REVIEW: Coaching Is Chaos, by John Kear and Peter Smith

Few rugby league books can ever have started with quite so much intensity as Coaching Is Chaos.

John Kear’s new autobiography is a trawl through a coaching career that has included two Challenge Cup successes, as well as steering England through their 2000 World Cup campaign.

But life is not just about fairytales.

Chapter One – entitled simply ‘Adam and Leon’ – contains Kear’s memories of the deaths of Wakefield’s Adam Watene and Leon Walker. It is everything you would expect: poignant, upsetting and deeply moving.

“I hope no club ever has to go through a year like it, but the strength of the club and the sport shone through. Throughout all the heartbreak, I was proud to be associated with both.”

Kear has worked with Yorkshire Evening Post writer Peter Smith on producing this book. The result is a well-written, thoughtful autobiography that is both revealing and entertaining.

A fall-out with Kath Hetherington is explained in detail, as is the planning that went into Sheffield’s 1998 Challenge Cup triumph.

Kear and his Eagles team wrote themselves into rugby league folklore that day, but it was nearly very different.

“We travelled to the capital on the Thursday and went out tenpin bowling and then for a Chinese meal in the evening. I had an allergic reaction to something I ate and one stage I was quite seriously poorly… I rang the team doctor, Janet Hornbuckle. Fortunately she had some Piriton, which is an allergy cure, with her. That settled everything down, but at one stage my eyes had swollen up so much they were starting to close and she was on the point of taking me to a hospital… I was convinced I was going to miss the biggest game of my life.”

Kear’s love of rugby league bursts off every page of Coaching Is Chaos, and one of the final chapters includes his thoughts on the future of the sport.

Rugby league has been better for having Kear involved. This cracking read shows exactly why he is so highly thought of.

 

Coaching Is Chaos, by John Kear and Peter Smith, is available now. ISBN 978-0956804358, published by Scratching Shed Publishing. Buy now and save on the cover price.

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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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.”