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Widnes Vikings On This Day looks back at the most celebrated and memorable moments from the club's illustrious history, providing a mixture of quirky anecdotes and legendary characters to produce an irresistibly dippable Vikings diary - with an entry for every day of the year. From the club's 1875 formation as the football section of Appleton and Farnworth Cricket Club through to the Super League era, fans have witnessed league and cup success, relegation, a return to the top flight through the licensing process, and hard times - all featured here. Legendary heroes such as Jimmy Hoey, Doug Laughton, 'Big Jim' Mills, Keith Elwell and Tony Myler all loom larger than life. Revisit 17 May 1980, when the club achieved its first Premiership success; 3 May 1930, the first Wembley victory for the 'Cup Kings'; and 4 October 1989, when the 'Chemics' reached club rugby league's pinnacle, becoming the first official World Club champions.
They were among the sporting elite of 1914 - the stars of the Northern Union - idolised by thousands of enthusiastic men, women and children up and down the land. Yet despite their heroic status in what was soon to become known as rugby league, these warriors of the playing field were willing to sacrifice their careers - and then lives - on the World War One killing fields, for King and Country. Other sports have honoured their Great War fallen over these past 100 years, producing Rolls of Honour to ensure that their ultimate bravery is never forgotten; not so rugby league - until now. The Greatest Sacrifice - Fallen Heroes of the Northern Union - rights that wrong. It tells the story of talented sportsmen who, when war was declared on 4 August 1914, duly departed for France, Belgium and beyond, never again to see the rugby league towns and grounds they once so famously graced. Among those who fell were three members of Great Britain's 1914 summer tour to Australia and New Zealand. A number of other former internationals died too, as did many more who had earned top domestic honours with their clubs. Some of the youngest players were just embarking on professional careers and therefore never able to fulfil their potential. Each player featured has a different tale to tell - from childhood to rugby stardom to enlistment into the British Army and, finally, the greatest sacrifice of all.
In 2009, Warrington RLFC reached the nadir of their long-term, chronic underachievement, prompting one fan to write to the local newspaper questioning the players' commitment. He signed the letter 'Spirit of '55' - a reference to the year the club were last champions. Results began to improve dramatically, with back-to-back Challenge Cup wins followed by a League Leader's Shield - but still no championship. Spirit of '55 follows Warrington's quest to become champions in 2012, as seen through the eyes of their most passionate fan. But are the team cursed by the town's expectations, and the ghost of '55? Laced with terrace humour and tempered by the expert eye of a professional coach, the team's record of failure and the 'curse of hope' will strike a chord with all sports fans. The book builds to the climax of the play-offs where one team will achieve glory. But will it be Warrington?
"The Wigan Warriors Miscellany" is the definitive set text for every fan of the world famous cherry and whites. Packed with facts, fun, gossip, nostalgia, and conjecture, it looks back over 138 years of glorious history to celebrate the personalities, victories, and controversies of the sport's biggest name. Handily pocket-sized to pull out in the middle of those pub arguments over who was the fastest, dirtiest, or biggest, this book will not only tell you who scored the most tries, kicked the most goals, or won the most trophies, but also who earned the most red cards, did best on Every Second Counts and broke cricketer David Boon's record for beer consumption on a flight to Australia. Put down your pie and pick up a copy.
A history of Featherstone Rovers Rugby League Football Club
A local boy made good, Kirkstall-born John Holmes was Leeds Rugby League's longest serving player and he will forever be an icon at his beloved Headingley. This is the story of his illustrious career, as told by his brother and his nephew.
Every Sunday for almost a century John Cann's family ran the famous snake show in a pit at La Perouse in Sydney - an area once alive with tiger, brown and black snakes. After growing up with over 300 'pet' snakes in their backyard, John and his brother George took over the snake show from their parents in 1965. By the time John retired in 2010, he'd survived five venomous snake bites. Many of those familiar with John and his shows wouldn't know that he was also an Olympic athlete, a top state rugby league player who played alongside some of the legends of the game, a state champion boxer, an adventurer and a world authority on turtles. The Last Snake Man chronicles John's extraordinary life and times. From wrangling snakes to chasing turtles, from remote country towns to the impenetrable jungles of New Guinea, this is the story of an amazing Australian and his never-ending search for fascinating animals and adventure.
