REVIEW: Three Fartown Aussies: Hunter, Cooper, Devery, by David Gronow

His open-necked shirts, ripped jeans and leather jacket have made Nathan Brown one of the most recognisable Super League coaches. But the quotable Australian, who is the overseas recruit to have had perhaps the single biggest impact on Huddersfield during the summer era, is just the latest in a long line of Aussie imports to the club they used to call Fartown.

Club historian David Gronow’s latest book on the Giants, Three Fartown Aussies: Hunter, Cooper, Devery, celebrates the contribution made by those men who used to travel to the north of England seeking fame and fortune.

Winger Lionel Cooper would only sign for an English club if he could bring a friend to help him settle into life in the UK. Plenty of clubs were keen on Cooper, but few were willing to risk funding another Aussie – the relatively unknown Johnny Hunter – until Huddersfield took a punt on the Antipodean duo.

And along with Pat Devery, a man who was to become the club’s captain, they formed the most formidable trio in Fartown’s all-conquering team of the late 1940s and early 1950s. [Read more…]

REVIEW: The Warrington Wolves Miscellany, by Gary Slater

There have been plenty of critics of the Daily Telegraph’s rugby league coverage during recent years, but there can be few who could question DT sub-editor Gary Slater’s love of Britain’s best kept sporting secret.

Slater’s latest book, The Official Warrington Wolves Miscellany, is a fine effort that also contains enough nuggets for those not permanently donning Primrose and Blue glasses.

There are statistics and lists, but as ever with rugby league, it is the human stories that both illuminate and dominate. [Read more…]

REVIEW: 20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League, by Phil Hodgson

20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League

20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League

We’ve all got them, locked away in the back of our mind somewhere.

Those misty-eyed memories from way back when, catching the rugby league bug and watching open-mouthed as our childhood heroes produced something in the heat of battle that we’d never even imagined.

Twenty Legends: Castleford Rugby League is a celebration of a group of players who’ve had that effect for generations of Tigers fans. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Border City Blues, by Alan Tucker

Border City Blues: The Story of Carlisle Rugby League, by Alan Tucker

Border City Blues: The Story of Carlisle Rugby League, by Alan Tucker

Alan Tucker’s book Border City Blues will go down as the definitive history of Carlisle rugby league.

Tucker writes with authority, having served as Carlisle’s chairman, and the result is a book packed with memories and insight that would otherwise have been lost in time.

From the enormous to the trivial, the challenges Carlisle rugby league faced are laid bare for all to see.

On top of that, every campaign is recorded, starting from 1981-82 through to the 1997 summer season, and Tucker brings the statistics to life with some of the tales he recalls in absorbing detail. [Read more…]