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Lost in Spain – In the Footsteps of Laurie Lee

Released 30 June 2017 – pre-order now

By Dave Hadfield

It was the Booker Prize-winning author of Schindler’s Ark, Thomas Keneally, who described Dave Hadfield as ‘The Poet of Rugby League’. True enough, though the man who has also been called Bolton’s answer to Bill Bryson has equally revelled in other subjects, like music and travel.

Lost in Spain is the result of the dying wish of his oldest friend’s wife, Barb, to have her ashes scattered along the route traced by Laurie Lee when he walked from Gloucestershire to the Mediterranean in the 1930s.

That original journey provided the material for As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, the book upon which, as well as Cider with Rosie, Lee’s glittering reputation rests.

Lost in Spain is a story of friendship and late-flowering love that is by turns informative, poignant, elegiac and laugh-out-loud funny.

These days freed from the constraints of daily journalism, Hadfield has no plans to stop writing. Of his ten books so far, five have been written since he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008.

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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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13 Inspirations – The Guiding Lights of Rugby League

Edited by Tony Hannan. Foreword by Kevin Sinfield MBE.

13 Inspirations is a lively collection of essays by many of the leading writers and personalities in rugby league. With proceeds going to Rugby League Cares – a charity devoted to ensuring the welfare of the game’s wider community – it tells 13 fascinating stories about 13 of rugby league’s most inspirational personalities.

From the early days of the Northern Union, icons like Albert Baskerville and Lance Todd spring to life. From more recent history, heroes like Mike Gregory, Steve Prescott MBE and Darren Lockyer feature. And from modern-day Super League come Adrian Morley, Jamie Peacock MBE and others.

Edited by Tony Hannan with a foreword by Kevin Sinfield MBE, and including contributions from Jamie-Jones Buchanan, Jon Wilkin, Dave Hadfield and Brian Noble among a host of authorities on the sport, 13 Inspirations celebrates the game’s guiding lights in a way that no one who cares for rugby league will want to miss.

Rugby League Cares – Supporting rugby league’s broad community. Past, present and future.

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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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Off the Ropes – The Ron Lyle Story

SOLD OUT – EBOOK STILL AVAILABLE VIA AMAZON

by Candace Toft

With an introduction by Bert Sugar

In a life as tough and brutal as his bouts, Ron Lyle had already served hard time for second degree murder before he began his amateur boxing career. Afterwards, he was the supposedly third-rate fighter who had Muhammad Ali beat for ten rounds in the title bout; the guy who fought George Foreman in a brawl with four knockdowns, known in boxing lore as `The One For the Ages'; and the guy who was arrested for murder a second time. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story not only explores the era of the greatest heavyweights in world boxing history, it tells an equally compelling personal tale. Paperback, 336 pages. Postage & packing free.

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‘How do we reconcile this soft-spoken, gentle man with the “toughest heavyweight who never won the title”?’ In a life as tough and brutal as his bouts, Ron Lyle had already served hard time for second degree murder before he started his amateur boxing career. Afterwards, he was the supposedly third-rate fighter who had Muhammad Ali beat for ten rounds in the title bout; the guy who fought George Foreman in a brawl with four knockdowns, known in boxing lore as `The One For the Ages'; and the guy who was arrested for murder a second time. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story not only explores the era of the greatest heavyweights in world boxing history, it tells an equally compelling personal tale. Ron Lyle grew up in the Denver projects, one of nineteen children in a religious family. Aged 20, he was convicted for a disputed gang killing and served several years in the state penitentiary, where he learned to box before he was paroled in 1969. After a meteoric amateur career and an executive pardon, he turned pro in 1971 and over the next six years established an outstanding record in the ring. Then, in 1978, Lyle was indicted for murder a second time and, even though he was acquitted, his career was effectively over. The years that followed were filled with struggle, a captivating love story and ultimate redemption. Today, he runs a youth centre in Denver that bears his name. Off the Ropes: The Ron Lyle Story is the poignant, uplifting biography of a singular man.

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