Category Archives: Sport

Of Peats and Puts – the Back 9
Andrew Brown

Published: Oct 2023
Hardback: 148 pages
Price: £19.50
ISBN: 9781915972118
Available on The Great British Bookshop

Paperback: 148 pages
Price: £10.00
ISBN: 9781915972187
Available on Amazon

Of Peats and Putts - The Back 9
by Andrew Brown

The author returns to his native Scotland following excursions to the rest of the United Kingdom, Ireland and, more recently, nine continental European countries. In this charming second Scottish volume, he reviews how whisky and golf have fared in Scotland in the intervening five years and finds that there have been plenty of developments. Twenty new distilleries have opened and golf has also undergone something of a renaissance.

There is so much to review about Scotland’s two gifts to the world that a trilogy is barely sufficient to do them both justice. This second volume focuses on Scotland’s east coast and the final volume will explore the west coast and the islands. This second volume again features a mix of large and long-established distilleries as well as small recentlyopened ones, while the author’s golfing choices combine some old favourites with less well-known venues. He continues to marvel at the enormous variety of both whisky and golfing offerings and a developing preference for visiting the entrepreneurial start-up distilleries and ‘hidden-gem’ golf courses will be the focus of his fourth book.

Reviews of Peats and Putts...

Charles Maclean, Whisky Writer and Master of the Quaich
It is astonishing that until now nobody has sought to bring together Scotland’s two greatest gifts to the world – whisky and golf.
This little book is a personal journey of discovery. In ten chapters, each devoted to a region or county – from Sutherland in the north to East Lothian in the south and Islay in the West - Andrew Brown reviews a golf course and a locally made malt whisky.
As he travels from one place to the next he ponders how and why these two products developed in Scotland and what it is about the country, its landscape and people, which connects them. As he writes: “Both whisky and golf are more than just a drink and a sport; both can be seen as metaphors for the vagaries of life itself.” Indeed!

Golf Quarterly Review June 2018
This is a delightful, well-written little book – part travel guide, part history, part personal philosophy, and part unwitting nationalist tract (what better way, after all, to celebrate Scottish distinctiveness than through writing about its two most famous exports?). It takes the form of a tour of nine regions of the country, in search of the author’s favourite distilleries and favourite golf courses along the way.
I can imagine peripatetic golfers with a fondness for an evening dram, or whisky aficionados with a set of clubs in the boot of their car, packing this little volume and reading up on pleasures planned for the following day. It will be equally enjoyable, though, with a glass of single malt to hand in the privacy of your own home.
What gives the journey special significance is the author’s playful exploration of the similarities and connections between whisky and golf. Andrew Brown, a native Scot who spent most of his career in the food industry south of the border, suggests that location, history and architecture are crucial to the two experiences. History, for instance, is an important part of the narrative that accompanies both playing and drinking. Just as we like to know the origins, ownership and social impact of a particular whisky brand (notwithstanding the marketing hype), so hearing about how and when a golf club was founded, who played there and who designed and changed it invariably enriches a round of golf.
Perhaps design is the most striking common factor given the simple, limited and seemingly unpromising ingredients that course architects and whisky manufacturers both start with. All golf courses are hewn out of sand and soil, while the essential elements of any whisky are also the same: only malted barley, water and yeast are permitted in anything that calls itself Scotch. What produces so many different and unique variations of the spirit is everything from the distilling process to the local landscape, whether it be the taste of the water, the quality of the soil, or the extent of the annual rainfall. In the case of golf it’s the eye and skill to use nature to best effect.
Each chapter describes the idiosyncrasies of a favourite course and distillery. The golf choices are far from predictable – Brora rather than Dornoch in Sutherland, Kilspindie rather than Gullane, Luffness New or Muirfield in East Lothian, the Eden rather than the Old Course in Fife. These reflect not just a conscious decision to stay away from Championship venues but those the author considers best meet his three criteria for selection: a tough but enjoyable (and affordable) test for all levels of golfer, delightful surroundings and a welcoming clubhouse. There is an equally diverse spread of distilleries, old and new, large and small, ranging from multinational owned enterprises such as Glenmorangie to independent Edradour in Perthshire (20,000 cases of which went down off the island of Eriskay in 1941, inspiring Compton Mackenzie’s wonderful book Whisky Galore).
Wisely, the author does not take prior knowledge for granted though spelling out a three-shotter for golfers or mash tuns for devoted whisky drinkers may mildly irritate some. I liked his many diversions - musings on what makes a good golf hole and a good malt, for example, thumbnail sketches of important golf designers like James Braid and Harry Colt, and reflections on the history and practise of naming golf holes. There are plenty of surprises (at least to this non-expert whisky drinker). Did you know that eight of the world’s top ten whisky brands are Indian, while the country that consumes the most whisky on a per capital basis is France (the United States being second and the UK third)?
Tim Dickson
Golf Quarterly

