NEWS: Stan Wall book cover revealed

Stan WallIconic St Helens kit-man Stan Wall will release his autobiography next month, ghostwriter Andrew Quirke has revealed.

Wall, 79, will be at the book’s launch at Langtree Park next month. Quirke said: “Stan’s got a great story to tell.

“He was a miner and also part of a mine rescue team that was the first down the pit if there was an explosion or accident, a top referee in the 80s, assistant coach at Leigh and St Helens and then kit-man for St Helens, England and Great Britain.

“The book’s got a bigger cast than The Lord of the Rings. I think I’ve spoken to almost everybody in rugby league, and they’ve all had a tale to tell on Stan.”

Quirke added: “Stan’s nearly 80 and still does two days a week with St Helens, helping out on the captain’s run and then again on match day. I envy his memory and his energy – he’s in the best shape possible.”

Stan Wall will be available to sign copies of his autobiography, Stan the Man: The Life Story of Stan Wall, at 1.30pm, April 12 2014, at Langtree Park.

NEWS: Chisnall brothers story set for emotional Langtree Park launch

Balls Gloves and GloryEric Chisnall, Mike Rush and boxer Martin Murray are among the guests set to celebrate the launch of Andrew Quirke’s new book, Balls, Gloves and Glory, on Saturday 2 March.

The book tells the tale of the four Chisnall brothers – Eric, Dave, Les and John – and is Quirke’s first biography, having previously worked on the autobiographies of Paul Loughlin, Graeme West and Doug Laughton.

Dave, who died aged 64 in January 2013, was best known for his spells at Warrington, Leigh and St Helens.

Les won the Challenge Cup with Leigh, while John, who died in 2005, was a professional boxer before becoming a boxing trainer who helped develop Murray during his early days.

Eric is a member of St Helens’ Hall of Fame, having been with the club for 45 years in playing, coaching and development roles.

Quirke said: “We’re starting at 11am in the Red Vee cafe at Langtree Park. Eric will say a few words and then sign any books.

“It’s a more poignant day because of Dave’s recent passing, but hopefully the book is something for his children and grandchildren. He’ll never be forgotten – hopefully this will help to keep his memory alive.”

Quirke added: “It was a challenge trying to tell four people’s stories and not make it too confusing for the reader, but hopefully we’ve cracked it.

“I’m really proud of how it’s turned out. I’ve got a lot of emotion attached to the book and I’m looking forward to celebrating it on Saturday.”

Order Balls, Gloves and Glory online here

NEWS: Brian Noble “proud” of Building Winning Teams

Brian Noble has revealed his pride at his new book Building Winning Teams after a successful launch period in the run up to Christmas.

The former Bradford, Wigan, Crusaders and Great Britain coach penned the book before having any publishing deal on the table.

But he is delighted with the final result, which brings together his own thoughts and experiences as well as those from successful sports personalities and high achievers in business.

Noble told the White Line Fever podcast: “I finished coaching – or rather didn’t finish, but I’m waiting for the next gig, if it ever comes along – and in the boredom scribbled down four pads of notes and pieced it all together.

“I got a load of my friends in sport and business to qualify some of the chapters I’ve written – people like Mickey Rourke, Martin O’Neill, Michael Vaughan, Linford Christie as well as some great rugby league names like Shaun Edwards, Jason Robinson and Johnathan Davies – and I’m really pleased with it. I’m proud of it.”

Building Winning Teams is out now. Click here to view the book’s current price on Amazon.

NEWS: Adrian Morley book signing schedule

Adrian Morley’s autobiography Moz: My Story hits the shelves on Monday 12 November. Anyone interested in getting their copy signed can catch Morley at the following venues:

Waterstones, Trafford Centre — Saturday Nov 10, 4pm
Warrington Wolves Club Shop — Monday Nov 12, 12pm
Waterstones, The Wool Exchange, Bradford — Thursday Nov 15, 12.30pm
Waterstones, Leeds — Thursday Nov 15, 5.30pm
Waterstones, Wigan — Thursday Nov 22, 6pm
Waterstones, Warrington — Saturday Nov 24, 2pm
Waterstones, Huddersfield – Wednesday, December 19, 2pm


NEWS: Malcolm Alker defends The Devil Within ahead of its launch in Manchester

The Devil Within, by Malcolm Alker and Julie Stott

Malcolm Alker has defended his controversial autobiography The Devil Within as he prepares for the book’s release.

Former Salford captain Alker has used the book to reveal his use of human growth hormone, cocaine and prescription pain-killers.

