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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‘Explosive revelations’ promised in new Malcolm Alker book

Former Salford City Reds captain Malcolm Alker is set to release his autobiography in May – and its publishers have promised “explosive revelations” ahead.

Alker, who retired at the end of the 2010 season, has been working on the book with Daily Star rugby league writer Julie Stott.

The Devil Within will look back on Alker’s career, his exit from Salford and his reflections on the game.

Tony Hannan, director of publishers Scratching Shed, said: “We’re working on the book now, and there are some quite explosive revelations in there. I’m sure it’ll be a great read when it’s finished.”

Scratching Shed’s previous rugby league titles include:

 

REVIEW: From Hull to Hell and back, by Lee Crooks and Vince Groak

From Hull to Hell and back... Lee Crooks' autobiography

From Hull to Hell and back... Lee Crooks' autobiography is out now

For sheer warts-and-all honesty, From Hull to Hell and back is up there with Sean Long’s autobiography.

Lee Crooks recently told Rugby League Books how his autobiography had been three years in the making.

It has been time well spent, because the final product is something that Crooks and ghostwriter Vince Groak can both look upon with pride.

At nearly 350 pages, it’s certainly one of the longer rugby league books of recent years. But Groak has put plenty of effort and craft into creating a story that is easy to read, meaning pages get turned extremely quickly. [Read more…]

NEWS: Rugby league authors to feature in literary festival

Rugby league authors Ray French, Tony Hannan, Dave Hadfield, Tony Collins and Phil Caplan will all talk at the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Literary Festival, it has been confirmed.

All five authors will be present as Scratching Shed Publications host their first ‘In League With Literature’ event of 2011 on Wednesday, 4 May.

The quintet will be appearing at Ashton Library on Wigan Road for an evening of chat about rugby league.

French, who was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List, has most recently penned Ray French… and rugby.

Hannan, a former Rugby League World editor and a co-director of Scratching Shed, wrote the widely-acclaimed Being Eddie Waring while Caplan, another co-director of Scratching Shed, was Jamie Peacock’s ghost-writer on the England captain’s autobiography No White Flag.

Dave Hadfield’s books Up and Over and Down and Under are two of the most humourous works on rugby league culture and the places it is played in, while Professor Tony Collins is one of the sport’s leading historians. His titles 1895 and All That and Rugby’s Great Split would be worth a place on any league fan’s bookcase.

Tickets priced £5 can be booked by calling 01942 727119. Click here for more information about the Leigh and Wigan Words Together Literary Festival.