WINNER OF THE MACMILLAN PRIZE FOR FICTION’Extraordinarily mature – technically as well as emotionally’ Sunday TimesArthur Machin’s life changes when he is picked for the Rugby league team in his local town. Once a struggling coal miner’s son, now he can buy what he likes – a car, a fur coat for his widowed landlady, Mrs Hammond, who is becoming something more. But fame makes a mess of things.
Machin is troubled by advances from the boss’s wife, he challenges the sensibilities of the comfortable classes and struggles to understand why his success fails to impress Mrs Hammond. Gritty, full of ambition and anger, This Sporting Life is an unflinching and surgical dissection of one man’s life and a rare foray onto the sports field in British fiction.