REVIEW: The heart and the art of my rugby photography, by Paul Hart

At whatever level it’s played, rugby has always been about passion. You need it to be able to step on to the pitch, you need it to run struggling amateur clubs and you need it to referee.

Now, following the publication of The Heart And The Art Of My Rugby Photography, nobody can doubt photographer Paul Hart’s passion for the oval ball.

Hart has spent his weekends chronicling both rugby league and union in his native Wales, from amateur and student league matches through to full internationals and fixtures at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium. [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: No Sand Dunes in Featherstone: Memories of West Yorkshire Rugby League, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone, edited by Robert Light

No Sand Dunes in Featherstone is a wonderful collection of nostalgia for those old enough to remember some of the moments recalled.

For those born more recently, it provides some vivid imagery and misty-eyed romanticism to dwell on in direct contrast to the modern era of Super League and full time professionalism.

Editor Robert Light interviewed dozens of rugby league personalities to put together this work.

The list of contributors is more than impressive; Great Britain legend Mick Sullivan, referee Billy Thompson, Leeds president Harry Jepson OBE, Ikram Butt, Trevor Foster MBE and BBC commentator Dave Woods are just some of those to have shared their memories. [Read more…]

REVIEW: The Rugby League Miscellany, by David Lawrenson

The Rugby League Miscellany

The Rugby League Miscellany

Bored of reading the same old books? The Rugby League Miscellany sees author David Lawrenson highlight some of rugby league’s finest moments in entertaining style.

One particularly revealing section details the bravery of rugby league’s unassuming players.

Remember Roger Millward playing 67 minutes of the 1980 Challenge Cup Final with a broken jaw? Or Shaun Edwards managing more than an hour in the 1990 Challenge Cup Final with a double fracture of an eye socket and a depressed cheekbone? [Read more…]

REVIEW: Down and Under, by Dave Hadfield

Down and Under, by Dave Hadfield

Down and Under, by Dave Hadfield

Ever considered the differences between hoons, larrikins, lairs, boofheads and bogans? Dave Hadfield gets to the bottom of this – and some of Australia’s other most pressing mysteries – in Down and Under, the exceptionally entertaining follow up to Up and Over.

Had things been different, this might have been a book about rugby league that included some titbits on Australia.

As it was, England’s 2008 Rugby League World Cup campaign was so bad that Hadfield had little choice but to write about his travels instead.

Who can blame him?

From an English perspective, it was difficult enough to sit through that tournament in the first place. Who wants to read about it all over again? The recurring nightmares of Newcastle and Melbourne have only just stopped, thanks very much. [Read more…]

REVIEW: Up and over, by Dave Hadfield

Back in 2003, Dave Hadfield took part in a 220-mile charity trek across rugby league’s heartlands. Up and Over is the resulting vivid – and amusing – account of spending a fortnight with Stevo chirping in your ear.

The M62 - 'Up and Over' charts Dave Hadfield's 220-mile walk from Hull to Widnes

Starting in Hull and winding his way to Widnes, Hadfield stumbles across the bizarre, loveable and downright silly while also bringing to life some of rugby league’s most memorable characters.

Thankfully for Hadfield’s battered feet, Catalans Dragons and Celtic Crusaders had yet to be born when this book was put together. But a meander that roughly follows the M62 is a rich enough source of material for this book to be full of heart-warming chuckles and moments of poignancy from a sport that has enchanted so many fans, players, administrators and journalists alike. [Read more…]