Amongst the many thousands of lives tragically cut short in the First World War were hundreds of young men who had athletic and sporting promise. This book studies fourteen professional sportsmen who gave their lives in that most vicious of conflicts. It also looks deeper into the impact that the War had on professional sport in Britain and the raising of sportsman-specific Pals units that enabled a number of these men to serve side-by-side in the trenches of France and Flanders. Their intriguing yet tragic stories are drawn from the ranks of professional footballers, international rugby stars, Wimbledon champions, Olympic gold medallists, cricketing heroes, golfing professionals, a member of the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame and a Tour de France winner of the countries fighting for the Allied cause. Once in uniform they became soldiers, sailors and airmen and as vulnerable and mortal as any of their comrades-in-arms. Whilst some were awarded Britain's highest military accolade, the Victoria Cross, many others lay in unmarked graves and are today listed on memorials to the missing.
All left their lives of fame, wealth and security to play 'the Greater Game' overseas and pay the ultimate price on the field of battle.In addition to detailing the sporting achievements of these men this book delves into their military experiences, their battles are studied and footsteps are followed across the old front line. The Greater Game - Sporting Icons who Fell in The Great War will appeal to sporting and military enthusiasts alike whilst providing a fascinating and long overdue tribute to our true sporting heroes of ninety years ago.