Alker and ghostwriter Julie Stott will launch the book in Waterstone’s at the Trafford Centre from 10.30am on Saturday 12 May, and the ex-Reds star insists he has no regrets.


Alker told Yorkshire Radio: “The intention of doing the book was purely so that I could lie straight in my grave. It’s not about financial reward; the money I make won’t make any difference to my life at all. It’s about putting the demons to bed, and hopefully some people can learn lessons from it.

“The book hasn’t been done to be bitter towards Salford or the game. It’s just my story. Nothing’s been elaborated; it’s just the truth, and if I was going to tell my story then it had to be that, good or bad.

“I could have easily left two or three chapters out of the book and spoke more about rugby, but that wouldn’t have been my story.

“The Devil Within is the truth, and now it’s time to tell the story. There are issues within the game and outside of the game that need to be handled.

“I’m not trying to do a bible of do’s and don’ts, it’s not about that: it’s just an autobiography. Some people will like what I’ve said and some people won’t, both in my family and in rugby league.”

Ghostwriter Julie Stott said: “Malcolm accepts that he’s open to criticism for some of the things he’s done, but he’s got to be applauded for not shying away from any of it.

“Throughout the process of writing the book he always wanted to be completely honest, and that was for a purpose – there’s a problem within the game, and Malcolm thinks it needs highlighting.”

Save on the cover price and buy The Devil Within now

NEWS: Malcolm Alker book cover revealed

The cover to former Salford captain Malcolm Alker’s autobiography, The Devil Within, has been released by Scratching Shed Publishing.

The book, which goes on sale on May 7, is now available to pre-order and promises to be a rough-and-ready tumble through Alker’s life as a professional rugby league player.

Alker has worked with Daily Star rugby league writer Julie Stott on telling his story, and appears to have plenty of tales to tell.

Earlier this month he told BBC Radio Manchester how he still feels angry at the way he left the Reds.

He said: “I was accused of drinking midweek, while taking a session.

“I’m not a raving alcoholic. At the end of the day I’ve got a family at home, and I offered to take a breathalyser test on the day of the training session as we had those on site, and I was refused that.

“I’m bitter to the point that I didn’t feel my side of the story was heard sufficiently.”

The Devil Within looks set to make sure that few will be unaware of his side of the story.


NEWS: Our latest project… The Definitive Club-by-Club Guide to Rugby League Books

Here at Rugby League Books we’ve been busy trying to produce a definitive list of rugby league titles.

The (Hopefully One Day) Definitive Club-by-Club Guide to Rugby League Books

We’re sure there might be books missing (if anyone spots one, we’d be happy to hear from you), but with 171 titles already sorted and listed in a club-by-club order, we think it’s a decent first set.

We’ll continue to update it as time goes by, but the idea is to provide a reference point for anyone looking for rugby league books with a specific club theme.

We hope you find it useful. If you do, we’d love it if you could tweet about it (use the button in the top right of this post) or like us on Facebook.

Happy reading.

Scratching Shed reveal plans for at least three rugby league books in 2012

Scratching Shed Publishing will release at least three rugby league titles in 2012, director Tony Hannan has told Rugby League Books.

Malcolm Alker’s autobiography The Devil Within has already been confirmed as part of their plans for the coming months.

Now Hannan has revealed that Scratching Shed have agreed a deal for John Kear’s autobiography, while a history of schools rugby league will be published this summer.

Hannan said: “We’ve signed the contracts with John Kear and Peter Smith, so that’s definitely happening. We’re delighted to be working with them both on what should be a great read.”

He added: “Ron England has written the history of schools rugby league, looking back at the story of the sport’s development including photographs and accounts from people who played the game at that level before achieving professional success.

“A lot of the modern-day professionals started out playing schools games at Wembley or the Millennium Stadium as part of the Champion Schools tournament, and in Ron we’ve got a really authoritative author. Only last month he was added to the RFL’s Roll of Honour.”

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‘Explosive revelations’ promised in new Malcolm Alker book

Former Salford City Reds captain Malcolm Alker is set to release his autobiography in May – and its publishers have promised “explosive revelations” ahead.

Alker, who retired at the end of the 2010 season, has been working on the book with Daily Star rugby league writer Julie Stott.

The Devil Within will look back on Alker’s career, his exit from Salford and his reflections on the game.

Tony Hannan, director of publishers Scratching Shed, said: “We’re working on the book now, and there are some quite explosive revelations in there. I’m sure it’ll be a great read when it’s finished.”

Scratching Shed’s previous rugby league titles include:


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.”