Simon Marquis, Cornwall
Of Peats and Putts will appeal to anyone who enjoys golf and/or malt whisky. Andrew Brown is an enthusiastic amateur of both and his enjoyment shines through this delightful scamper across nine of Scotland’s finest golf holes, and a rather more leisurely trundle around nine of its distilleries. The real pleasure of this short volume though is the author’s drawing of nice parallels between these twin pleasures and life itself. Golf has its ups and downs as do our lives, some of them at least, perhaps smoothed away by a late evening dram or two!
The book is a pleasure in itself. I eagerly await volume two.

James Holder - Author of The Great War's Sporting Casualties
Andrew Brown's second book, Mashies and Mash Tuns, has all the same charm as his first book. He describes the golf courses highlighted in his book leaving you wanting to play them and writes about whiskey in a way which, because of my own aversion to whisky (and whiskey), leaves me regretting I cannot taste them.
And not content with just writing about golf courses and distilleries, he expresses in no uncertain terms how he thinks golf should be played, views I share but views which I fear too many golfers choose to ignore.

The Glasgow Wheelers
Kenny Pryde

Published: Oct 2023
Paperback: 168 pages
Price: £9.99
ISBN: 9781915972163
Available from Amazon

The Glasgow Wheelers
by Kenny Pryde
A Scottish cycling history

There are few British cycling clubs which can claim to have been in existence for over one hundred years without a break, but the Glasgow Wheelers is one of them. Much more than that however, Glasgow Wheelers have been involved in the pivotal moments of British cycle sport history.

From shaping the breakaway organisation that would turn into British Cycling and running Britain's first road race championship, riding the inaugural 1936 Olympic road race and providing the first British podium finisher in the Tour de France, the Glasgow Wheelers had a hand in it all – and much more besides. Intrigues, hardship and a little skullduggery are all part of this intriguing sporting and social history.

This story of the Glasgow Wheelers is also – inevitably - the story of British cycling itself.

Reviews of The Glasgow Wheelers...

Susan Egelstaff, The Herald, 20 August 2023

One such club that has played a significant part in Scottish sporting history is Glasgow Wheelers, a cycling club that’s produced more world-class athletes than many others could even dream of.

The history of the club has been documented in a fascinating and incredibly well-researched book called: 'The Glasgow Wheelers; A Scottish Cycling History.'

This book such a vital read. And it’s not only worth reading for cycling enthusiasts, but also for people like me who are interested in Scottish sport but are entirely ignorant of the history of a club (...)which has played such a massive part in the sporting success of this country over the past century.

See Article in The Herald

Golf Croquet for Tournament Players
Ian Burridge

International croquet champion, Ian Burridge, reveals tactics from novice to championship level.

Published: Dec 2022
Paperback: 136 pages
Price: £18.00
ISBN: 9-781914-424571
UK Only: £18 (+£3 P&P)

Golf Croquet for Tournament Players
by Ian Burridge

Ian Burridge is an International golf croquet player and a previous winner of the English National Singles, English First Eight, Welsh Championship and New Zealand Doubles titles.

Golf Croquet for Tournament Players is a manual aimed at taking players through the development journey of a competitive player.

At every level of play sound decision making is a vital component in being successful and winning games. The book aims to ensure that the reader is armed with the necessary understanding to confidently make the right decision in whatever situation they face.

A series of Golden Rules set out the basics for those just beginning their journey, these are backed up with more detailed explanations as experience and understanding increases. Once the basics have been mastered the book advances into the more detailed elements of strategy that permeate the sport, as the standard of play increases, providing the reader with the insight they need to make the most of their own ability and to counteract their opponent’s


Raouf Allim

This is the book which will help you transition into comfortably playing in Golf Croquet tournaments, all the way up to A class. International player Ian Burridge has written a thorough and accomplished account of the tactics and strategy of the game. So sit comfortably, with your favourite beverage at hand, put your feet up, and get stuck in.

