Top 10 Best Selling Sport Autobiographies

It is nothing of a surprise for the athletes to come up with their sports autobiographies. Many sports autobiographies are popular among the masses, some even being the top sellers.

Usually, autobiographies are written with the help of ghostwriters. Nevertheless, the facts are based on the athlete’s experiences and insights.

Their skills, determination, and hard work made them popular names among sports fans. You can only guess how extraordinary their lives must be, standing in the spotlight with millions of eyes.

Alun Wyn Jones with his autobiography
Alun Wyn Jones with his autobiography (Source: Instagram)

It is quite a treat for sports fans and book lovers to read about the lives of these athletes. We can learn about their achievements and their life in the limelight.

As a result, sports autobiographies are pretty popular among readers. Therefore, today we bring you some of the best-selling autobiographies.

However, the readers must remember that these sports autobiographies only tell stories from the athletes’ side. So sometimes, you should take these with a bit of grain of salt.

With that, let us get right on with our list!

Top 10 Best Selling Sport Autobiographies

We have prepared the list by taking references from internet sources like SportingFerret, PanMacMillan, etc. But before the details, let us look at the rankings first.

AutobiographyAthlete
10. Unbelievable – From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic GoldJessica Ennis
9. Lights Out, Full ThrottleDamon Hill
8. Between the Lines: My AutobiographyVictoria Pendleton
7. How to Be a FootballerPeter Crouch
6. My Life: Queen of the CourtSerena Williams
5. Too Many Reasons to LiveRob Burrow
4. Alastair Cook: The AutobiographyAlastair Cook
3. LeadershipEddie Jones
2. Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic DreamBen Ryan
1. Belonging: The AutobiographyAlun Wyn Jones

10. Unbelievable – From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic Gold

Right off the bat, we are starting our top sport autobiographies with the gold medal-winning sportswoman, Jessica Ennis. The 36– year-old retired British track and field athlete released her autobiography in 2013.

The autobiography is a refreshing account of the athlete’s rise to fame in a world where issues like body image and drug abuse lurked. The story is about how Ennis became London’s poster girl from a girl next door.

The story also shows the behind-the-scenes glimpses of her life and her journey to becoming an Olympic gold medalist.

Unbelievable - From My Childhood Dreams To Winning Olympic Gold
Unbelievable – From My Childhood Dreams to Winning Olympic Gold (Source: Amazon)

Ennis reached the peak of her career at the London Olympics. She set a British and Commonwealth record score of 6,955 points. Her autobiography also details her career-threatening injury in the 2008 Olympics.

The Daily Telegraph reviewed the autobiography as “It was the simple phrase ‘So I run, and I run and I win. I am the Olympic champion’ that made tears prick my eyes.”

Unbelievable is a great, inspiring tale of following your dreams despite life’s hurdles. 

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9. Lights Out, Full Throttle

If you are looking for something light-hearted to read, then “Lights Out, Full Throttle” is an ideal read for you!

The book revolves around the hilarious accounts of the life of F1 legendary drivers Damon Hill and Johnny Herbert. Both drivers had made 261 Grand Prix appearances between them.

During those appearances, these two legendary players amassed 25 wins, 49 podium finishes, 458 championship points, one World Championship, and a Le Mans wins.

Lights Out, Full Throttle
Lights Out, Full Throttle (Source: Amazon)

Aside from their achievements, Hill and Herbert also discuss their two smashed ankles, sixty broken ribs, a broken arm, wrist, and leg, along with two bruised egos in a hilarious fashion.

The two players’ dedication and passion for the sports have made them the greatest name in motor racing. Through this autobiography, they take us into the high-paced world of F1 racing tours from Monaco to Silverstone.

Furthermore, the book also touches on subjects like the future of sports after COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. Lights Out, Full Throttle makes for a great read making it one of the top sport autobiographies.

8. Between the Lines: My Autobiography

On number 8 of top sport autobiographies, we have Between the Lines: My Autobiography by Victoria Pendleton. She is a 41 year old British jockey and former track cyclist.

Track cycling is one of the most demanding and high-paced sports, and there is no denying it’s a brutal sport. Pendleton honestly opens up about the trials and doubts she overcame to stay at the sport’s top.

This book explores the mental and physical toll she challenged to be the number 1.

Between the Lines
Between the Lines (Source: Amazon.com)

Similarly, the book also touches on subjects from her childhood to how Pendleton made her way in the early years of Britain’s rise to cycling when gender stereotypes existed.

The autobiography is an inspirational read. Furthermore, it is a personal memoir and part of the British cycling history resurrection.

7. How to be a Footballer

41– year-old Peter Crouch is a former professional English footballer who holds the record for the most headed goals in Premier League history.

The player released the book in 2018, which was shortlisted for the National Book Awards, a Sunday Times Sports Book of the Year, and longlisted for the Telegraph Sports Book Awards Autobiography of the Year.

The book is full of lighthearted comedy, and you can read about the self-deprecating and bizarre world of the modern football player. The book is thoroughly enjoyable without a dull moment.

How to Be a Footballer
How to be a Footballer (Source: Amazon)

Crouch is known for his devious sense of humor, and his autobiography has no shortage of it either. Additionally, he also gives away hidden secrets and eccentricities of the dressing room.

The story will be a treat for soccer fans. You will get to know about the baffling and strange world of the footballers and also get to know what Cristiano Ronaldo says when he looks at himself in the mirror!

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6. My Life: Queen of the Court

Serena Williams is widely considered one of the greatest tennis players. The 40 year old player came up with one of the best-selling autobiographies, “My Life: Queen of the Court,” in 2010.

