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Cofi

When Push Comes to Shove

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I've just finished reading Ian Clayton and Michael Steele's When Push Comes to Shove. It's made me appreciate that RL is more than a sport; it's an expression of identity. The game symbolises a sense of belonging to a certain place, a certain community. It soon becomes apparent from reading the book that the game epitomises the cultural pride felt in the sport's traditional heartlands. This heritage should be celebrated, protected, and, I would argue, shared.

It was interesting to note, for me at least, that the Welsh have played an important role in constructing this history. One example is that of the stand-off Oliver Morris who signed for Hunslett in 1937 and was a sensation, so much so that he was later signed by Leeds in 1939. When the war started, he joined up and was sent to Cairo. "It's great" he said. "All we do is play Rugby League all over the Middle East". Eventually, he was sent to Italy where he was killed in 1944.

And this is just one snippet from a fascinating book, which is a record of people's experiences in relation to the game and what the game actually means to people. When I went to Wrexham to see the Crusaders play against Wakefield on Sunday and when I saw the Wakefield players run onto the Racecourse pitch in their famous colours, I felt I was able to tap into that rich seam of League history.

You guys who have been brought up with League are extremely lucky - I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of this!

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I've sung this books' praises plenty often on here Cofi.

Not sure you're aware but there's two editions of the book, and they're both usually available on Amazon for next to nowt.

Fantastic stories from people involved at all levels of the game coupled with terrific black and white photgraphs that really give atmosphere to them.

Must be approaching twenty years since the first one was published, I'll have to dig them out for another read.

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Great to see your interest Cofi... We need at least another 10,000 like you.

May I recommend you follow up by obtaining the book below;

A People's Game: The Centenary History of Rugby League Football, 1895 - 1995 (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1995) - Geoffrey Moorhouse

Its a little dated now - especially when he writes about what was the "new era" in 1995!

However, it is a comprehensive and enlightening coverage of the games history and fits nicely after reading Push Comes to Shove...

Will be interested in your comments after you read it!

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I've just finished reading Ian Clayton and Michael Steele's When Push Comes to Shove. It's made me appreciate that RL is more than a sport; it's an expression of identity. The game symbolises a sense of belonging to a certain place, a certain community. It soon becomes apparent from reading the book that the game epitomises the cultural pride felt in the sport's traditional heartlands. This heritage should be celebrated, protected, and, I would argue, shared.

It was interesting to note, for me at least, that the Welsh have played an important role in constructing this history. One example is that of the stand-off Oliver Morris who signed for Hunslett in 1937 and was a sensation, so much so that he was later signed by Leeds in 1939. When the war started, he joined up and was sent to Cairo. "It's great" he said. "All we do is play Rugby League all over the Middle East". Eventually, he was sent to Italy where he was killed in 1944.

And this is just one snippet from a fascinating book, which is a record of people's experiences in relation to the game and what the game actually means to people. When I went to Wrexham to see the Crusaders play against Wakefield on Sunday and when I saw the Wakefield players run onto the Racecourse pitch in their famous colours, I felt I was able to tap into that rich seam of League history.

You guys who have been brought up with League are extremely lucky - I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of this!

Find out about Ben Gronow - a Welsh convert, the first man to kick off at the then new Twickenham. A member of the great Huddersfield "team of all the talents" And his subsequent treatment by Union.

http://www.rl1895.com/gronow.htm

http://ww1talk.co.uk/showthread.php?2262-B...ow-Rugby-Player

"In 1936 he coached Morley RFC but, due to his RL connection, his name was deliberately omitted from the caption to a photograph in the Club

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Great to see your interest Cofi... We need at least another 10,000 like you.

May I recommend you follow up by obtaining the book below;

A People's Game: The Centenary History of Rugby League Football, 1895 - 1995 (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1995) - Geoffrey Moorhouse

Its a little dated now - especially when he writes about what was the "new era" in 1995!

However, it is a comprehensive and enlightening coverage of the games history and fits nicely after reading Push Comes to Shove...

Will be interested in your comments after you read it!

I beg to differ slightly Errol, as The People's Game does contain a few errors. Better to try The Roots of Rugby League by Trevor Delaney. Geoffrey Moorhouse's greatest contribution was "At The George" which encapsulates much that you would recognise from WPCTS.

Just one more to recommend highly is "Willie" by Mike gardiner which is a biography of the great Willie Horne but also captures wonderfully the sense of community that made the game what it was. Unfortunately this book can be difficult to track down with EBay offering the best chance.

