The subtitle of this book says it all - The Fulfilment Of A Sporting Fantasy. Daily Mail journalist Stafford, feeling a bit old on his 34th birthday, decided that he had to try and see if he could match up to all the people he'd written about or shouted at while they messed up on TV. Over a period of nine months, he set about playing with and taking on some of the best sportsmen in the world. His account of his wonder year has some of the best sports writing of the past few years.
He plays cricket with the Aussie one-day team, has a game of squash with Jansher Kahn, turns out for Flamengo at the Maracana and gets the crap beaten out of him by Roy Jones Jr, the best pound-for-pound boxer in the world. He goes through what millions of sports fans would like to think - over a pint - that they could manage. But he has to work incredibly hard, and at the end you're fully aware of being allowed a genuine and original inside look at professional sport.