The story of a Rugby League legend. A gentleman off the field and a brute on it, John Sattler was one of the most feared players of his era. He was equally renowned for his toughness and courage- famously, he played 77 minutes of the 1970 Grand Final with a shattered jaw, leading the Rabbitohs to victory over Manly. Here for the first time he tells his story in his own words and in his own style- honest, uncompromising and direct. It's the story of a boy from the bush who led the Pride of the League back to its rightful place at the top of the Sydney premiership. Along the way, Sattler toured with the Kangaroos, played in four winning Grand Finals and survived a near-fatal car crash. While he later built a new life for himself as a proud Queenslander, Sattler will always remain a South Sydney legend and an icon of the game. 'The story of one of the game's greatest heroes.' Russell Crowe 'If you say South Sydney, you automatically think of Johnny Sattler. He was the iconic, archetypal Rabbitoh warrior.' Ray Martin
**WINNER British Sports Book Awards SPORTS BOOK OF THE YEAR** **Shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award** Gareth Thomas had it all. He was a national hero, a sporting icon. He was a leader of men, captain of Wales and the British Lions. To him, rugby was an expression of cultural identity, a sacred code. It was no mere ball game. It gave him everything, except the freedom to be himself. This is the story of a man with a secret that was slowly killing him. Something that might devastate not only his own life but the lives of his wife, family, friends and teammates. The only place where he could find any refuge from the pain and guilt of the lie he was living was on the pitch, playing the sport he loved. But all his success didn't make the strain of hiding who he really was go away. His fear that telling the truth about his sexuality would lose him everything he loved almost sent him over the edge. The deceit ended when Gareth became the world's most prominent athlete to come out as a gay man. His gesture has strengthened strangers, and given him a fresh perspective. Gareth's inspiring and moving story transcends the world of sport to tell a universal truth about feeling like an outsider, and facing up to who you really are.
A gentleman off the field and a brute on it, John Sattler was one of the most feared players of his era. He was equally renowned for his toughness and courage- famously, he played 77 minutes in the 1970 Grand Final with a shattered jaw, leading the Rabbitohs to victory over Manly. Here for the first time he tells his own story in his own words and in his style- honest, uncompromising and direct. It's the story of a boy from the bush who led the ride of the League back to its rightful place at the top of the Sydney premiership. Along the way, Sattler toured with the Kangaroos, played in four winning Grand Finals and survived a near-fatal car crash. While he later built a new life for himself as a proud Queensland, Sattler will always remain a South Sydney legend and an icon of the game. The story of a rugby league legend. 'If you say South Sydney, you automatically think of Johnny Sattler. He was the iconic, archetypal Rabbitoh warrior.' Ray Martin 'The story of one of the game's greatest heroes' Russell Crowe
Like most of the bouncers in town, Bobby Lee was an ageing boxer, but was as tough as they come. He was the muscle on the door at Thommo's, the illegal two-up game held in secrecy in Surry Hills in Sydney's inner city. It was owned by Joe Taylor - 'The Boss', as everyone called him. In May 1951, Bobby Lee was shot five times. He didn't survive. Jack Gibson got his job.'Big Jack' was the original supercoach, but before that he was one of the toughest men in Sydney. It was there for all to see as a brutal front-row forward for Easts, Newtown and Wests during the 1950s and 1960s. As a coach, he was a revolutionary, adopting methods from American football and innovating heavily in his own right to win back-to-back premierships with Eastern Suburbs in 1974 and 1975, and then three with Parramatta from 1981 to 1983 - giving the Eels their first ever premiership win.Yet behind his gruff exterior and trademark kangaroo fur coat was a generous and warm family man, whose life was changed forever by the death of his son Luke from a drug overdose.With the cooperation of Jack's family and friends, and unprecedented access to Jack's scrapbooks, journals and private photographs, Andrew Webster has written the definitive account of the 'Coach of the Century', Jack Gibson.
Since it's first publication, Rugby's Great Split has established itself as a classic in the field of sport history. Drawing on an unprecedented range of sources, this deeply researched and highly readable book traces the social, cultural and economic divisions that led, in 1895, to schism in the game of rugby and the creation of rugby league, the sport of England's northern working class. Tony Collins' analysis challenges many of the conventional assumptions about this key event in rugby history - about class conflict, amateurism in sport, the North-South divide, violence on the pitch, the development of mass spectator sport and the rise of football. This new edition is expanded to cover parallel events in Australia and New Zealand, and to address the key question of rugby league's failure to establish itself in Wales. Rugby's Great Split is a benchmark text in the history of rugby, and an absorbing case study of wider issues - issues of class, gender, regional and national identity, and the impact of the commercialization and recent professionalization of rugby league. This insightful text is for anyone interested in Britain's social history or in the emergence of modern sport, it is vital reading.