HTH

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I beg to differ slightly Errol, as The People's Game does contain a few errors. Better to try The Roots of Rugby League by Trevor Delaney. Geoffrey Moorhouse's greatest contribution was "At The George" which encapsulates much that you would recognise from WPCTS.

Just one more to recommend highly is "Willie" by Mike gardiner which is a biography of the great Willie Horne but also captures wonderfully the sense of community that made the game what it was. Unfortunately this book can be difficult to track down with EBay offering the best chance.

HTH

Just curious as to why you use the past tense?

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Just curious as to why you use the past tense?

I think, to be honest mate, that most people would recognise the days of 'when push comes to shove' as being in a long gone, more amateurish, or perhaps naive, era.

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I've just finished reading Ian Clayton and Michael Steele's When Push Comes to Shove. It's made me appreciate that RL is more than a sport; it's an expression of identity. The game symbolises a sense of belonging to a certain place, a certain community. It soon becomes apparent from reading the book that the game epitomises the cultural pride felt in the sport's traditional heartlands. This heritage should be celebrated, protected, and, I would argue, shared.

It was interesting to note, for me at least, that the Welsh have played an important role in constructing this history. One example is that of the stand-off Oliver Morris who signed for Hunslett in 1937 and was a sensation, so much so that he was later signed by Leeds in 1939. When the war started, he joined up and was sent to Cairo. "It's great" he said. "All we do is play Rugby League all over the Middle East". Eventually, he was sent to Italy where he was killed in 1944.

And this is just one snippet from a fascinating book, which is a record of people's experiences in relation to the game and what the game actually means to people. When I went to Wrexham to see the Crusaders play against Wakefield on Sunday and when I saw the Wakefield players run onto the Racecourse pitch in their famous colours, I felt I was able to tap into that rich seam of League history.

You guys who have been brought up with League are extremely lucky - I'm sure you don't need me to remind you of this!

Am glad you enjoyed it sir, i think it may have been on my (among others') recommendation.

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I think, to be honest mate, that most people would recognise the days of 'when push comes to shove' as being in a long gone, more amateurish, or perhaps naive, era.

Not that the "wonderful community" has been broken then?

Edited by Trojan

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Find out about Ben Gronow - a Welsh convert, the first man to kick off at the then new Twickenham. A member of the great Huddersfield "team of all the talents" And his subsequent treatment by Union.

http://www.rl1895.com/gronow.htm

http://ww1talk.co.uk/showthread.php?2262-B...ow-Rugby-Player

"In 1936 he coached Morley RFC but, due to his RL connection, his name was deliberately omitted from the caption to a photograph in the Club

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I've sung this books' praises plenty often on here Cofi.

Not sure you're aware but there's two editions of the book, and they're both usually available on Amazon for next to nowt.

Fantastic stories from people involved at all levels of the game coupled with terrific black and white photgraphs that really give atmosphere to them.

Must be approaching twenty years since the first one was published, I'll have to dig them out for another read.

Cheers OF. I didn't know about the two editions. I'll check it out. I bought mine on Amazon - it's an old discarded library copy.

You're right about the photographs - they're terrific.

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Great to see your interest Cofi... We need at least another 10,000 like you.

May I recommend you follow up by obtaining the book below;

A People's Game: The Centenary History of Rugby League Football, 1895 - 1995 (Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1995) - Geoffrey Moorhouse

Its a little dated now - especially when he writes about what was the "new era" in 1995!

However, it is a comprehensive and enlightening coverage of the games history and fits nicely after reading Push Comes to Shove...

Will be interested in your comments after you read it!

Thanks for the recommendation mate. I'll let you know what I think. Cheers.

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Cheers OF. I didn't know about the two editions. I'll check it out. I bought mine on Amazon - it's an old discarded library copy.

You're right about the photographs - they're terrific.

I've just ordered a copy from amazon, looking forward to reading it.

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Find out about Ben Gronow - a Welsh convert, the first man to kick off at the then new Twickenham. A member of the great Huddersfield "team of all the talents" And his subsequent treatment by Union.

http://www.rl1895.com/gronow.htm

http://ww1talk.co.uk/showthread.php?2262-B...ow-Rugby-Player

"In 1936 he coached Morley RFC but, due to his RL connection, his name was deliberately omitted from the caption to a photograph in the Club

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I beg to differ slightly Errol, as The People's Game does contain a few errors. Better to try The Roots of Rugby League by Trevor Delaney. Geoffrey Moorhouse's greatest contribution was "At The George" which encapsulates much that you would recognise from WPCTS.

