity of prison life.
***FOREWORD BY FABIO CAPELLO***Since their first appearance in the competition in 1950, England's World Cup story has been one of broken dreams, bad luck, shock losses and penalty nightmares, with one shining exception in 1966, when they famously won the Cup after beating Germany 4-2. In Three Lions Versus the World, Mark Pougatch talks to those who have shaped England's World Cup odyssey, from Brazil 1950 when England lost to the amateurs of America, through the triumph of 1966 and the subsequent failure to retain the Cup in 1970, to the spirit-sapping quarter-final defeats in Japan 2002 and Germany 2006.Household names such as Sir Tom Finney, Don Howe, Martin Peters, Trevor Brooking, Gary Lineker, Tony Adams, Glenn Hoddle and Danny Mills share their personal recollections of playing for England both on and off the pitch in the World Cup. Some reveal how they were affected by the demands placed upon them and by the mounting pressure of expectation from the English public. Others comment candidly on the myriad controversies to befall the England squad over the years. Massive highs are recounted and crushing lows painfully recollected. The contributors are united in the pride they shared in wearing the Three Lions shirt for their country in this most special of tournaments. The players' stories and anecdotes woven around the narrative of the World Cup itself, this is an unbeatable, entertaining and enlightening journey through half a century of English World Cup action that no football fan can afford to miss.
In the spring of 1892, Frank G. Lenz, a gallant young accountant from a modest German American family, set forth from his unhappy home in Pittsburgh to circle the globe atop a new 'safety' bicycle with inflatable tyres (the forerunner of today's road bike). He brought along a large wooden camera and arranged to send regular reports to his sponsor, Outing magazine, effectively making him a harbinger of the great bicycle boom that was about to explode with stunning social and industrial repercussions. Two years, fourteen thousand miles and many adventures later, after crossing the United States, Japan, China, Burma, India and Persia, just as he was about to enter Europe for the home stretch, Lenz vanished. His presumed murder in Asiatic Turkey jolted the American public and became an international cause célèbre.The Lost Cyclist recounts, for the first time ever, the short but remarkable life of Lenz and the heroic efforts of another American 'globe girdler', William L. Sachtleben, who was sent by Outing to unravel Lenz's mysterious death in Turkey - all set against the horrifying backdrop of the Hamidian massacres.
The Ryder Cup has defined Sam Torrance's life as a professional golfer. He has played with and against some of the greatest golfers the game has ever known, in the biggest and most high-pressure team event in golf.In An Enduring Passion, Torrance recalls every great moment in the two decades he spent pursuing Ryder Cup glory and looks at how the event has changed since he was trying to qualify for it as a player in the late 1970s. He examines the tactics and techniques of the captains he played under and those he played against, and tells how his huge experience as a player, and his vice captaincy to Mark James in the bear pit of Brookline, shaped the way he conducted his own captaincy at The Belfry in 2002. Everything he had learned about the Ryder Cup went into his leadership during that event, and when he raised the trophy aloft at the end of it all he knew he had learned the lessons well.Today, Sam Torrance is one of the most identifiable faces, and voices, of golf. It is the Ryder Cup, though, that made him, and this book is his enlightening account of the competition from an insider's perspective.
Ray Lester is a fixer in the boxing business. He makes fights happen. He builds a bridge and guides boxers across to the negotiating table. Ray Lester is good at his job.One morning, a girl arrives at Ray's door and asks him for help finding her father, an old-school Vegas crooner called Eddie Lights. Ray travels with his questions to Sin City, along with 30,000 other Brits with their Union Jacks on the way to watch Hatton take on Mayweather. But the boys in leather jackets from back east are on his tail and Ray finds himself embroiled in a murderous plot.So begins a journey into the murky world of deals, fights and fighters. A world beyond the glitz, glamour and glory. A world where the fixer is king.
With her glossy dark hair, classic looks, natural appearance and cut-glass accent, Kate Middleton displays all the poise and breeding expected from the wife-to-be of the heir to the throne. Sophisticated beyond her years, Kate has charmed William's louche circle of friends as well as the House of Windsor. Yet behind her polished veneer lies the extraordinary tale of an impoverished working-class family that overcame deprivation and adversity to rise to the upper echelons of society.Claudia Joseph has spoken to members of Kate's family and friends, who have provided an intriguing insight into the extraordinary journey her family has made from the mining villages of Durham to the gates of Buckingham Palace.Drawing on exclusive interviews and containing previously unpublished photographs, this is the authoritative account of Kate Middleton's life so far.
