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Last One Out… When Hull Invaded Wembley

By Vince Groak

With an introduction by the Rt Hon Lord John Prescott

Hull, 1980. The fishing industry is in terminal decline, the Humber Bridge still unfinished. A depraved killer is on the loose and Hull City FC look doomed to relegation. But, on a long Bank Holiday weekend in May, all thoughts turn to Wembley … chance for ultimate bragging rights.

Against a backdrop of a dramatically changing city, Last One Out… traces the story of how Hull’s two rugby league teams emerged from mid-seventies gloom to take their place at the very top of the game – exerting a dominance over the sport that others would follow.

Featuring first-hand interviews with players, officials and supporters, this is the definitive history of the ultimate rugby league derby; the early rounds and the draw that kept them apart, the clamour for tickets, the divided families and that famous sign on the road heading south. It tells of Roger’s joy, Sammy’s despair and the story behind ‘that try’.

Later, there was the pride and emotion of the homecoming. Later still, the game entered history, spelling joy for one side, despair for the other and encapsulated in a song the losers were taunted with until another dramatic Wembley victory more than three decades on.

More than just a derby, more than just a cup final, this is the story of an exodus: the day Hull invaded Wembley.

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The Woman With Nine Lives

The eagerly-awaited sequel to The Woman Without A Number

Iby Knill is remarkable. An Auschwitz holocaust survivor from Bratislava, she married a British army officer and set out to make a new life in England, arriving in Cornwall in 1947 to set up home.

After struggling to integrate as an immigrant in post-war Britain, she went on to raise a family and carved careers in civil defence, education, textile design and as a linguist, before gaining an MA, aged 80. The loss of her beloved Bert prompted thoughts of writing, but there was a stumbling block: 60 years of suppressed memories.

Now in her 90s, Iby has since overcome several breakdowns but remains determined to share her experiences with future generations. This eagerly-awaited sequel picks up where her best-seller, The Woman Without a Number, left off. It tells the stories of her brother, father and mother – whose indominability she has inherited – and evokes changing times through a life that has embraced challenge and opportunity.

Poignant, moving and searingly honest, The Woman With Nine Lives is confirmation that the past cannot be avoided but, when the very best of human nature is on display, a brighter future can always lie ahead.

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Sermons from the Mount

Recollections of Batley RLFC

By John Roe

With a foreword by Batley chairman Kevin Nicholas.

John Roe was born and raised in Batley and taken to see his first match when he was eight years old. Now, the life-long fan has gathered together reminiscences and recollections from former players, fans old and new, administrators, volunteers and directors of the famous rugby league club.

One of the oldest clubs in the game and founder members of the Northern Union, Batley were the first-ever winners of the Challenge Cup in 1897 and still play at their Mount Pleasant home with its sloping pitch into the famous ‘nine ‘ole’.

Sermons from the Mount is as much a record of the changing social history of the sport from the 1950s onwards in one of its most traditional towns, as it is a look at the characters, facilities and memorable matches at a proud, ever-defiant outpost.

The book charts the setbacks and successes, triumphs and tribulations, changing training methods and transport to games from the part-time days of Wintergreen and shifts at the brickworks through the near-death of the club in the mid-1990s, to its current resurrection that saw victory in the Northern Rail Cup and them reach a Championship Grand Final.

This is the warts and all tale of the journey and constant struggle told by those who are integral to it, as the Gallant Youths of folklore became the Bulldogs.

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Different Class – The Story of Schools Rugby League

By Phil Caplan and Ron England

With a foreword by Neil Fox MBE

Around the turn of the 20th century, schools rugby league was formalised. Compiled from a nationwide archive, Different Class puts a long and illustrious history in context, capturing its flavour with an array of colourful contributions.

Examining the communities from which it sprang, neighbourhood rivalries, prevailing social conditions, stories of overcoming great odds and trips into the unknown, it traces the pioneering spirit that has characterised the schools game, and the role played by teachers as mentors and inspiring personalities.

Mixing fact and anecdote, the book contains a wealth of reminiscences from some who went on to become superstars of the sport, alongside those for whom the school playing field was their zenith.

 

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Headingley Ghosts

A Collection of Yorkshire Cricket Tragedies

By Mick Pope

Lest we forget … on the 150th anniversary of Yorkshire cricket:

They shared three common threads – Yorkshire, cricket and tragedy
Compiled by Yorkshire cricket writer and researcher Mick Pope, Headingley Ghosts is a dark collection of over 60 Yorkshire cricket biographies, spanning more than 180 years of the game in the county.
From the Sheffield pioneers of the 1820s to the modern tragedy of David Bairstow, this haunting book – through original research and a wide selection of rare images – recalls what became of these tragic Yorkshire cricketers beyond the boundary.
They died young, they died old; they died in obscurity; they died in poverty; they died on the road, in the air and on the rail track; they died by their own hand; they died in war and they died fighting sickness – collectively they are Headingley Ghosts.

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