With the release of Sir Alex Ferguson's much-anticipated second autobiography, we round up the best and worst of a genre of books that can go either way.
Sports books are very much a proverbial mixed bag. Very often there is no in between separating the shoddy from the spectacular.
For every five autobiographies there will be one magnificent offering, two very average accounts, one desperately drab piece of bland work and one brutally honest but attention-seeking book.
We have rounded up five sports autobiographies that thrilled and delighted us and five that we found to be spectacularly disappointing or just hideously poor.
Take a look at our choices and post your own favourites and least favourites in the comments section below...
FIVE OF THE BEST
John McEnroe's 'Serious' – Good, for being fresh, honest and funny, and packed full of anecdotes about Vitas Gerulaitis getting pissed in nightclubs before big matches.
Our synopsis: 'I was a good kid having fun, playing tennis and being a rockstar. I rocked! No seriously, I rocked. Oh, and it was only my dishonest opponents who made me scream at umpires, because I was - to all intents and purposes a remarkably nice boy. Except for when I rocked! Woo hoo! Yeah baby!'
Our synopsis: 'Mussolini was basically a very principled person… I used to wet the bed… Some of my best friends are black… what else can I say that will both surprise and appal you in equal measure? This may well adversely affect the rest of my professional life but, well, here goes...'
Andre Agassi's 'Open' – Good, for the same reasons as McEnroe’s but WAY more honest.
Our synopsis: 'So, like, my Dad was - in my humble opinion - a dangerous psychopathic bully who thought I was a queer. But, like, I won a bunch of stuff, then hooked up with a totally bodacious Hollywood star, then I did some meth, went bald but looked so hot right now with it, married my idol – OMG SO COOL! – and became amazing again. Look at how handsome I am!'
Michael Atherton's 'Opening up' - Good, for being superbly written and delightfully insightful and entertaining. Written without the 'help' of a ghostwriter, the now professional columnist thrived.
Our synopsis: 'I am an extremely intelligent sportsman and, from this almost unique perspective, I can tell you all about what life is like when you are surrounded by dim-witted but essentially hilarious overpaid performers.'
David 'Bumble' Lloyd's 'G'day ya Pommie b******!' - Good, for positively bulging with entertaining and revealing stories and insight from life at the top of the sport.
Our synopsis: 'The Australians loved nothing more than to hurl abuse at us, but we threw it right back. Cricket was not very professional back then, but all the better for it. Life doesn't get much more fun than being in the middle of an Ashes war.'
FIVE OF THE WORST
Greg Norman's 'Greg Norman' – Bad, for being hopelessly tedious and self-serving… oddly, depressingly obsessed with tedious off-course business interests and marketing opportunities.
Our synopsis: 'I was good at golf and won lots of tournaments, and lost a few when other guys were really, really lucky. Right, now I've skated over that boring stuff as quickly as possible, let me tell you how clever and amazing I am at running a multinational business!'
Lance Armstrong's 'It's not about the bike' – Bad, because quite simply it has to be disqualified for having been moved across - quite rightly - to the 'fiction' section.
Our synopsis: 'I am the most amazing human being in the world. If you were only half as good as me at being excellent, then you might have a chance of being a bit excellent as well. But you'll never be as excellent as me, so sue me! Go on, sue me! I can break things with my bare hands.'
Andrew Flintoff's 'Being Freddie' - Bad, for being the most desperately boring body of work ever to appear in the public domain. Plenty of good stories exist, none make it into the book.
Our synopsis: 'I have plenty of hilarious and controversial stories that I could share from my famous Ashes antics, but maybe now probably isn't the right time because I may end up having to have another book written on my behalf - and what then? Have I told you that I love cricket? Ha. Banter.'
Wayne Rooney's 'My story so far' - Bad, for being written when the forward was still easing himself through adolescence and offering nothing of any interest or entertainment.
Our synopsis: 'Growing up was tough, but now I'm getting paid enormous amounts of money for doing what I love, I'm pretty much okay with that. Life is alright really, on reflection. Not that I really reflect, but you know...'
Ashley Cole's 'My defence' - Bad, despite being inadvertently hilarious and providing an insight into how one of the great sporting minds works, it is essentially disastrous and depressing. Still, it did earn him the nickname 'Cashley', which was at least a hit.
Our synopsis: '"When I heard Jonathan repeat the figure of £55,000. I nearly swerved off the road. 'He is taking the piss Jonathan!' I yelled down the phone. I was so incensed. I was trembling with anger. I couldn't believe what I'd heard." Neither could we, Ashley. Neither could we.'