Williams candidly writes about the criticism she received for her unorthodox playing style and opens up about her personal life. The book covers her life growing up on the courts to being the top player in tennis.

It sheds light on how Willam has always walked in the shadow of her big sister Venus who was considered a future tennis champion, how her desire to win led her to aim higher and higher, and how she coped with stress and media pressure.

My Life- Queen of the Court
My Life- Queen of the Court (Source: Amazon)

The book is a memoir, and further, it also includes the tragic shooting of her older sister. It is quite a treat for tennis lovers and her fans to get details about her life in her own words.

It details the extraordinary journey of Williams to become the greatest tennis player in history. Therefore, it is number 6 in the top sport autobiographies.

5. Too Many Reasons to Live

On number 5 of top sport autobiographies, we have Too Many Reasons to Live by Rob Burrow. The 39 year old is one of the greatest rugby league players who spend 16 years playing in the Super League.

Borrow was known as “the smallest player in Super League.” But despite this, he was one of the most successful players in the competition’s history. The book revolves around the extraordinary life of this great player.

Burrow was told that he was too small for sports as a boy. But he proved everyone wrong, and after his debut, he played in almost 500 games and won eight Super League Grand Finals, two Challenge Cups, and three World Club Challenges.

Too Many Reasons to Live
Too Many Reasons to Live (Source: Instagram)

Similarly, the player also gets candid about being diagnosed with motor neuron disease, a rare degenerative condition, and being given a couple of years to live.

If you’re looking for an inspiring read, we highly recommend this one. The book is more than a sports memoir; it is a story of boundless courage, infinite kindness, and a man who turned his worst predicament into something positive.

4. Alastair Cook: The Autobiography

Alastair Cook is a 37 year-old former English cricketer. He is the greatest batsman and one of the most gifted players for England.

Cook is an icon and a sporting role model. Similarly, he is the most capped player in his country. The autobiography revolves around his life, challenges, his family, the man he is today, and the man he will be after cricket.

Cook also reveals the game’s desperate lows and incredible highs, the battle of extraordinary wills with yourself, the paralyzing anxiety, and many more.

Alastair Cook: The Autobiography
Alastair Cook: The Autobiography (Source: Amazon)

It sheds light on the cricket sport in a very different light. It is a fascinating autobiography of England’s most decorated player, his remarkable life and career.

The Guardian has reviewed the book as “A fascinating and layered book which delves into the psychological challenges of the game … a timely read at the end of an exhilarating yet flawed summer for English cricket.”

3. Leadership

On number 3 of top sport autobiographies, we have Leadership by a coach and former rugby player, Eddie Jones. The athlete is one of the few leaders who know how to lead the team to success, and the autobiography is an ultimate guide to being your best.

Jones has coached three different teams to three World Cup finals. When he took the helm of England’s rugby team for five years, he won three-six Nations championship titles.

He breaks down the cycle of success into five key areas; kick-off, build, test, perform, and refresh. Similarly, Jones writes about his own past experiences and lessons he learned during his career.

Leadership by Eddie Jones
Leadership by Eddie Jones (Source: Amazon)

The book is written by Donald McRae, the two-time winner of the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award.

It is an inspirational and straight-talking book where he reveals the secrets behind his extraordinary career. The book is perfect for anyone seeking to learn how to build and lead a team successfully.

2. Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream

On number 2 of top sport autobiographies, we have Ben Ryan, a 50 year old English rugby union, coach. Ben is best known for coaching the Fiji sevens team to a gold medal in sevens rugby at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

This autobiography revolves around his experience of that moment. It is an incredible story about how one man inspired a nation of underdogs to achieve sporting greatness.

Ryan was about to sign a lucrative contract. But then he decided to say yes to a rugby nation with little money, no resources, and sad history of losing its gifted players to wealthier countries.

Sevens Heaven: the beautiful chaos of Fiji’s Olympic dream
Sevens Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream (Source: Amazon)

Although there was discussion of contracts or salary, he knew that no one plays rugby like the men in Fiji, an isolated Pacific island. With his simple yes, Ryan sets in motion an extraordinary journey.

The book includes encounters with witchdoctors, rugby-obsessed prime ministers, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps, and wild nationwide parties. You will surely enjoy this whirlwind adventure by Ben Ryan.

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1. Belonging: The Autobiography

The top sport autobiographies title goes to Alun Wyn Jones’s Belonging: The Autobiography. The 36 year old is a professional rugby player, and the book is about his journey into the rugby world.

Born in Swansea, Wales, Jones is the world’s most-capped rugby union player. Similarly, he holds the records for the most Wales caps and the most Wales caps as captain.

The book details the journey of this Welsh player to becoming one of the greatest rugby players. He talks about how the boy left Mumbles and returned as the most capped rugby player.

Belonging: The Autobiography
Belonging: The Autobiography (Source: Amazon)

It is a story of what it takes to become one of the greatest Welsh players, what it takes to earn the right to be there, and what it feels to make the sacrifices along the arduous journey.

The book is written with the help of Tom Fordyce. It tells the story with unflinching honesty. Therefore, the readers find the story very compelling.

A Daily Mail Book of the Year has reviewed the book as “One of the greatest, seemingly most indestructible, players in history.” Make sure you do not miss this one!

Conclusion

It is interesting to see the athletes’ lives written from their perspectives. From different moments that are memorable to the sports fans to the ones that are far away from the spotlight, it is thrilling to read about them in detail.

So why not get one for yourself for your next read? We bet you will not be disappointed!

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