A Life in Rugby – written with Peter Smith
On sale now
From Wembley glory to the great escape, master coach John Kear has seen it all during a lifetime in rugby league.
Born into the sport just a stone’s throw from one of its most famous venues, Kear’s remarkable rugby career has taken him from schoolboy scoreboard operator at Castleford Tigers to team boss of England and beyond.
In Coaching is Chaos, Kear reveals the fascinating stories behind his famous two Challenge Cup final victories with Sheffield Eagles and Hull, and tells how he kept Wakefield Trinity Wildcats in Super League when all seemed lost – at the expense of his beloved hometown club.
He also outlines the pressures that come with coaching England and for the first time shares the full details behind his controversial sacking at Hull FC.
Kear – whose other clubs include Paris, Bramley and Wigan – has experienced tragedy as well as triumph and he pays an emotional tribute to Adam Watene and Leon Walker, two players who died while he was in charge at Wakefield.
Now coach of Batley Bulldogs and a leading media pundit with Sky Sports, Kear also provides hard-hitting views on the state of the game and ponders where it goes next in this, his unmissable rugby league autobiography.
304 pages, paperback
THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MALCOLM ALKER
With Julie Stott – Foreword by Adrian Morley
If ever a rugby league player was the heart and soul of a club, it is Salford City Reds’ talismanic hooker Malcolm Alker. A man who twice turned down big money moves – including one to Australia’s NRL – was fired by an all-consuming, blistering determination to make the original Red Devils a major force in Super League. Yet that dream blew up in his face when a tumultuous and bitter exit from the club plunged him into depression and tainted many of the memories he held dear.
In The Devil Within, an autobiography by turns astonishing and amusing, Alker reveals all about his controversial departure from the Willows; his feelings about those he left behind, the alcohol-fuelled brawl in America that cost him the captaincy; and his many highs and lows as a player, skipper and assistant coach. A battler known for his integrity on and off the field, Alker also lifts the lid on his own experiences with drugs – legal, social and Human Growth Hormone; the prescription drug abuse that he insists is blighting rugby league; and dalliances with illegal betting.
With a fight – physical or metaphorical – on almost every page, The Devil Within is a frank and brutally honest confessional of a life on rugby league’s front line.
ON SALE NOW
The autobiography of Lee Crooks; with Vince Groak
With a foreword by Peter Sterling
The most candid rugby league book of the year!
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When he broke dramatically onto the senior rugby league scene with his beloved Hull as a gifted teenager, prop Lee Crooks was an archetypal blood and guts heart-on-his-sleeve firebrand front-rower, adored by the Boulevard faithful.
From Hull to Hell and back… tells of all this and more. By turns confessional and controversial, moving and hilarious, this is the colourful story of a modern-day rugby league maverick. Think you know Lee Crooks? Think again!
A Cup winner and distinguished 19-Test international – best remembered for his nerveless last-gasp penalty from the sidelines to save a series against the Kiwis in 1985 - Lee Crooks then became the most expensive rugby league player in the world when signing for Leeds, against his wishes, as Hull hit hard times.
A subsequent move to Castleford rekindled an always lively playing career prior to coaching spells with Keighley and York before, unthinkably, he crossed the city of his birth and joined the staff at Hull KR.
From Hull to Hell and back... tells of all this and more. By turns confessional and controversial, moving and hilarious, this is the colourful story of a modern-day rugby league maverick. Think you know Lee Crooks? Think again!
By Ronnie Teeman
Ronnie Teeman, the longest-serving solicitor in Leeds, has represented or been involved with some of the highest profile sportsmen in the United Kingdom.
A Lawyer for all Seasons is his long-anticipated memoir. It tells the fascinating story of a man who achieved national and international renown, especially in the world of sport, by representing a string of household names.
A Lawyer for all Seasons offers an inside view of astonishing and dramatic events, not least John Giles’ successful suing for his portrayal in the book The Damned Utd. An entertaining and informative read? Guilty!
Teeman also has a high profile in Europe, where his deep knowledge of EEC law enabled him to negotiate deals with Italian football clubs for the likes of Liam Brady and Joe Jordan.
In the UK he was involved in famous court cases like the Billy Bremner libel suit against the Sunday People which resulted in record libel damages; a plot to kill President Nkrumah of Ghana; and the Leeds police trial surrounding the alleged killing of David Oluwale which, 30 years after the event, continues to haunt those involved.
Teeman is also a former President of the Rugby Football League with a wealth of rugby league-related anecdotes to share. Do not miss this riveting read.
By Ray French
Although BBC rugby league commentator and former St. Helens and Widnes forward Ray French represented his country at both codes of rugby and has, for the past thirty years, written and broadcast extensively on the sport, his latest book is far more than a look back at his life in the game. Here French looks back through his years in rugby and offers his often controversial views on its future. Paperback, 216 pages.
Although BBC rugby league commentator and former St. Helens and Widnes forward Ray French represented his country at both codes of rugby and has, for the past thirty years, written and broadcast extensively on the sport, his latest book is far more than a look back at his life in the game.
In Ray French... and Rugby, he presents the story of a man who has for the past six decades straddled and enjoyed both oval ball codes as a spectator, player, coach, administrator and commentator.
He calls upon his experiences on and off the pitch to consider the problems facing both sports, the relationship between them, the values and appeal of both games, and offers his strong, passionate and controversial opinions on their future.
Naturally concentrating on rugby league, the passion in his life, he provides an abundance of humorous anecdotes and stories surrounding incidents and the characters within the game.
Already the author of seven titles, Ray French looks upon this as being the definitive book on his career and everything associated with it.