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Scratching Shed Publishing

General non-fiction

Bantams over Wembley

By Dave Fletcher – with a foreword by Gary Jones

Thrilling. Historic. Momentous. For the faithful supporters of Bradford City Football Club, the season 2012-13 proved to be all of that and more.
Promotion from League Two was always the number one priority for a team that had not so very long ago flirted with the Football League trapdoor. Yet for much of a topsy-turvy campaign, a crucial end-of-season play-off spot hoved tantalisingly in and out of view.
Wembley, though, was very much on the horizon – and not once, as it turned out, but an unprecedented twice!
City’s first visit came courtesy of some outstanding performances against Premier League opposition in the Capital One Cup. Among the victims, a full-strength Arsenal, Wigan and Aston Villa, over two legs.
And finally there was indeed the League Two play-off final itself, which the Bantams – driven on by inspirational manager Phil Parkinson – scrapped their way into via an amazing late-season run of form.
It was an astonishing backs-to-the-wall story that BBC Leeds commentator and Bantams lucky charm Dave Fletcher was on hand to cover every step of the way. And that in his first year covering the club!
With a foreword by skipper Gary Jones – who twice led City out onto the hallowed turf – Bantams Over Wembley is the perfect keepsake of a perfect football season.

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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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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

CURRENTLY OUT OF PRINT

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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