Twenty-five years after Richard Ramirez left thirteen dead, paralysing the city of Los Angeles, his name is still synonymous with fear, torture and sadistic murder. Philip Carlo's US bestseller The Night Stalker, based on three years of meticulous research and extensive interviews with Ramirez, revealed the killer and his horrifying crimes to be even more chilling than anyone could have imagined. From watching his cousin commit murder at age eleven to his nineteen death sentences to the juror who fell in love with him, the story of Ramirez is a bizarre and spellbinding descent into the very heart of human evil. Incredibly, after The Night Stalker was first published, thousands of women from all over the world started to contact Carlo, begging to be put in touch with the killer. Carlo began to interview them and, in this compelling new edition, presents their disturbing stories and the dark sexual desires that would drive them towards a brutal murderer. Also, in an exclusive death-row interview, the killer himself gives his thoughts on the 'Ramirez Groupies' - and what he thinks they really want.
For almost four decades, Margaret 'Mags' McGraw was a keeper of secrets. Her husband, Tam, the notorious 'Licensee', amassed a fortune by leading a safe-cracking gang before masterminding a spectacular Â£50-million drugs racket.Mags was a devotee of Tarot cards and fortune telling, so when Tam and his associates wondered whether luck would be with them, it was to her that they turned. But Mags discovered that the cards warned of much more than years in prison cells: they predicted death. She learned that her own husband was also doomed to a fate that was unexpected by everyone but her: Tam died in the arms of the wife he called his 'rock' while her secret lover frantically tried to save him.In The Gangster's Wife, Mags reveals her gripping life story, from being a London clippie through often hilarious days running an ice-cream van during the infamous Glasgow Ice Cream Wars to managing a notorious bar, being agony aunt to the toughest criminals around, hiding a secret love and sharing a life with The Licensee.
It was meant to be a two-week holiday to celebrate her sister's birthday, but for Schapelle Corby it ended up a waking nightmare. Arrested at Denpasar airport after marijuana was found in her luggage, she became the victim of every traveller's darkest fear. Over four kilograms of drugs had been planted in her bag after she'd checked it in and she was forced to face the consequences of someone else's crime in a country where the penalties for drug smuggling are among the harshest in the world.Her trial and conviction became one of the biggest news stories of the decade and her family watched in horror as she was sentenced to 20 years in jail. Yet despite the huge media coverage, the one voice the public never properly heard was Schapelle's. Now, in this compelling book, she tells her own story: of being wrenched from a carefree holiday and incarcerated in a stinking police cell and of learning to survive - in the squalor, discomfort and violence of an Indonesian jail. It is an account like no other and will be one of the most unforgettable books you'll ever read.
Robbie Savage could have been just another Manchester United reject. Instead, he used the Old Trafford scrapheap as a springboard to become one of the most instantly recognisable footballers in the Premier League, despite being told by Sir Alex Ferguson he was not good enough to stay in the class of '92 alongside David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville.For the last 16 years, Savage has carved out a reputation as a hard man and wind-up merchant with an unerring ability to grab a headline. From deliberately getting Tottenham's Justin Edinburgh sent off in a Wembley Cup final to the 'Jobbiegate' row with referee Graham Poll and the bust-ups with John Toshack, Rio Ferdinand, Graeme Souness and Paul Jewell, the list is endless.Yet numerous footballing legends will testify to the skill of the midfielder, who has starred for Crewe, Leicester, Birmingham, Blackburn and Derby and won 39 international caps for Wales. Behind the long blond hair, the Armani tattoo and the flamboyant cars, Savage has always been the heartbeat of his team.Savage! provides a unique insight into the extraordinary life of an elite sportsman, a colourful character and loving family man. Love him or loathe him, Robbie Savage's story is a remarkable one.
Lions legend Bobby Windsor has enjoyed triumphs beyond the dreams of most international players but has also suffered personal tragedy. His rugby career as the best hooker in the British Isles during the second golden era of Welsh rugby in the 1970s is a turbulent tale of blood and thunder on the pitch. There are riotous incidents off the pitch, including unscheduled fights with professional boxers, revelations about illegal payments during the so-called amateur era and what Windsor did to upset the Establishment and become blackballed by one of the most famous clubs in the world.Windsor's irrepressible sense of humour comes shining through on every page, except when he gives chapter and verse on the personal crisis that drove him to plan suicide.