**Shortlisted for the 2018 General Outstanding Sports Book of the Year** One of the founder members in 1895 of what became the Rugby League, Batley was once a thriving centre of commerce, one of the bustling mill towns in the Heavy Woollen District of West Yorkshire. More than 120 years on, times have changed, even if the town's Victorian buildings remain, but one constant is the importance of the club as the centre of the community. And in 2016, the Batley Bulldogs brought more than their fair share of pride to the town. They were Underdogs, but gave their professional Super League rivals a run for their money in a season that surpassed all expectations. Given unprecedented access to the team - players, staff and fans - Tony Hannan charts a fascinating year in the life of a lower-league club, of labourers spilling blood and guts on to Batley's notorious sloping pitch before getting bruised bodies up for work on a Monday morning, of hand-to-mouth existence at the unglamorous and gritty end of British sport. And at their centre is the Bulldogs captain Keegan Hirst, the first rugby league player to come out as gay, and inspirational coach John Kear, just two men in the most colourful cast of characters. It was also a year when the town was plunged into tragedy by the brutal murder of local MP Jo Cox, a great supporter of the club. Underdogs is more than just a book about Batley though. It is the story of northern working-class culture, past and present, and a report from the front-line of a society struggling to find its identity in a changing world.
Fans of National Rugby League across the nation watched in fascination as Queensland, with it's mix of top players from across NRL, overran NSW for 8 long years of the Origin series-an achievement that will probably never be repeated. Game by game The Streak breaks down the reasons why Queensland dominated for so long. Paul Connolly examines Mal Meninga's coaching contribution and how NSW failed to outgun him. It looks at the line up of top players, that included the cream of rugby league: Billy Slater, Cooper Crank, Greg Inglis, Jonathan Thurston, Steve Price, Steve Thaiday, Israel Falou and all the others. It also picks over the controversies and turning points that made the series so memorable. Queensland dominated for nearly a decade and NSW came agonisingly close many times. But the crown stayed with the Maroons for 8 long years. An in-depth, vividly illustrated exploration of the How and Why behind Queensland's winning streak, The Streak will delight fans of NRL Australia-wide.
Huddersfield's importance to the game of Rugby League is immeasurable. Prior to the formation of the Northern Union in 1895, Huddersfield Cricket and Athletic Club had an active and ever-honourable life of thirty years or so.Then came the glorious era of the 1914/15 'Team of All Talents' as the Fartowners captured 'All Four Cups', the combination of unrivalled individualism enabling the Claret and Gold to sweep all before them. Other successes were enjoyed in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, with major trophies collected post-war until the early 1960s, although the club did secure divisional titles and promotions through into the 1990s. Success for a rugby club such as Huddersfield comes in many guises, it is not only cups, nor leagues won, or international caps gained - although these things are vitally important - it is a reputation for sportsmanship on or off the field, despite the trials and tribulations that come along. This book represents a pictorial journey of a great rugby league club through to the Super League era and Huddersfield's return to top-flight rugby league.
Hunslet RLFC is once one of the biggest names in Rugby League. The Hawks have a long and proud history, including many epic matches, and this book features 50 of them, including the match that sealed the All Four Cups success in 1908, the 1938 Championship final over arch-rivals Leeds and the 1965 Challenge Cup final.
In his entertaining and informative new book, Sir Clive Woodward analyses the events of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, offering his unique perspective on the performance of players and coaches, from Owen Farrell and Kieran Read, to Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen. HOW TO WIN:Rugby and Leadership from Twickenham to Tokyo is much more than the story of a tournament, however. It is the distillation of a philosophy of leadership developed during a lifetime in high-performance environments, from the rugby field to the boardroom. Tapping into his experience of winning the 2003 World Cup, being a part of the leadership team that delivered Olympic Success in 2012 and lessons drawn from Japan 2019, the author delivers a go-to manual in how to improve both individual and team performance in order to reach the pinnacle in sport and in business. Every individual position in rugby requires a unique set of skills, knowledge and expertise that collectively form a balanced team; the same is true in any successful business or organisation. From 1 to 15, the former England and British and Irish Lions coach identifies the key attributes and uses these defining traits to explain his collaborative 'Teamship' leadership style. With a fascinating blend of analysis, insight and anecdote, and the highs and lows of a memorable Rugby World Cup as the setting, Clive reveals how to lead the culture of a winning team - in any context.
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