REVIEW: Moz: My Story, by Adrian Morley and Phil Wilkinson

Adrian Morley has been around a bit. So long, in fact, that he actually played alongside Ellery Hanley, the last British hero of rugby league who was appreciated Down Under as much as Moz.

Hanley is one of an impressive array of sporting stars to have contributed chapters to Morley’s autobiography Moz: My Story. Ryan Giggs, Jamie Peacock, Ruben Wiki, Ricky Stuart and Matt King have also chipped in.

But it is only when Hanley starts his tribute that it dawns on you how long Morley has been tearing teams to bits. “I only ever played alongside Adrian for a few minutes,” writes Hanley, who left Leeds in the mid-nineties, “but I saw enough of him then to convince me he was destined to be a great player.”

Morley has been the perfect link between Hanley’s era and today’s full time athletes. At times he has been the leading forward in the world, with a game built on aggression and stamina that carried his intimidating frame through the toughest challenges rugby league has to offer.

But at other times, such as receiving a drink driving ban just weeks after an Ashes test series sponsored by the ‘Think! Don’t Drink and Drive’ campaign, he has made charmingly shambolic mistakes that hark back to the sport’s more amateur days.

Morley can at least smile now, reflecting in the epilogue that ‘by page 65 of this book I’ve been CS gassed three times. Three times! That’s just about as far removed from my life now as it could get.”

Regardless of what has happened off the field, he is a man who will be remembered for his on-field actions – and with a new contract under his arm, there is still more to come.

It is often repeated that Morley is as pleasant off the field as he is frightening on it. Moz: My Story paints a picture of a man who values family, loyalty, faith and friends, but who also knows how to have a laugh with the best of them.

Morley finishes his story by looking ahead, to a time beyond rugby league. “A time when no one will want my autograph or picture. A time when I will have to pay to keep fit, instead of being paid for it.”

He is unlikely to be forgotten.


 
Moz: My Story, by Adrian Morley and Phil Wilkinson, is available now. ISBN 978-1907637575, published by Vision Sports Publishing. Buy now and save on the cover price.

This is an edited version of a review that appears in the November 2012 issue of Forty-20 magazine. Buy the magazine to read the full, extensive review.

FEATURE: Five Bradford rugby league books

Iestyn Harris - There And Back

Iestyn Harris - There And Back

Bradford Bulls – or Bradford Northern, for readers of a certain age – is one of the most famous clubs in British rugby league.

Some of the game’s greatest players, including the likes of Ellery Hanley, have worn the red, white and black with distinction.

Two modern day Bulls have written autobiographies that are bound to be of interest for both Bradford fans and rugby league aficionados with a wider interest.

Iestyn Harris never reached his previous rugby league heights when he returned to Odsal from Welsh rugby union. Harris had been a superstar during his early years at Warrington and Leeds, and Bulls fans had big hopes for the talented stand-off.

But Harris’ timing was unfortunate, joining the club at the start of its recent decline. Nevertheless, while at the Bulls he won the Super League Grand Final in 2005, the World Club Challenge in 2006, and remained one of Bradford’s most reliable performers even when the efforts of his team-mates were not on the same level. His book, Iestyn Harris: There and Back, charts his cross-code career in revealing detail.

Odsal Odysseys - The History of Bradford Rugby League

Odsal Odysseys - The History of Bradford Rugby League

Terry Newton played alongside Harris at the Bulls. His book, Coming Clean, details his own career and subsequent fall from grace when he tested positive for human Growth Hormone (hGH) during his time at Wakefield. (See our full review of Coming Clean here.)

There’s also plenty out there for those looking for some Bradford nostalgia. Bradford Rugby League (Archive Photographs: Images of Sport) is 128 pages’ worth of fascinating photography, while Odsal Odysseys: The History of Bradford Rugby League brings the club’s history to life.

And no Bradford history would be complete without mention of Trevor Foster, arguably the club’s greatest ever servant. Trevor Foster: The Life of a Rugby League Legend would be a welcome addition to any rugby league bookshelf.