The Iron Duke is the no-holds-barred, warts-and-all story of a working-class Welsh folk hero who rose from humble beginnings to become a permanent member of the greatest Lions team in the history of rugby union.
For more than fifty years, two ruthless gangs have dominated the Tyneside underworld. Initially, the Conroy and the Sayers families lived side by side in relative harmony in the West End of Newcastle, but the birth of the drug-fuelled rave culture in the late 1980s changed everything. Drunk on power and with an intense desire to take complete control of the north-east, the families went to war with one another and with anyone else who stood in their way. What followed was an orgy of mindless violence. In Fog on the Tyne, bestselling true-crime author Bernard O'Mahoney explores the origins of this gangland war and reveals for the first time how and why it spiralled out of control, leaving many injured and others dead.
Millions of Scots have left their homeland during the last 400 years. Until now, they have been written about in general terms. Scottish Exodus breaks new ground by taking particular emigrants, drawn from the once-powerful Clan MacLeod, and discovering what happened to them and their families. These people became, among other things, French aristocrats, Polish resistance fighters, Texan ranchers, New Zealand shepherds, Australian goldminers, Aboriginal and African-American activists, Canadian mounted policemen and Confederate rebels. One nineteenth-century MacLeod even went so far as to swap his Gaelic for Arabic and his Christianity for Islam before settling down comfortably in Cairo.This gripping account of Scotland's worldwide diaspora is based on unpublished documents, letters and family histories. It is also based on the author's travels in the company of today's MacLeods - some of them still in Scotland, others further afield. Scottish Exodus is a tale of disastrous voyages, famine and dispossession, the hazards of pioneering on faraway frontiers. But it is also the moving story of how people separated from Scotland by hundreds of years and thousands of miles continue to identify with the small country where their journeyings began.
In July 2009, former Celtic and Wales soccer star John Hartson was diagnosed with testicular cancer, which had also spread to his lungs and brain. But before his treatment even began, John came to the brink of death after contracting pneumonia, ceasing to breathe and undergoing emergency brain surgery. Against all the odds, he pulled through, and in Please Don't Go he documents his incredible fight for life.Profoundly moving, John's own story is interwoven with the poignant recollections of his pregnant wife, Sarah, as well as with extracts from his sister Victoria's personal diary. This remarkable book covers the five-week period during which John's survival was most in jeopardy.John's truly inspirational account of how he has managed to overcome a very aggressive form of cancer will offer hope and courage to others affected by the disease. It is a touching and ultimately uplifting insight into the bravery of the popular football hero, who has fought back to full health in the face of adversity.
Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape is the astonishing biography of French cycling star Jacques Anquetil. For the first time since his death in 1987, it reveals the extraordinary truth behind the legend, the man and the cyclist.His list of 'firsts' alone makes him worthy of a place in the cycling pantheon: the first man to win the Tour de France five times; the first man to win all three grand tours - the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espaïa; and the first man to win both the Tour and Vuelta in the same year.However, the extraordinary life of Anquetil does not stop at his achievements on a bike. He candidly admitted to using drugs, offended legions of fans by confessing that his only motivation for riding was financial and infamously indulged his enthusiasm for the high life. He also seduced and married his doctor's wife, had a child with her daughter and then sustained a ménage à trois with both wife and stepdaughter under the same roof for 12 years. When this 'family' eventually imploded, he attempted to inspire jealousy in his former lovers by having a child with his stepson's ex-wife.Containing exclusive contributions from Anquetil's family, friends, teammates and rivals, Sex, Lies and Handlebar Tape untangles myth from reality and confirms that fact is definitely stranger than fiction.
From Palace to Palais, the musicians who played in the big bands tell their own stories, bringing to life an unforgettable era.Pre-war reminiscences give an insight into a never-to-be-forgotten era, when London's nightclubs were the haunts of the aristocracy and of royalty, and the Prince of Wales would jump at any opportunity to play drums with the resident band. The elegant world of top hat, white ties and tails has gone for ever, but in Talking Swing the musicians relive those nights when they played for as long as the customers wanted to dance - often into the early hours of the morning. Out of London, there were the variety tours, where the band was top of the bill and there wasn't an empty seat in the house.The problems faced by British musicians during the war years, when London's society bands continued to play throughout the Blitz, were enormous, and they are vividly portrayed in Talking Swing.Amongst those recalled are Ambrose, Jack Hylton, Geraldo, Ted Heath and Syd Lawrence, who took over when almost everyone else had packed it in and who kept on swinging against all odds. This was the golden age of the big bands, and the story of those days is told by the men and women who made the music.
