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The Greatest of their Time (Paperback)

Colour Books Hobbies & Lifestyle > Sport P&S History > By Century > 20th Century

By Benedict Bermange
Imprint: White Owl
Pages: 216
Illustrations: 16 colour illustrations
ISBN: 9781399008860
Published: 2nd September 2022

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For a great deal of the 1930s, Don Bradman was considered the most famous sportsman in the world. By any measure – stats, acclaim – it appeared to be a straightforward decision. The same could be argued for Muhammad Ali in the 1960s or Lionel Messi in the 2010s. But when, exactly, did they take their titles, from whom, and when did their reigns come to an end? For boxers it might be possible to narrow it down to the actual date, but for other sportsmen – and women – it is more difficult. Athletes have been feted for their sporting prowess since ancient times, and since the advent of professional sport in the early 18th Century there have been champions celebrated throughout the world. This book aims to give a clearer idea of who was – at any point in time – the greatest athlete in the world – even if the world was unaware of it at the time.

As featured in The Times: 'Pelé, Muhammad Ali and the debate over who is the greatest of all time'.

Read the article here!

The Times - 31st December 2022

Benedict Bermange takes a look at some of the greatest athletes and sportsmen of the modern era. This is absolutely fascinating!

Books Monthly

A sports lovers delight to read! A very well researched book especially given the names at the start of the book where I have to admit I'd never heard of the majority of them! A good mix of sports too which I particularly liked.

NetGalley, Tracy Collier

I definitely recommend reading this book if you love sports. It would make a great gift for a sport mad book reader. I will definitely be looking out for more books by this author.

So much praise goes out to the author and publishers for creating such an interesting book that I learnt so much from. I just have to mention the most interesting story had to be about Messi.

NetGalley, Claire Lavin

Great book giving credit to amazing sports people of all time.
Telling story of Ali, Messi etc.
Absolutely brilliant read and would definitely be getting hard copy for my husband as a gift.

NetGalley, Karen Bull

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a must-read for sports fans!
In about 3 pages, the book sums up an athlete who briefly was a GOTT (Greatest of Their Time).
You'll inevitably learn something about an athlete you thought you knew well because the book delves into their origins and follows them until their end.

For example, did you know that Ben Johnson bought a Ferrari after he outran Carl Lewis?
Or that he trained Colonel Gaddafi's son?

The 222-page book starts with athletes you've probably never heard of since they were pre- or early-20th century.

It gives bite-sized nuggets of sports trivia.

NetGalley, Francis Tapon

About Benedict Bermange

Benedict Bermange joined the ICC Cricket Ratings team at the age of 12, and first worked on cricket professionally during the 1999 Cricket World Cup in England. Educated at Haberdashers’ Boys’ School and Durham University, he has been the Statistician for Sky Sports Cricket and NFL since 2006. Having grown up a regular visitor to Lord’s, he now lives in Bristol, a stone’s throw from the County Cricket Ground.

Muhammad Ali wins his first world heavyweight boxing title

25th February 1964

Muhammad Ali wins his first world heavyweight boxing title when Sonny Liston fails to come out for round 7 at the Convention Center, Miami Beach


Muhammad Ali wins world heavyweight championship

15th September 1978

On September 15, 1978, boxer Muhammad Ali defeats Leon Spinks at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans to win the world heavyweight boxing title for the third time in his career, the first fighter ever to do so. Following his victory, Ali retired from boxing, only to make a brief comeback two years later. Ali, who once claimed he could “float like a butterfly, sting like a bee,” left the sport permanently in 1981.


Born on this day - Serena Williams

26th September 1981

Widely regarded as one of the greatest female tennis players in history and only female player to have won over $50 million in prize money. Winning a total of 32 Major titles 17 in singles, 13 in women's doubles, and 2 in mixed doubles.


Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt sets new world 100m record of 9.69 seconds

16th August 2008

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt sets new world record of 9.69 seconds to win the coveted 100m gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics


Barcelona football player Lionel Messi breaks the European goal-scoring record

2nd May 2012

with 68 goals!


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