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Scratching Shed Publishing

Sport

They Walked On Water

REISSUED IN FEBRUARY – ORDER NOW

By David Hinchliffe

With an introduction by Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson

Watersplash! Forty-five years on it remains one of the most iconic words in the history of rugby league and is a perfect description of one of its most infamous games.
The ‘Watersplash’ Challenge Cup final of 1968 – when Leeds met Wakefield Trinity in monsoon conditions – has since become the stuff of legend. A deluge of epic rain, a controversial penalty try and ‘that’ last-minute missed goal by Lance Todd Trophy winner Don Fox – whose boots are immortalised on the cover – it contained all of that and more.
With a wealth of new material, former MP David Hinchliffe canvasses the opinions of many who were there – including the players – and uncovers the agony, ecstasy and tragedy of Wembley 1968.

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John Kear – Coaching is Chaos

A Life in Rugby – written with Peter Smith

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

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Learning Curve

The Remarkable Story of Student Rugby League

By Dave Hadfield

Learning Curve – Dave Hadfield’s seventh book about rugby league – is devoted to one of the game’s great untold stories.

The spread of Student rugby league throughout England is highlighted by chapters on the development of league at Oxford and Cambridge – where sceptics said it would never penetrate.
Hadfield also looks at the growth of the 13-a-side code in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, as well as among students in Australia, France and New Zealand. The regular staging of Student World Cups, Ashes series and thriving domestic competitions are all covered, alongside the author’s inimitable observations of the state of play today.
From dozens of interviews with those most closely involved, rugby league’s best-loved writer captures the spirit of one of the sport’s great successes – from the dedication it takes at the elite level to the humour it demands in the lower echelons. Whether you played at university or college or not, Learning Curve is an unmissable read for anyone interested in the future of rugby league.
* Learning Curve includes forewords from David Oxley – former chief executive of the Rugby Football League and chairman of the Student Rugby League – and Brian Carney, the Irish student who went on to play with great success in Super League, Australia’s NRL and on the international stage with Great Britain.

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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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