Players of all levels will benefit from the coverage of skill-sets and common tactical scenarios in the first two sections. Good players will find this a useful fine-tuning of ideas. Developing players will already be into study mode.

Following this the author offers his unique insights into the strategy of the game, on literally a hoop-by-hoop basis, and after this comes ‘Part 4: The Battle’. This is the meat of the book and these sections are not intended to be read in one sitting. Rather, they are a study guide to be returned to as your game develops. If you’ve ever been disturbed by how often you go two hoops down at the beginning of the game, or puzzled over how best to play hoop 5 against a strong hitter, then you will be dipping into those sections straight away!

The highlight for me was the masterly account of how to counteract the various game strategies - the power players, the positional gurus, the irritating (for me) mid-paced clearers, jawsers and hoopers etc, etc. There’s a lifetime of tournament knowledge in this section alone.

I once heard the author comment to an opponent after a game “I had all the luck and you still won.” Ian has a generous spirit, and this book is the true gift of his knowledge. Buy it.

The Greatest – The Times and Life of Beryl Burton
William Fotheringham

Beryl Burton overtakes Mike McNamara to clinch victory in the 12-hour race at Otley, Yorkshire. When she finishes the marathon event after 277 miles, Burton has beaten Britain’s leading male time triallist and achieved something unheard of: she has taken a men’s endurance record outright. The moment enters cycling folklore because of Burton's gesture as she overhauls ‘Mac’: unsure what to do or say, she offers him a liquorice allsort from her pocket.

Burton was a seven-times world champion and multiple national champion, and this was the greatest feat in her 30-year career. The Otley ‘12’ should have been a groundbreaking moment in women’s sport, but along with the rest of Burton’s achievements, it has slipped into relative obscurity.

This new biography from best-selling writer William Fotheringham tells Burton’s story in full for the first time, from the brutal illness that left her bedridden as a teenager to her quarter century at the top of women’s cycling in the UK, and her premature death in 1996.
Published: Sept 2019
Hardback: 314 pages
Price: £20.00
ISBN: 9-781912-419531

Available from

William Fotheringham is the No.1 best-selling author of Merckx: Half-Man, Half-Bike. He writes for the Guardian on cycling and is the critically acclaimed author of Sunday in Hell, Fallen Angel, Roule Britannia and Put Me Back on My Bike, hailed by Vélo magazine as ‘the best cycling biography ever’.

A racing cyclist and launch editor of Procycling magazine, he has reported on almost 30 Tours de France, four Olympic Games and the Rugby World Cup.

175 Not Out!
Nigel Jepson

175 NOT OUT! offers a must-read experience for all cricket buffs who relish the peerless nature of the game as it is played at local level. Since Ramsbottom Cricket Club was founded in 1845, ‘generations’ of players have partaken of the sport and stamped their character indelibly on the style in which it has been played.
As an original member of the Lancashire League, formed in 1892, Ramsbottom has also succeeded in attracting many famous world-class professional players, for example arguably the greatest of all-time Australian skippers, Ian Chappell, plus in more recent years, Michael Clarke.
Few other cricket grounds have the same iconic atmosphere as Rammy’s Acre Bottom with its splendid green and cream striped pavilion, built back in 1904. Within its hallowe
d portals, Ramsbottom Cricket Club’s own Long Room, much like the one at London’s Lords’, contains evocative evidence of the club’s illustrious history splashed across its walls. Drawing on the club’s archive base, containing a wide and fascinating range of memorabilia, the author has succeeded in penning a vibrant narrative going back to 1845. In addition, interviews conducted with ex-players, the earliest of such recollections taking the reader back to the 1950s, provide rich and very often amusing first-hand accounts.
Published: June 2022
Paperback: 268 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781914-424595

UK Only
£11.99 (+ £3.00 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

The club’s ‘roll of honour’, from 1892 onwards, reveals the remarkable record of success achieved by Ramsbottom teams across a distinguished history of involvement in the distinctive world of Lancashire League cricket. Going far beyond raw facts and figures, 175 Not Out! explores the human dimension and the way in which cricket resides in the soul of the town’s community. Above all else, this is a book which richly conveys the memories and recollections of all those who, whether as players, volunteer workers or spectators, have contributed so splendidly to the fascinating history of Ramsbottom Cricket Club.

