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Scratching Shed Publishing

Rugby League

The Missing Trophy

And Other Rugby League Stories

By Tracy Maguire

96 pages. Illustrations by Ben Robinson

Are you ready for six original adventures featuring young players, loyal fans and club mascots – who face a desperate race against time to save the Super League Grand Final?

Or how about the dilemma of a coach who is faced with a team who have never played a game of rugby in their lives – can he turn them into superstars? Or the fan who experiences rugby league the way it used to be played in the olden days? Or the group of pals whose love of the entertainment almost lands them in trouble?
From magic boots to a special Christmas, there’s something here for everyone.
Dewsbury-born Tracy Maguire is a passionate rugby league fan and writer whose short stories for younger readers have graced Super League club programmes and websites. Here, for the first time, is a unique collection of brand new stories aimed at rugby-loving children.

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Strike! The Tour That Died of Shame

 
By John Coffey
Strike! The Tour that Died of Shame is the sixth in Scratching Shed Publishing’s critically-acclaimed Rugby League Classics series.
The 1926-27 New Zealand ‘All Blacks’ rugby league tour of Great Britain was the most tempestuous sporting venture of all time and led to seven of the players being disqualified for life on their return home.
Set against the backdrop of a financially crippling miners’ strike, the ‘guilty’ tourists rebelled against their controversial coach, an Australian who himself was suspended for part of the tour by English authorities.
Nineteen loyal players were left to carry on bravely against overwhelming odds in the midst of a harsh English winter, some of them backing up for as many as fifteen consecutive matches.
Strike! The Tour that Died of Shame is that story. It is a tale of hardship and heroism, courage and cover-up, examined in depth for the very first time. It is an investigation of what went wrong with a tour that promised so much. It seeks to establish who – if anyone – was really to blame. And it is a fascinating slice of sporting social history whose reverberations continue to be felt to this day.
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John Coffey is New Zealand’s most experienced rugby league writer, having covered more than 100 Test matches during 44 years with The Press newspaper in Christchurch and as a touring New Zealand Press Association correspondent. His previous books have included Canterbury XIII (1987), Modern Rugby League Greats (1991), Being Frank, the Frank Endacott Story (2002), and major publications to mark the centenaries of the Kiwis (2007), New Zealand Maori Rugby League (2008) and Auckland Rugby League (2009).

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A Lawyer for All Seasons

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!
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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.

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Border City Blues – The Story of Carlisle Rugby League

By Alan Tucker
With a foreword by Dean Bell

Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Includes a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including tables, match-by-match records and player contributions. Paperback, 256 pages.

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Border City Blues is the previously untold story of rugby league football in the proud Cumbrian city of Carlisle. Author Alan Tucker – a former chairman of the club – shares his inside view of the highs and lows and ups and downs of life in English rugby league’s most northerly outpost. Complete with an introduction by the New Zealand rugby league legend Dean Bell, the bulk of the book is a season-by-season account of the city’s longest-surviving professional outfit, Carlisle Border Raiders. From their birth in the early-1980s to ‘merger’ with Barrow in 1997, it is a dramatic story of struggle against the odds and a faithfully produced insight into just what it takes to get a new sport up and running in often quite unsympathetic territory. Added to this is a detailed statistical analysis of every season in the Border Raiders’ existence, including league tables, match-by-match records and individual player contributions. Border City Blues also takes care to acknowledge the history of amateur rugby league in Carlisle, courtesy of the city’s junior, ladies and open-age teams. And it brings the story right up to date with the post-1997 launch of the Carlisle Centurions summer conference set-up. The book also provides short histories of the city’s original thirteen-a-side club, Carlisle City, who flared briefly in 1928; and the amateur side of the same name in 1950-52. All in all, this is a valuable and timely addition to the rugby league bookshelves that no treasurer of sporting heritage should be without.

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Ray French… and Rugby

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.

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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.

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