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EsportsInto our recent archive: here are 25 recommended long sport reads | Sport
Into our recent archive: here are 25 recommended long sport reads | Sport thumbnail

Into our recent archive: here are 25 recommended long sport reads | Sport

From the dangers of eSports to the making of an All Black, via golf’s longest hole, 17 November 1993 and the rise of MMA.The forgotten story of … 17 November 1993 – Rob Smyth The final night of the old World Cup qualifying system was a sensory overload of drama that included death, “murder”, illegal aliens – and Jack Charlton almost chinning Tony Cascarino.

The making of an All Black – Andy Bull A country of just four million is home to one of the world’s most dominant teams in sport.But how do New Zealand remain at the pinnacle more than 100 years after the ‘Originals’ established their supremacy?

Patrick Day loved boxing, but it killed him – Donald McRae Friends tell the story of a fighter who did not need to box but chose to, and how his death at the age of 27 after a knockout punch left them bereft.

The tangled web of Europe’s biggest clubs – Barney Ronay Governments wield power over many Champions League clubs and the ties that bind owners, sponsors and Uefa are striking.

Surviving Larry Nassar’s abuse – Abigail Pesta Olympic medallist Tasha Schwikert and US national team member Jordan Schwikert reveal their experience as sisters and survivors of Larry Nassar’s abuse, including an unthinkable week Tasha spent in the predator’s home.

When sport and real life collide – Daniel Harris The 2005 Ashes was special.The Queen said it was “cricket at its best”.

The PM said it “lit up the summer”.For one writer and England fan it was more than that: it was the storied series that shares a summer with his divorce.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Andrew Flintoff (right) of England consoles Brett Lee (left) of Australia after England won the second Ashes Test Match by two runs at the Edgbaston cricket ground in August 2005.Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian Sport 2.0: crumbling traditions create new game – Sean Ingle

Increasingly viewers want shorter, sharper, bite-sized chunks of entertainment.

The landscape is changing.

So what is sport doing about it?

The devil and José Mourinho – Jonathan Wilson José Mourinho’s whole career seems to be one long revenge plot.Despite his great success, his various reigns have all ended in spectacular discord.So where does he go from here?

Pendleton’s doubts, dreams and disappointments – Donald McRae Back in 2011, we tracked Victoria Pendleton’s preparations as she readied herself for the London Olympics.Part two of the interview is here and Tom Jenkins’s gallery .

The price of eSports’ success – Simon Hattenstone Forget football, the world’s fastest-growing sport is live gaming.But increasingly its impact is proving harmful to those involved.

Hakeem Olajuwon and the 90s sneaker deaths – Gabriel Baumgaertner The Houston Rockets superstar tried to combat not just the violence, but the affordability of sneakers worn by NBA stars, attempting to subvert the trend of overpriced basketball shoes marketed to urban youth.He failed.

What Azerbaijan tells us about modern sport – Owen Gibson Qatar is not the only oil-rich nation spending billions to burnish its image by buying up major events from athletics to football.

Hope and heart: Liverpool face season’s crescendo – Donald McRae With the Hillsborough disaster stitched into the fabric of the club, players and supporters feel a palpable mixture of yearning and pride.

Chasing the chariot – Robert Kitson and Tom Jenkins In search of the soul of English rugby union.

Pipe dreams: in search of surfing glory – Jonny Weeks We join the circuit to discover the stories of precocious youngsters and battleworn veterans trying to make their way in the sport they love.

They think it’s all over: life after the final whistle – Nige Tassell Before the Premier League’s six-figure salaries, retiring footballers had to start again, with little experience off the pitch.From a detective to a former convict, former players talk about their second life.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest David Hillier, former Arsenal and Portsmouth footballer turned firefighter.Photograph: Richard Saker/The Guardian Speedway: out of time and on the skids – Giles Richards

The sport, a relic of its 1970s heyday, is crying out for someone to revolutionise it.

Clubs are increasingly staging events on the outskirts of the communities they represent.Out of sight has become out of mind.

The longest hole of golf ever played – Jonathan Drennan What is 2,011km long, lasts 82 days and takes 20,093 shots? Golf’s longest hole.

Two retired rugby players went to Mongolia, fell in with a stray dog and took it on.

Botham, Richards and Garner’s Somerset exit – Vic Marks Shockwaves were felt across Somerset at the end of the 1986 season when the club announced that an overhaul was due.And Vic watched it unfold at first hand.

Commander in cheat? – Rick Reilly In an extract from his book on Donald Trump and golf, Reilly explains why the president’s game can tell us more about him than a roomful of psychologists.

The scariest Test England ever played – Rob Smyth The first match of their series in West Indies is the last England Test of which there is no footage.That’s both a shame, because we’ll never see it, and a blessing, because we’ll never see it.It could never be as vivid or as terrifying as it is in the imagination.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest West Indies’ Joel Garner bowls a bouncer to England’s Phil Edmonds during the First Test at Kingston in February 1986.Photograph: Patrick Eagar via Getty Images How MMA and UFC conquered the world – Andy Bull

A journey from reviled ‘human cockfighting’ to mainstream acceptance has transformed mixed martial arts into a hugely profitable industry, and raised concerns over the safety and legitimacy of its visceral violence.

Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge: then and now – Jonny Weeks Each archival photograph has been juxtaposed with a present-day image taken from the same perspective, showing how the ground – and the game itself – has been transformed over the past century.

Bernie Sanders’ basketball days – Les Carpenter “From mid-range he could kill you.” Teammates from 1970s Vermont remember the erstwhile presidential hopeful as an on-court leader – with very sharp elbows.

Why shouldn’t beard growing be a sport? – Niall McVeigh The World Beard and Moustache Championships are the pinnacle of facial hair competition – this is the story of a young lad from Wiltshire, who gave up shaving one day and made it to the big time.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Contestants of the 2015 World Beard And Moustache Championship.Photograph: Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images

And while we’re here …

Olympic stunning moments Just the 50 of them.

World Cup football stunning moments We’ve got 25 more.

Next Generation 2019: 60 of football’s best young talents Eidur Gudjohnsen’s son, the new Paul Pogba and Barcelona’s Ansu Fati are among our annual pick of the world’s best young footballers.

You can also check the progress of our picks from 2018 , 2017 , 2016 , 2015 and 2014 .

Topics Sport Sportblog features.