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.

NEWS: “Talking points” promised in new Castleford rugby league legends book

20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League

Phil Hodgson's latest book, '20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League', is due out in March 2011

Rugby league author and journalist Phil Hodgson admits he won’t please everybody with his new book 20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League.

Hodgson told Rugby League Books: “Picking out 20 of Castleford’s finest ever players was a difficult task. I’m sure there’ll be a couple of talking points about who I’ve selected and who’s not in there.”

The new release is scheduled to hit British bookshops on March 12, 20111.

It will be Hodgson’s fourth title with publishers Vertical Editions, following on from Headingley Heroes, Odsal Odysseys: The History of Bradford Rugby League and High Ambitions.

“The idea came from Karl Waddicor at Vertical, but it’s just the type of book I enjoy doing,” said Hodgson. “I like doing a bit of research, pottering away in the library and pulling things together.

“I live near Castleford and they’re a well-known club throughout rugby league who’ve had plenty of fine players over the years. It was just a case of rooting through old records, newspapers and talking to players. I spoke to a lot of people who have been involved with the club for a long time, and that really gave me something to go on.”

Now Hodgson is eagerly awaiting his first glimpse of the finished product.

He said: “The final manuscript went in December. I’m looking forward to reading it because there’s a lot in there I’ll have forgotten about by the time it comes out!”

20 Legends: Castleford Rugby League’, by Phil Hodgson, is released on March 12, 2011. ISBN 978-1904091400, published by Vertical Editions. It is available to order here.