Nigel Jepson lives in Ramsbottom and is a keen supporter and member of Ramsbottom Cricket Club.
He first came to the local area in the mid-1990s when taking up post as Headteacher at nearby Haslingden High School. As far as the broader community was concerned, it didn’t take long to pick up the vibes regarding the longstanding rivalry between Haslingden and Ramsbottom, much of it existing on a cricketing front as traditional close rivals in the Lancashire League. Nigel’s last UK Head’s post was at Kearsley Academy in Bolton from 2010 to 2014. ‘Retired’, he has though carried out interim Headteacher work in Dubai during 2016 and has also conducted teacher training programmes in New Delhi in 2018.

Although having always been keen on team sports, he developed a passion for long distance running which started with the London Marathon in 1982, moving through other events to New York in 2001. More recently, over 2017 to 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic kicking in, he ran four more marathons in Dubai, Belfast, Manchester and Liverpool.

‘The Inspector and the Superhead’ (2000)
‘Cut and Run’ (2006)
‘In a League of His Own’ (2011)
‘Speed is of the Essence’ (2015)

Racing in the time of Covid
Edited by William Fotheringham – lead cycling writer at The Guardian

Mid-May 2020 seemed an unlikely time to set off on a new publishing venture. The world of bike racing journalism was temporarily in crisis along with the rest of the sports profession. There was no live cycling to write about, and budgets were being slashed left right and centre as recession hit hard. Most cycling writers are freelance, and in the UK at least there wasn’t a lot of help coming from the government.

But the idea of putting a website on line to bring cycling fans the best writing that a group of long-standing cycling journalists could provide had been kicking around my mind for a while. In a moment of optimism a few years ago, I’d even registered a name that I liked and that I knew had resonance with lovers of the sport –
Published: Nov 2020
Paperback: 236 pages
Price: £12.99
ISBN: 978-1-913425-69-2
Available from
Meet The Team

OJ Borg is lacourseentete podcast specialist. A broadcaster of long standing who is currently with BBC Radio Two, when not out on his bike, be that road, mud or virtual. During his tenure as BBC cycling correspondent he undertook two hour record attempts shockingly failing in both, learnt how to look good in lycra from David Millar, blew up a bicycle on l’Alpe d’Huez and almost killed Rob Hayles while reporting on Paris-Roubaix.

Nick Bull was drawn to cycling aged nine when the Rochester International Classic World Cup race took place on local roads in 1997. He joined Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport as a reporter in 2011, and went on to become the magazines’ news editor. A regular contributor to BBC Radio 5 Live’s BeSpoke cycling show, he is also the PR & digital manager for the Tour of Britain and Women’s Tour races. He tweets @nickbull21.

Peter Cossins devoured Phil Liggett’s reports in his dad’s newpspaper in the 70s and began work at Cycling Weekly as the magazine was preparing to launch Cycle Sport. He was procycling editor between 2006 and 2009 and currently specialises in writing books about the sport. An award winner for both Full Gas (2018) and The Yellow Jersey (2019), Pete currently lives with his family in the Pyrenees, with an office overlooking the Prat d’Albis climb.

William Fotheringham is lead cycling writer at The Guardian and has covered 26 Tours de France. A former writer at Cycling Weekly, he helped launch Cycle Sport before founding procycling together with Jeremy Whittle. His best-selling books include Put Me Back on My Bike: in search of Tom Simpson (2002), Fallen Angel: the Passion of Fausto Coppi (2008), and Merckx: Half-Man, Half-Bike (2012).

Matt Morris is a Shropshire based designer who started his own company in 2008 and has worked with cycling brands Orbea, Scott, Bianchi and Viner as well as a number of blue-chip companies and the Lawn Tennis Association. Like many, he was drawn to cycling by Channel Four’s Tour coverage and currently enjoys thrashing his gravel bike around the lanes. Sadhbh O’Shea was born in Ireland and raised in the cycling hotbed that is the Isle of Man. After working as an intern at Eurosport after graduating in journalism, she went on to a spell at procycling followed by working at and is currently working at the BBC in the Isle of Man. Most of her time is spent interviewing politicians but cycling is never far from her mind.

Sophie Smith has covered cycling since 2010 and reported from eight Tours de France, working as a journalist and television presenter for Australian and British press. She cut her teeth at the 2010 world road championships before moving to England in 2012 to join Cycling Weekly and Cycle Sport magazines. Now based out of Melbourne, she travels to WorldTour races as a regular contributor to media outlets in Australia and the UK.

