When Brendan Gallagher wrote a feature on the "Telegraph's" sports pages about his favourite sporting comic heroes the response from readers was unprecedented: hundreds of emails from nostalgic readers. Now he has turned his researches and enthusiasm into a unique celebration of these prodigious characters. He devotes separate chapters to the three greatest heroes: Wilson of the Wizard, Alf Tupper, the 'Tough of the Track', and Roy of the Rovers. Then he covers the best of the rest: men like Skid Solo, Johnny Cougar and Raven on the Wing. He also tells the story of the remarkable Gilbert Dalton, author of the Wilson stories, a writing machine who wrote millions of words in his lifetime and whose productivity put Dickens to shame, and has talked to the BBC's Stewart Storey for a modern (and entirely serious) analysis of some of Wilson's most amazing feats (like a three-minute mile). Here, then, are such truly extraordinary feats bowling out Australia twice in a day with 120mph deliveries in a 1953 Ashes Test, a professional footballer still playing in the top flight at the age of around 75, not to mention running 20 miles cross-country in 2 hours to warn the Duke of Wellington of Napoleon's advance...
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