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Scratching Shed Publishing

Autobiography

Hock: The Real Me

The autobiography of Gareth Hock – As told to Neil Barker

With a foreword by Adrian Morley 

Gareth Hock is widely seen as the bad boy of rugby league. A player who, in his early years with hometown Wigan, seemed to have the world at his feet was instead derailed by a drugs ban, skirmishes with officials and other headline-grabbing controversies.

Yet now, for the first time, Hock insists that there is more to this private family man than that, while putting his side of a story that has never been short of incident.

Hock: The Real Me is a rugby league book that – like the player himself – packs a real punch!

160 pages, paperback.

Price: £9.99

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Route 63: Around England on a Free Bus Pass

By Dave Hadfield

With a foreword by Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark

Early on the morning of his 63rd birthday, DAVE HADFIELD walked out of his front door and caught a bus…

It was the first stage in an epic journey that would take him around the furthest flung corners of his native England, showing it to him from a completely new angle.

Already acclaimed for his books on sport and music, Hadfield has broadened his canvas for what might well be his finest work yet.

Heading south along the Welsh Borders, west to Land’s End, along the South Coast to Dover, through London and up the eastern side of the country to Newcastle, through the Pennines and the Lakes and back home to Lancashire; he chronicles what he sees and hears on an itinerary that involves over 100 local buses.

Better still, he does it all for nothing – on a bus pass for which he was qualified by Parkinson’s Disease. Undeterred by that disability, he explores the country he loves with a keen eye and ear for the absurd.

By turns thoughtful and hilarious, Route 63 will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Hadfield’s writing for the Independent newspaper, as well as his highly popular previous outings. Those new to his unique style, can prepare to discover why he has been called Bolton’s very own answer to Bill Bryson.

Price: £13.99

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04.04.04

By Matt King

With a foreword by Sir Alex Ferguson CBE

PAPERBACK EDITION

On the 4th April 2004, Matt King’s life changed forever…

Making his first tackle as a 17-year-old professional rugby player for London Broncos Academy, his neck snapped. A happy-go-lucky teenager with the world at his feet; his life, as well as his spinal cord, appeared broken.

But, showing the same spirit, resilience, wit and courage that characterised him before the accident, Matt overcame the severe trauma and rebuilt his life; gaining a degree, a high-profile job in the legal profession, became a successful mouth-painter, participated in marathons and carried the Olympic torch in 2012.

Awarded the OBE for his charitable work, which also includes giving motivational speeches to some of the country’s leading organisations, his is a story of the ultimate triumph of human spirit.

Two years in the writing, 04.04.04 is an unflinching account of his upbringing in Bedfordshire, his nine-month stay in three hospitals and the arduous road to rehabilitation.

“Everything changed in that split-second on the pitch and my goals and aspirations altered along with it,” he writes. “But it didn’t change the person I am or the fact that I want to make the most of this life.”

This is one of the most inspirational, remarkable and affirming stories you will ever read.

Afterword by Richard Lewis CBE.

PAPERBACK EDITION

 

Price: £13.99

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The Yorkshire Hunter

My Autobiography – Paul Ingle

With a foreword by Kellie Maloney

Growing up on one of Scarborough’s toughest estates, Paul Ingle put on his first pair of boxing gloves at the age of seven.

Known by fans, foes and friends as ‘The Yorkshire Hunter’ he fought almost 200 times as an amateur, representing his country in every major international tournament and, in November 1999, beat Manuel Medina for the IBF featherweight world title.

Months later, in front of a packed crowd at Madison Square Garden, Paul came off the canvas and stopped Junior Jones in an eleven-round epic to add the IBO belt.

In December 2000, he fought Mbulelo Botile in what ought to have been a straightforward defence. But then, knocked down in the twelfth, Paul was rushed to hospital where he had emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain.

The Yorkshire Hunter tells the story of an endearing and enduring man who never left his roots. With a foreword by Kellie Maloney, this is the tale of a fighter whose fiercest battle was outside the ring.

Price: £14.99

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The Accidental Diplomat – Adventures in the Foreign Office

By Paul Knott

“Achieves the rare combination of being instructive and funny…” – Rt. Hon. Alan Johnson MP

Part political intrigue, part comedic travelogue, The Accidental Diplomat is an incident-packed memoir that bridges the chasm between John le Carré and Johnny English.

Its author, Paul Knott, is an ordinary Northern lad who began his working life in a hut on Hull’s King George Dock before an improbable career switch to Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service. Tied up in a series of significant world events during two decades spent globetrotting on official duties, his story offers an illuminating insight into the most discreet of the UK’s great offices of state, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It blends the political with the personal to paint a vivid picture of the exciting and often absurd life of a Crown emissary.

Knott’s first posting to post-revolutionary Romania is a punishment for insubordination, but he finds the rampant eccentricity of a country striving to emerge from the Ceauşescu dictatorship inspiring and uproarious. A superficially more attractive but ultimately soulless sojourn in Dubai is enlivened when he is abducted at gunpoint by hospitality terrorists, before a happier time in the police-state of Uzbekistan, where he takes a hands-on approach to pursuing human rights and, with greater success, a gorgeous Kenyan lawyer.

His year in Kiev offers a close-up view of events underlying the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, several James Bond moments and an encounter with a wounded gangster. He is then unexpectedly beguiled by the offbeat charms of Belgium and the EU before his remarkable ride ends in Russia. The great land of contradictions proves both appealing and appalling, not least when a former Russian spy is murdered in London by radiation poisoning.

“An unexpectedly engrossing read” – James Brown, Sabotage Times

‘The hilarious and engrossing tale of how one ordinary bloke from Hull stumbled onto the world political stage by accident…’ Russ Litten, Author of Scream if You Want to Go Faster and Swear Down

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