Jeff Connor lives in Edinburgh, and is currently rugby correspondent for the Mail on Sunday. He is the author of almost a dozen books, including a widely-acclaimed insight into the Tour de France – Wide-Eyed and Legless (Simon & Schuster) – and The Philosophy of Risk (Canongate), a biography of mountaineer Dougal Haston.
Books by Jeff Connor
Wide-Eyed and Legless: Inside the Tour de France
In 1987, the Tour was won by Irishman Stephen Roche. It was the first time the champion had hailed from outside the Continent or the States and the first time in 20 years a British team – ANC Halfords – had competed in the world’s toughest and craziest race. Jeff Connor not only stayed with the British team but also found himself an unofficial team member.
In this long-awaited new edition of Wide-Eyed and Legless, now widely regarded as a classic, Connor describes what it takes to compete, survive and win during those 26 days of gruelling effort. Alongside the heroism and athleticism, he reveals the extraordinary amounts of chicanery, from pulling riders along to illicit drug use.
Time has not dimmed the impact of this eye-opening and entertaining close-up look at the supreme endurance event, and Wide-Eyed and Legless is destined to be acclaimed by a new generation of cycling enthusiasts.
World Rights: Mainstream Publishing
Pointless a season with Britain’s worst senior football side.
Finishing bottom of the Scottish Third Division two years in succession – and amassing just eight points in season 2003-2004 – how will the mighty East Stirlingshire fair this year? A unique insight into a truly unique football club, Pointless will make you laugh, cry and cringe in equal measure.
Short-listed for the National Sporting Club’s ‘Best Biography’
‘Bracing [and] comic…The supporting cast is direct from the latest Mike Leigh film’ – The Times
‘An intriguing story…As the publisher’s blurb says (for once accurately), it’s “funny, sad and heartwarming‘ – Daily Telegraph
‘This is journalist Jeff Connor’s sympathetic but still painfully amusing account of another calamitous year in East Stirling’s long and inglorious history’ – Daily Mail
Paperback publication: April 2006
Publication Date: August 2005
World Rights: Headline
The Lost Babes: Manchester United and the Legacy of Munich
The definitive story of the Busby Babes and the repercussions of the Munich Air Disaster.
February 6, 1958, the day that eight Manchester United players died on a German airfield, is a date etched forever in the annals of sporting tragedy. The Busby Babes were already enshrined in legend before the air crash, but Munich in many ways earned them immortality. They have never grown old. Jeff Connor examines the lives of – arguably – the greatest Manchester United side of all time.
‘Betting men should seize the obviously generous odds for a riveting new work to hold off all comers for the next 11 months and be proclaimed sports book of 2006 at Christmas … Jeff Connor’s spare and clinically crafted reporter’s skill masks his anger and enhances the harrowingly drawn-out aftermath of the tragedy – and the illustrious club’s shoddily neglectful part in it.’ – Frank Keating, The Guardian
‘A thorough, and thoroughly moving, piece of work’ – Daily Telegraph
Publication Date: February 2006
World Rights: HarperCollins
Field of Fire: A Summer of Suffering on the Tour de France
In 1987, a British-based team competed in the Tour de France for the first time in almost two decades. The team, the cream of the UK’s road racers, under the banner of ANC-Halfords, left Britain with high hopes and reasonable expectations, but the romance of the world’s greatest bike race turned into a nightmare. The ANC squad were decimated by the punishing pace, the manager walked out during one of the Alpine stages, five of the nine riders and some of the staff never made it to Paris and most of the personnel went unpaid. ANC were the definitive innocents abroad and it became one of the great sporting misadventures of all time. If that wasn’t bad enough for ANC, on the Tour’s first day in Berlin the riders and staff discovered that a tabloid journalist would be travelling with them for the full three weeks. Jeff Connor’s account of the Tour, Wide-Eyed and Legless, became a classic and was later voted number one in Cycle Sport’s list of the best cycling books of all time.
Now, 25 years on, Connor revisits the scene of the crime, tracks down the 1987 participants and discovers exactly how their fortunes were changed, some irrevocably, on the ‘field of fire’. Drawing on interviews with those involved in the ANC team and flashbacks to 1987, Field of Fire tells a moving tale of sporting disillusionment, heartbreak, anger – and humour.
World Volume Rights: Mainstream
Once Were Lions: The Players’ Stories
Drawing on first hand interviews from more than 75 British Lions tourists since the golden age of the fifties, this book captures what it means to be a British Lions rugby player – the historic victories, the glorious failures and the stories surrounding the icons of rugby such as Edwards, Bennett, Hastings, Guscott, Dallaglio and Johnson.
World Volume Rights: Harpercollins
Jeff Connor is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Stan – email@example.com