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.

FEATURE: Revealed – the top 10 rugby league books of 2010

Rugby League Books has been busy doing some research (no laughing at the back, please).

According to Amazon*, here are the 10 bestselling rugby league books (in Britain) published in 2010:

We realise this is a far from perfect exercise. It doesn’t take into account high-street sales from giants such as WHSmith or Waterstone’s, nor does it include figures from heroic independent book shops.

But hopefully it gives us at least some kind of a flavour of what’s been selling well in 2010.

And we’re sure there’s something on this list to keep interested even the most discerning reader until the start of the new season.

Enjoy!

* List compiled on January 4, 2011. Sales figures and/or rankings may have since altered.

REVIEW: Coming Clean, by Terry Newton and Phil Wilkinson

Coming Clean, by Terry Newton and Phil Wilkinson

Coming Clean, by Terry Newton and Phil Wilkinson

Terry Newton’s death was the most upsetting, gut-wrenching rugby league story of 2010.

Now Coming Clean, Newton’s autobiography that was published just weeks beforehand, stands as one of the most poignant sporting books in recent memory.

Newton had his troubles. But he was undoubtedly one of the finest hookers to grace Super League.

Leeds, Wigan, Bradford, Wakefield and Great Britain all benefited from his guile, guts and determination – not to mention his craft around the play-the-ball.

Coming Clean is Newton’s story, from signing for Warrington as a 14-year-old through to the day a letter arrived from UK Sport notifying him that he had become the first athlete in world sport to test positive for human Growth Hormone (hGH). [Read more…]

NEWS: Dave Hadfield recommends…

Dave Hadfield, the Independent’s rugby league reporter, has been busy putting forward his suggestions for some Christmas reading.

Among the books he’s recommended are:

There’s also a couple more suggestions, including a cracking DVD of the sport’s greatest ever tries.

We’ll be running reviews on all of the above, as well as hopefully talking to some of the authors involved. In the meantime, why not have a read of our interview with Ray French.