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Scratching Shed Publishing

Books

Harvey Hippo Finds His Talent

Written by George Griffin. Illustrated by Bureta Faraimo

Harvey the Hippo is excited as he prepares for sports day at school. He is ready to throw, jump, run, climb and swim – but what will he be good at in this uplifting rhyming tale of perseverance and belief?

Find out by reading this charming children’s book, written and illustrated by professional rugby league players George Griffin and Bureta Faraimo, as they too reveal their hidden talents.

Price: £7.99

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Never the Easy Option – The Gareth Ellis Story

The Gareth Ellis Story – with Vince Groak

A shy, introverted rugby league-loving boy conquered the sport on both sides of the world, reaching the summit of the game while continually doubting himself.
Always prepared to work the hardest to achieve his goals, four times he faced life-changing decisions; to leave Wakefield, who gave him his start; depart from Leeds, when part of the club’s ‘golden generation’; turn his back on the NRL while at Wests Tigers, despite being the club’s player of the year on three consecutive occasions; and to choose Hull FC on his return to Super League.
On each occasion, as he reveals in candid detail, he never took the easy option. This book is the story of his glorious career, including the brave decision to come out of retirement in 2019.
Unashamedly open and honest, Ellis defines the nebulous concept ‘club culture’; reflects on his sacrifices to become one of the game’s most revered talents; how the international game – where he won 38 caps – must be improved; and reiterates that his sole aim in over 480 career appearances was to be the kind of player that others wanted beside them.
Never The Easy Option offers rare insight into what it takes to be a professional sportsman.

Price: £13.99

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Salford Red Devils 150

A Comprehensive Record 1873-2022

By Graham Morris

Salford Red Devils are one of Rugby League’s most celebrated clubs, claiming a history going back to 1873. During the 150 years since, it has claimed numerous honours including six championship successes and eight Challenge Cup final appearances, four of them at Wembley. In 1934, the team achieved legendary status when touring France, their adventurous attacking play earning the accolade Les Diables Rouges – the Red Devils, a sobriquet officially appended in 2014.

Some of rugby’s most most revered names have worn the famed red jersey including Harry Eagles, who played in every match of the inaugural British rugby tour to Australasia in 1888; Welsh greats Gus Risman and David Watkins, both of whom are included in Rugby League’s Hall of Fame; and Jimmy Lomas and Chris Hesketh who – along with Risman – share the honour of captaining a Great Britain touring side. The club continues to produce exciting, entertaining rugby, evidenced by recent prestigious Man of Steel awards to half-backs Jackson Hastings and Brodie Croft.

Rugby League historian Graham Morris pays due homage to all of Salford’s heroes, past and present, via a comprehensive and wide-reaching set of facts and figures covering every match and every player known to have represented the club since its formation. Backed by over 80 superb photographs and images, several in colour, this is the perfect reference book for Salford Red Devils supporters and Rugby League fans in general.

Price: £16.99

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Wrestling in Honey

The Selected Writings of Martin Kelner

With an introduction by Gary Lineker

‘By popular demand’ is one of those phrases like ‘we must do lunch’ and ‘your delivery will arrive between 9.00am and 10.00am’ that we have learned to take with a pinch of salt.
But in the case of the pieces in this book it is arguably true.

Admittedly, we only have the author’s word for it, but he swears that barely a week goes by – okay, a fortnight – without him receiving an email or a Tweet asking why an adoring public can’t enjoy his gimlet-eyed take on broadcast sport and addiction to half-remembered street jokes in the press or online these days.

The answer is that the current broadcasting landscape means we are all streaming madly or scrolling through our phones at different times, meaning a joke about the late football commentator John Motson’s jacket, which might have played to an appreciative audience of millions a decade ago, might now evince no more than a puzzled frown.

However, on rescuing these pieces from the dustbin of history – Martin’s laptop actually – there seemed merit in the view that a half-decent joke is a half-decent joke whenever it’s told. We think there are a few in this collection.

Where possible we have tried to supply a bit of context, and there are fragments of memoir too, previously unpublished, for anyone interested in the author’s ‘journey’ – as publishers seem contractually obliged to call everybody’s life these days.

We need a laugh in these difficult times – unless there’s been a recent economic miracle, in which case disregard. The good news is that age has not withered those in this long-awaited volume, nor custom staled their not quite infinite variety.

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Beware of the Bull – PAPERBACK

(NB: THIS IS PAPERBACK VERSION. HARDBACK CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE)

The labour and the love seep from every page. For Old Molly Metcalfe, for Leopold Alcocks, for Sister Josephine, but mostly for yourself, if your hands aren’t too encumbered, gather a book or two for Jake…”Jon Richardson

“A timely paean to a velvet larynxed, storytelling wonderman…”Cerys Matthews

by Paul Thompson and John Watterson

Beware of the Bull – The Enigmatic Genius of Jake Thackray is the critically-acclaimed first biography of the late, great singer-songwriter.

Admired by Neil Gaiman, Jarvis Cocker, Alex Turner and Thea Gilmore, among others, Jake was one of the greatest and most original artists of the twentieth century; a unique talent and master storyteller whose songs are full of wit, poetry, irreverence and humanity.

The book reveals a life as extraordinary as his writing: difficult upbringing in the terraces of Leeds; strict Catholic education; transformative experiences in France and Algeria; time as an inspirational, unorthodox and highly creative teacher; meteoric development as a writer and performer; subsequent discovery by the BBC; Abbey Road recordings and influence on The Beatles; fame, fortune and remarkable television career… and Jake’s rejection of it all.

It is a story of a complex, charismatic and self-effacing man whom many loved, but few understood. Beware of the Bull was written with the full support of the Thackray family. Exclusive access to personal papers has allowed for the inclusion of a wealth of rare poems, photographs and ‘lost’ lyrics.

This paperback edition comes with a new foreword by the comedian Jon Richardson, an afterword by the authors, and further appendices with author Neil Gaiman and the distinguished conductor and composer Sir William Southgate.

*Among the Daily Telegraph‘s pick of the best music books of 2022*

Paperback – 512 pages

*Postage and packing included with UK orders only. Overseas customers may call us direct on 00 44 113 225 9797 during UK office hours, or order via this site and we will then reply to quote the required amount of postage for your country

Price: £14.99

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