The Selected Writings of Martin Kelner
With an introduction by Gary Lineker
PUBLISHED APRIL 30 – PRE-ORDER NOW
‘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Where possible we have tried to supply a bit of context, and there are fragments of memoir too, previously unpublished, for anyone interested in the author’s ‘journey’ – as publishers seem contractually obliged to call everybody’s life these days.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.
Compiled by Ewan Phillips
Q. Who scored a try while unconscious against Bradford in the 2011 Challenge Cup?
Q. Which Wigan star of the 1980s wore two earrings?
Q. Which Wigan forward did Gaby Roslin say she ‘quite fancied’ after his appearance on The Big Breakfast in 1992?
Think you’re an expert on Wigan RLFC? Let quizmaster Ewan Phillips – the man behind TV’s Mock the Week, Big Fat Quiz of the Year and more – test your knowledge of 2018’s Betfred Super League champions.
Prepare to be grilled on players and events legendary and random through every era from Northern Union to today. This captivating memory-jogger guarantees family fun.
Rugby League, Rock’n’Roll, The Road and Me
by Steve Mascord
Steve Mascord – born Andrew John Langley – was obsessed with rugby league and rock’n’roll. Long after almost everyone he knew, he clung to these things like twin teddybears, turning at least one of them into a career and making a bit of money out of the other.
At the age of 47 he owned precisely nothing aside from hundreds of records and CDs and almost every edition of Rugby League Week ever printed. He was unmarried, had no car or property and was the proud owner of $50,000 of credit card debt. Then one day he discovered the truth about himself.
He always knew he was adopted but it turned out he was part of a bohemian family, his mother forced to give him up after suffering a mental breakdown. She searched for him until her dying day. Steve met uncles and cousins and aunties he never knew existed and for the first time in his life he felt whole. And he looked around that storage room full of CDs and football magazines and felt sad; a sense of loss. He appeared in newspapers and on radio and television and people thought he was successful but had he really created a life for himself? Or was he living in a childhood fantasy, compensating for what had been missing, ready to fall down on top of him as traditional media imploded?
Steve thought ‘enough of being Steve Mascord, who is not a real person. Time to finally be Andrew John Langley’. Having figuratively thrown all his toys out of the cot, he decided to conduct an audit. Which ones to pick up off the floor and keep in his new life, and which to leave laying there forever.
By Dave Hadfield
With a foreword by Sky Sports presenter Dave Clark
Early on the morning of his 63rd birthday, DAVE HADFIELD walked out of his front door and caught a bus…
It was the first stage in an epic journey that would take him around the furthest flung corners of his native England, showing it to him from a completely new angle.
Already acclaimed for his books on sport and music, Hadfield has broadened his canvas for what might well be his finest work yet.
Heading south along the Welsh Borders, west to Land’s End, along the South Coast to Dover, through London and up the eastern side of the country to Newcastle, through the Pennines and the Lakes and back home to Lancashire; he chronicles what he sees and hears on an itinerary that involves over 100 local buses.
Better still, he does it all for nothing – on a bus pass for which he was qualified by Parkinson’s Disease. Undeterred by that disability, he explores the country he loves with a keen eye and ear for the absurd.
By turns thoughtful and hilarious, Route 63 will appeal to anyone who has enjoyed Hadfield’s writing for the Independent newspaper, as well as his highly popular previous outings. Those new to his unique style, can prepare to discover why he has been called Bolton’s very own answer to Bill Bryson.
As seen and heard on the BBC and Sky News…
By Tony Hannan
Yorkshire … God’s Own County … The Broad Acres … the Texas of England … a home to some of the UK’s most captivating landscapes, coastlines, food, literature, history, music, tea, film, sport and beer, when Britain’s largest county and its residents get you in their grip, you are unlikely to escape soon.
Phenomenally successful venue for Le Grand Départ and only recently voted the Leading Tourist Destination in Europe – beating off the likes of Paris, Rome, London (ha!) and Vienna – the eyes of the world are on the land of the White Rose like never before.
Slouching Towards Blubberhouses is a timely, in-depth and very often comical look at a county that is by turns friendly, uncompromising, boastful, blunt and maddeningly self-aware. It digs beneath the eeh bah gum clichés of whippets, clogs, flat caps and moth-eaten wallets to explore what really makes Tykes tick. And it wonders whether coming from Yorkshire still means owt in the socially diverse 21st century.
So what are you waiting for? Enough with the chelpin’ and get on your bike. We’re off on a right grand Tour de Yorkshireness.