Jeremy Whittle began covering cycling in 1993, for Winning magazine, where his first assignment was interviewing a Texan upstart named Lance Armstrong. He has covered the Tour de France for 25 years, for the Times and currently for the Guardian, and joined William in launching procycling in 1999. His books Bad Blood and Racing Through the Dark (with David Millar) were shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year. provide lacourseentete with photographs; they are an independent mainly sports specific picture agency, whose live and archive imagery appears in national and regional newspapers and across many digital platforms. The archive holds nearly a million images; or more information contact Simon Wilkinson on

Football’s Golden Decades
Barry McLoughlin

Football’s Golden Decades
Four of Wembley finest finals

Decades before England’s Euro 2020 success, there was another gilded era for English football… massive crowds packed stadiums as fans regained their hunger for professional soccer after the war. From the sensational Cup Final of 1939 to England’s World Cup triumph twenty-seven years later, football was still in its Age of Innocence, before superstardom and eye-watering wages. Players were part of the same community as those who watched them – and, thanks to the maximum wage, didn’t earn much more than them either. The business of playing and watching football has been transformed beyond recognition since then. Grounds are safer and more comfortable, players are faster and fitter. Tactically, too, football is much more sophisticated than when players used to line up in a rigid 2–3–5 formation. Yet, as the game has become a multi-billion pound industry, fuelled at the top end by lucrative TV contracts, has soccer lost its soul?
Published:Oct 2021
Paperback:119 pages
Colour images:50
Size:6 x 9 ins

£9.99 (+ £3.50 postage)
Number of copies:

In a blend of personal reminiscence and reportage, Barry McLoughlin – the son of an FA Cup-winning England international – looks back to four of the most famous Wembley finals, and examines the social and cultural background of the era through a study of grounds and football programmes. Packed with colour and black and white illustrations, it’s an essential guide to a pivotal period in British football.

Come on You Rams!
Nigel Jepson

Come on You Rams!
The Story of Ramsbottom United Football Club

What makes Ramsbottom United unique as a football club? Well, for one thing, which other club could boast of having a character like Harry Williams at its helm for the whole of its 54 years of existence to date? Starting out as manager at the age of 22 in the year Ramsbottom United was founded in 1966 – the same year England won the World Cup – Harry continued in that role until becoming chairman in the 1980s, remaining in this latter post right up to the present day. Still as young-looking as ever! While charting the history of the club as a whole, this book features the extraordinary role played by Harry, who has succeeded in doing everything within his forward-looking (and famously thrifty!) powers to launch the club on its way to becoming a giant within the folk-lore of the semi-pro circuit. Not for nothing has Harry been dubbed ‘Mr Ramsbottom United’. Even so, this story is crowded with many other colourful characters who have followed in Harry’s pioneering foot-steps.
Published: Dec 2020
Paperback: 216 pages
Price: £11.99
ISBN: 9-781913-425654

UK Only
£11.99 (+ £3.00 postage)
Number of copies:

Available on Amazon

For example, the fiery managerial duo of Bernard Morley and Anthony Johnson, later to be featured in the TV programme ‘Class of 92’, cut their teeth at the Harry Williams Riverside Stadium. In essence, this book provides a heady cocktail of tales and testimonies, triumphs and tragedies, on and off the pitch, told through a vast number of eye-witness accounts across the years – managers, players, fans and all those working tirelessly behind the scenes to make the club what it is to-day. Above all else, this is a story about a club always punching above its weight. A story which contains a wealth of interest to anyone curious to learn more about football played at this distinctive level of ‘the great national game’.

Nigel Jepson lives in Ramsbottom and is a keen supporter of Ramsbottom United. He moved to the area in the mid-90s after taking up post as Head Teacher at nearby Haslingden High School. His last UK head’s post was at Kearsley Academy in Bolton from 2010 to 2014. ‘Retired’, he has carried out interim work abroad in the meantime, serving as Principal in Dubai during 2016 and carrying out a teacher training programme in schools in New Delhi in 2018.
Keen throughout his life on team sports, he has also taken to the challenge of marathon-running starting with London (1982) and moving through to New York (2001). Over 2017 to 2019, he has run four more marathons in Dubai, Belfast, Manchester and Liverpool.

Nigel’s writing has to date concentrated on novels, with four publications:

‘The Inspector and the Superhead’ (2000)
‘Cut and Run’ (2006)
‘In a League of His Own’ (2011)
‘Speed is of the Essence’ (2015)

Having studied for a History degree at Cambridge University back in the day, it is ironic that this work marks his baptism in the sphere of history-writing!

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