Kray gang boss Tony Lambrianou, who served a life sentence for the brutal murder of Jack 'the Hat' McVitie, has threatened to kill Bernard O'Mahoney 'by smashing a hammer through his head'. 'Dodgy' Dave Courtney, who claims to have murdered two gangland rivals, tried 'to put him out of his misery' and 'the most dangerous man in the country', John 'Gaffer' Rollinson, has vowed to kill him 'when he finds him'.But O'Mahoney, one-time friend of the notorious Kray Brothers and former key member of the Essex Boys gang, isn't concerned about any of these threats, because he knows the truth about the wannabe gangsters who have built their 'reputations' on fantasy gleaned from Hollywood movies and 'true' crime books written by their heroes. Wannabe in my Gang? is a story that spans two decades and involves some of the most infamous names and crimes in British history. It gives a unique insight into the Kray brothers' firm, revealing that its public image is far from the truth. Also uncovered is what happened to the remaining members of the Essex Boys firm following the death of Esctasy victim Leah Betts and the murder of three of its leaders, who were found dead in their blood-spattered Range Rover one winter's evening. For the first time ever, O'Mahoney will expose the gangland myths that have made legends of those who claim to be responsible for mayhem and murder. He reveals the sordid secret of one of Britain's most infamous gangsters and tells the truth about the imposters who make a living selling stories and writing books about events that have never even happened. Wannabe in my Gang? is the book that many in the underworld never wanted the public to read. A crime exposé of the highest order, it is shocking, revelatory and gripping from beginning to end.
Twins Ron and Reg Kray were without doubt the most powerful, violent and deadly gangsters that London has ever known. They ran protection rackets, clubs and casinos, as well as fraudulent 'long firms'. They blackmailed, intimidated and killed - for many years with impunity thanks to their powerful cronies in the Establishment. Working with all five main Mafia families in New York, they were expanding their business worldwide when they were imprisoned for murder in 1968.Featuring revealing new material, The Krays: A Violent Business is the story of their lives - and of the secrets and scandals the British government still doesn't want you to know about.
The year is 2014. The Republicans have re-conquered the White House, the Conservatives have just won a second term at Westminster and hardliners dominate Russia. In a small corner of north-western Europe, the Scots have just narrowly voted for independence, a decision they immediately regret.Following the referendum, George Wallace, friend and Senior Special Adviser to Scotland's First Minister, is desperately struggling to stem financial meltdown and political turmoil when help appears from an unlikely source. He can save Scotland, but at what price for his family and his nation?As the 100-day countdown to independence accelerates to a shattering climax and the body count mounts, the action switches from the White House to the Kremlin and from Westminster to Holyrood. George is forced to choose between love and belief, loyalty and morality. He must also decide who he can trust - and which nation is really the rogue.
ESSEX BOYS is the brand new edition of the shocking bestseller known as SO THIS IS ECSTASY?. It is the true story of the rise of one of the most violent and successful criminal gangs of the 90's whose reign of terror was finally terminated when the three leaders were brutally murdered in their Range Rover one winter's evening. On their way they had built the drug-dealing organisation that which supplied the pill that killed Leah Betts. They were responsible for a wave of intimidation, beatings and murder. Until, it seems, they took one step too far. Now there is compelling evidence that the men convicted of shooting the dead men are innocent. Which means the real murderers are still at large. Bernard O'Mahoney was a key member of what has been one of the most feared gangs of the decade. His inside account of their cold-blooded violence reveals that facts can be more terryfing than fiction.
When the first edition of The Glory Game was published in 1972, it was instantly hailed as the most insightful book about the life of a football club ever published. Hunter Davies was, and still is, the only author ever to be allowed into the inner sanctum of a top-level football team (Tottenham Hotspur) and his pen spared nothing and no one. 'His accuracy is sufficiently uncanny to be embarrassing,' wrote Bob Wilson in the New Statesman. 'Brilliant, vicious, unmerciful,' wrote The Sun. Davies spent a whole season with the team, training with them, visiting the players' homes and witnessing the dressing-room confrontations. In the modern era of painstaking media management and tight security, no sportswriter will ever again be granted such unprecedented access. While some features of the game have changed beyond all recognition - notably the all-consuming role that money now plays - inside every club the dramas and tensions revealed by Davies remain, making the book a timeless classic and securing its position as one of the best books about football ever written.