Shot and a Ghost by James Willstrop

Shot and a Ghost

By James Willstrop

  • Release Date: 2012-01-28
  • Genre: Sports & Outdoors
Score: 4.5
From 35 Ratings
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Acclaim for ‘A Shot and a Ghost’: "There aren't many sports book that I read and feel the sportsman himself jumps off the pages. James' book shows the stresses of top level sport on and off the court. A great read" Matt Pinsent, BBC Sport and four times Olympic gold medallist "Willstrop is a very different sort of British sporting hero: a militant vegetarian, lover of musicals, obsessive-compulsive with a constant need to wash his hands and a man who had been coached from childhood by his father. Yet he is also one of Britain's finest ever racket sports players and in this fascinating autobiography, he reveals his journey from the cold municipal courts of Pontefract, through crippling injury and personal despair to the world No 1 ranking in squash. A sportsman who deserves greater publicity than he gets" Patrick Kidd, The Times James Willstrop is one of the world’s leading squash players and one of the sport’s most complex and cerebral characters. Brought up in Pontefract, UK, he is anything but the archetypal Yorkshireman - a poetry-loving vegetarian with a love of musicals, Morrissey, Oscar Wilde and Philip Larkin. Fiercely competitive yet renowned for his sportsmanship, he became the world number one in January 2012 despite being accused by many of being ‘too nice’ to be a winner. At the age of 28 James has just written his first book - a diary style account from January 2010 to February 2011 - which provides a fascinating insight into the life and pressures of an international athlete competing in a sport that takes him all over the world. His account of sometimes brutal training sessions reveal the pain and dedication necessary to compete at the top of one of the most physically and mentally demanding sports.


  • Not a typical autobiography

    By Stoatyfoxymusky
    Brutally honest Very different to Nick Matthews autobiography Top sportsmen have just as many issues as us regular Joes Well worth a read even if you don't play/follow squash
  • Awesome read for sports fans

    By Lafanga
    An awesome read which gives a great insight into the life of a world class squash player, James’s brutal honesty makes this book a fascinating read.
  • Shot and a ghost

    By Donal Mc Cann
    A brutally honest story of a super athlete in todays Squash game. As a player myself I found James' book both inspirational and enthralling. A must read for any sports enthusiast!
  • Great

    By Zimbo_elvis
    For any athlete or aspirational sportsman this book is a must read. Roller coaster of emotions. Any junior squash player or young pro needs to read this to see what the real squash works is like. The hard work and reward that eventually come. Looking forward to another one soon to read.