Just one more to recommend highly is "Willie" by Mike gardiner which is a biography of the great Willie Horne but also captures wonderfully the sense of community that made the game what it was. Unfortunately this book can be difficult to track down with EBay offering the best chance.

HTH

Thanks for these recommendations BSJ. I'll let you know what I think.

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Am glad you enjoyed it sir, i think it may have been on my (among others') recommendation.

I was going to thank you for the recommendation in my initial post but I forgot! Apologies from one Celt to another.

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I've just ordered a copy from amazon, looking forward to reading it.

I don't think you'll regret it at all. Let us know what you make of it.

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Thanks for these recommendations BSJ. I'll let you know what I think.

When Push Comes to Shove, awesome book, most original sports book I've ever read.

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I was going to thank you for the recommendation in my initial post but I forgot! Apologies from one Celt to another.

Accepted!

i think i intentionally didn't mention there are 2 volumes as i (honestly) didn't want to hit you with 'sensory overload' straight off.... they really are a great read, and were published in the 90s, a fantastic era for RugbyLeague (i believe...)

My favourite photo in either volume (can't remember which book) is of a player (i think from memory it was Phil Ford) sitting on a washing machine, in a club's laundry room, stripped to the waist, covered in mud, and having a fag.

Iconic, simply doesn't describe it....

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Accepted!

i think i intentionally didn't mention there are 2 volumes as i (honestly) didn't want to hit you with 'sensory overload' straight off.... they really are a great read, and were published in the 90s, a fantastic era for RugbyLeague (i believe...)

My favourite photo in either volume (can't remember which book) is of a player (i think from memory it was Phil Ford) sitting on a washing machine, in a club's laundry room, stripped to the waist, covered in mud, and having a fag.

Iconic, simply doesn't describe it....

You're right - my brain hurts with RL at the moment. I've got loads of reading to do secularly at the moment as well so I'll save my RL stuff for my holiday.

The photo you mention isn't in my edition so I guess that's in the other volume. I'll have to track it down on Amazon/Ebay. It's hard to choose a favourite but I like the photograph on page 101, which shows fans standing on a terrace watching a game but in the distance looming over everyone and everything are the cranes of heavy industry (I have no idea where this photo was taken but I'd like to know). These two things: the cranes, the RL match, inextricably linked to the social history of the sport's traditional heartlands. And when I see pictures of the shirts with the sponsor British Coal emblazoned across them, I appreciate that the game was/is part of the socio-political history of these communities. Brilliant.

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Not that the "wonderful community" has been broken then?

I think 'broken' is perhaps going too far, but it's certainly different, in the same way that society in general has changed since those days.

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You're right - my brain hurts with RL at the moment. I've got loads of reading to do secularly at the moment as well so I'll save my RL stuff for my holiday.

The photo you mention isn't in my edition so I guess that's in the other volume. I'll have to track it down on Amazon/Ebay. It's hard to choose a favourite but I like the photograph on page 101, which shows fans standing on a terrace watching a game but in the distance looming over everyone and everything are the cranes of heavy industry (I have no idea where this photo was taken but I'd like to know). These two things: the cranes, the RL match, inextricably linked to the social history of the sport's traditional heartlands. And when I see pictures of the shirts with the sponsor British Coal emblazoned across them, I appreciate that the game was/is part of the socio-political history of these communities. Brilliant.

If you are particularly interested in the social history of the sport I suggest you get hold of Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain by Tony Collins, and even A Social History of English Rugby Union by the same author (the union one is a good cross refernce, as the two codes, in their early days were obviously very closly connected).

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Travel the grounds of the Championship and Championship 1 on a Sunday afternoon and I know you will find this community anything but 'broken.'

It is the single most important thing that keeps me (after 37 yrs) supporting Halifax.

(Note to self - must learn how to quote other folks' posts).

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If you are particularly interested in the social history of the sport I suggest you get hold of Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain by Tony Collins, and even A Social History of English Rugby Union by the same author (the union one is a good cross refernce, as the two codes, in their early days were obviously very closly connected).

I am interested in the social historical aspects of the game so thanks for the recommendations. I'm sure that Tony Collins was the academic on BBC's Super League show the other week, discussing the Heritage centre in Huddersfield - great place, I need to go there.

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If you are particularly interested in the social history of the sport I suggest you get hold of Rugby League in Twentieth Century Britain by Tony Collins...

I wouldn't. He doesn't even know which clubs attended the meeting at the George Hotel. If he gets that fundament wrong, who knows what else is incorrect in there?

I gave up reading it at that point.

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