NEWS: Exclusive – John Kear set to release book in 2012

Ex-England coach John Kear looks set to be one of the next rugby league personalities to release his autobiography, Rugby League Books can reveal.

(UPDATE: Coaching Is Chaos is now available by clicking here.)

The Batley boss has been working with Yorkshire Evening Post writer Peter Smith over the last six weeks.

The pair have already produced 50,000 words for the as yet untitled book, and discussions are believed to be underway with a major rugby league publisher.

Smith told Rugby League Books: “We started work on it after John left Wakefield and we’ve got a lot done recently.

“We’re hoping it will be published in 2012 – possibly around Christmas time, but maybe before then.”

Smith’s previous books include two of the biggest selling rugby league titles in recent memory, Barrie McDermott’s Made For Rugby and Keith Senior’s The Bald Truth.

Kear has plenty to reflect on, including two Challenge Cup victories, England’s 2000 World Cup campaign and a dramatic spell at Wakefield.

Smith added: “John’s described the highs and lows of his career as well as his thoughts on the game and the people he’s worked with over the years.”

FEATURE: Rugby league on the Kindle – the complete guide

It’s this year’s hottest Christmas present, but what does the Kindle have to offer rugby league fans?

Quite a lot, it turns out.

The beauty of electronic publishing is in making old releases available at the click of a button. It also gives much easier access to titles published on the other side of the world.

Rugby League Books has been taking a look at what’s currently available on the Kindle for rugby league fans who might just have an inkling what Santa’s bringing them this year.

Here’s our complete list (as of December 10, 2011):


Down Under


Rugby league books from 2011 – a Christmas gift guide

Ho, ho, ho… Christmas is coming!

If you’re struggling for gift ideas, hopefully this list of rugby league books released in 2011 might give you some inspiration….

If we’ve missed anything, let us know and we’ll be happy to add it to the list.

In the meantime, here’s Rugby League Books’ 2011 Christmas sing-along. All together now…

    On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…
    12 James Lomases
    11 Darren Lockyers
    10 Tigers legends
    9 Aussie tourists
    8 Warrior Jeffs
    7 Garfield Owens
    6 Stankevitches
    5 Trips to Hull
    4 Paul Loughlins
    3 Yearbooks
    2 Graeme Wests
    And The Bald Truth by Mr Senior.

REVIEW: The Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2011-12, by Tim Butcher and Daniel Spencer

Gillette Rugby League Yearbook 2011-12How will you remember 2011? Sam Tomkins’ brilliance? Darren Lockyer’s farewell? Or Leeds’ back-from-the-dead title surge? Whatever your memory, the Gillette Rugby League Yearbook captures it all in its usual comprehensive and compelling style.

With in-depth sections on the Super League, Championships, NRL and international scenes, there’s little left out. And if you’ve still any questions, the exhaustive statistical breakdown of the season will almost certainly provide the answers. [Read more…]

REVIEW: The Official Super League Annual 2012, by Neil Barraclough

The Official Super League Annual 2012

The Official Super League Annual 2012

This review, by Tony Hannan, first appeared in the November 2011 issue of Forty-20 magazine.

For decades young British football fans have had a guaranteed inclusion on their Christmas list: the Shoot Annual. Finally, rugby league has its own.

Attention rugby league fans with dustbin lids! Along with the selection box and lump of coal this year, why not find room in Santa’s stocking for the Official Super League Annual? [Read more…]

REVIEW: The King of Brilliance: James Lomas – A Rugby League Superstar, by Graham Morris

The King of Brilliance

The King of Brilliance, by Graham Morris

Rarely can a rugby league book have required such research and dedication, but in The King of Brilliance author Graham Morris has produced a work that is worthy of its subject – the early 20th century star James Lomas – as well as providing a remarkable insight into British rugby league before the first World War.

The King of Brilliance is a grand tome from the moment you set your eyes on the 272-page, nearly A4-sized hardback.

It’s the kind of book that is fitting of a man who captained the Northern Union team on its first tour of Australia and New Zealand back in 1910. Tales from that tour are outlined in Tom Mather’s Best In The Northern Union, another worthy historical title from London League Publications. [Read more…]

REVIEW: The Bald Truth, by Keith Senior and Peter Smith

Keith Senior: The Bald Truth

Keith Senior: The Bald Truth

Want to know what happened when Kevin Sinfield threw a bowl of peanuts at Gary Hetherington? The truth behind Keith Senior’s 2005 Challenge Cup final injury? Or – perhaps less likely – Brian Carney’s toilet habits? It’s all in The Bald Truth, Senior’s fast-paced and searingly honest autobiography.

Ghostwriter Peter Smith has done a cracking job, while Senior’s attitude is one of the book’s huge strengths. The Bald Truth is a forthright and upfront read, with Senior touching on all the controversies and high points of his remarkable career. [Read more…]

REVIEW: From Grass to Glass, by Paul Loughlin and Andrew Quirke

From grass to glass, by Paul Loughlin and Andrew Quirke

From grass to glass, by Paul Loughlin and Andrew Quirke

It says much about Paul Loughlin’s career that, even after 10 years in retirement, the former St Helens, Bradford and Great Britain centre can still command enough interest to publish From Grass to Glass, his revealing and witty autobiography.

Loughlin achieved so much as a player: he scored more than 2,000 points for St Helens, represented Great Britain 15 times and twice toured Down Under with the national team.

For some, he will go down as the unfortunate bloke who got to five Challenge Cup finals – and lost the lot.

But for most, the memories are of a classy centre who had natural talent. Loughlin admits he could have been even better had he been coached by the likes of Brian Smith at the start of his career, rather than at the end, but there are very few regrets in his story. [Read more…]

NEWS: Paul Loughlin: I’m proud of autobiography

From grass to glass, by Paul Loughlin and Andrew Quirke

From grass to glass, by Paul Loughlin and Andrew Quirke

Rugby league legends including Andy Gregory and Royce Simmons last night gathered for the launch of Paul Loughlin’s autobiography From grass to glass.

Former Great Britain centre Loughlin has worked on the book with ghostwriter Andrew Quirke and is understandably proud of the final product – although he admitted he had initially needed some persuading to tell his story.

He said: “When Andrew phoned me I was a bit unsure, really. It’s been over 10 years since I played, and I was wondering whether people had forgotten me or whether I’d forget players’ names or situations in games.

“But I had another chat with Andrew, decided to go for it, and it’s been quite easy because Andrew’s been asking me questions and helping me remember things. It became enjoyable in the end, and I think he’s done a good job. I’m proud of it really.”

The book is littered with amusing anecdotes, with one particular tale involving Matt Calland being a particular highlight.

“I wanted to make it funny and I think I’ve done that,” said Loughlin. “Hopefully people will like it, because sometimes you read an autobiography and get a bit bored. I said to Andrew that we should make it funny, and thankfully he agreed.”

Rugby League Books will be reviewing ‘From grass to glass’ next week. If you can’t wait that long, you can order your own copy here.

NEWS: Five rugby league books due for imminent release

The Official Super League Annual 2012

The Official Super League Annual 2012 is out on October 1, 2011

Christmas must be coming…

Book publishers across the world are stacking up on rugby league titles to keep fans busy during the long, dark nights of winter.

Rugby League Books has been doing some research, and here are five titles that have either been recently released or are due for release in the next few weeks:

There’s certainly plenty to get stuck into.

Happy reading!