Reuters (4 stars)


Sport in the 21st Century (Thames & Hudson)


Alongside the wilds of earthly nature and mysteries of the solar system, sporting endeavour and its surrounding dramas could have been created simply to be caught on camera. In this arguably misleadingly titled book (we’re only seven years in, remember?), there is just page after page of eye-opening, jaw-dropping photography illuminating every leisure pursuit from windsurfing in the Canary Islands to hooliganism in Macedonia.

There are some by now iconic images (the Zidane headbutt; Kelly Holmes’ wild expression of victory; Jonny Wilkinson’s 2003 World Cup winning kick), but there is as much pleasure to be had in the unfamiliar: elephant polo in Nepal, orang-utan boxing in Thailand, extreme cycling in Mexico. And for those naysayers who insist that Gretna FC have brought nothing to the Scottish football table, the little club managed to nab themselves a page in this book, ahead of their seemingly more illustrious compatriots.

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