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Synopsis

Acclaim for ‘A Shot and a Ghost’:

"There aren't many sports book that I read and feel the sportsman himself jumps off the pages. James' book shows the stresses of top level sport on and off the court. A great read"
Matt Pinsent, BBC Sport and four times Olympic gold medallist

"Willstrop is a very different sort of British sporting hero: a militant vegetarian, lover of musicals, obsessive-compulsive with a constant need to wash his hands and a man who had been coached from childhood by his father. Yet he is also one of Britain's finest ever racket sports players and in this fascinating autobiography, he reveals his journey from the cold municipal courts of Pontefract, through crippling injury and personal despair to the world No 1 ranking in squash. A sportsman who deserves greater publicity than he gets"
Patrick Kidd, The Times

James Willstrop is one of the world’s leading squash players and one of the sport’s most complex and cerebral characters.

Brought up in Pontefract, UK, he is anything but the archetypal Yorkshireman - a poetry-loving vegetarian with a love of musicals, Morrissey, Oscar Wilde and Philip Larkin.

Fiercely competitive yet renowned for his sportsmanship, he became the world number one in January 2012 despite being accused by many of being ‘too nice’ to be a winner.

At the age of 28 James has just written his first book - a diary style account from January 2010 to February 2011 - which provides a fascinating insight into the life and pressures of an international athlete competing in a sport that takes him all over the world.

His account of sometimes brutal training sessions reveal the pain and dedication necessary to compete at the top of one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports.

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CUSTOMER REVIEWS

Shot and a Ghost: a year in the brutal world of professional squash
Average rating
5 / 5
Shot and a Ghost
November 19th, 2013
This book is nothing short of brilliant. It lets us into the psyche of a world class athlete, with all the ups and downs with periods of self doubt along with the relentless training. James Willstrop has been in the limelight of his sport since he was a junior player and with all the candour and sincerity he can muster he brings a touching and uplifting human element to sport and life. A remarkable human being at the pinnacle of his sport with brash and honest insight into everything from animal rights, relationships with loved ones, to on and off court etiquette. You don't need to be either an athlete nor a squash player for that matter to take something valuable from this author. Maybe the lack of Mr. Willstrop having a sports agent and publicist made this book what it is, an honest and pure insight into the life and mindset of one of the worlds finest athletes. Well done
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