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Another thought, iffleyox.  Go to Sports Pages website (www.sportspages.com).  When they had actual bookshops, an hour or two spent there - either in Manchester or London - was a delight.  Where else could you pick up something as esoteric as The History of Shetland Football, 1887-1987, which, having strong Shetlandic connections, I fell for one day in their Manchester shop?  (I am, incidentally, assuming this website relates to the old business with two (I think) shops) 

 

As I say, they still trade on line.  Grit your teeth when you discover that 'rugby' on the drop down menu means only the dark side!  We are under 'other sports', as we know our place in nature's grand scheme of things.  I am reminded that some decades ago, Keith Macklin wrote about rugby league, including one book called The History of Rugby League Football, which I confess I have never seen, and another called The Rugby League Game which In have, but haven't read for years.  Has anybody read the former?  I recall Macklin as an honest if not overly exciting commentator on northern radio and TV.

 

Hope that helps you et al.

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Another thought, iffleyox.  Go to Sports Pages website (www.sportspages.com).  When they had actual bookshops, an hour or two spent there - either in Manchester or London - was a delight.  Where else could you pick up something as esoteric as The History of Shetland Football, 1887-1987, which, having strong Shetlandic connections, I fell for one day in their Manchester shop?  (I am, incidentally, assuming this website relates to the old business with two (I think) shops) 

 

As I say, they still trade on line.  Grit your teeth when you discover that 'rugby' on the drop down menu means only the dark side!  We are under 'other sports', as we know our place in nature's grand scheme of things.  I am reminded that some decades ago, Keith Macklin wrote about rugby league, including one book called The History of Rugby League Football, which I confess I have never seen, and another called The Rugby League Game which In have, but haven't read for years.  Has anybody read the former?  I recall Macklin as an honest if not overly exciting commentator on northern radio and TV.

 

Hope that helps you et al.

Keith Macklin always sounded like he was wearing a cravat. I have read his autobiography, A Two Horse Town, which was mainly interesting because he kept finding himself involved in the start of many UK broadcasting developments.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Especially as the event is being advertised with the line "His previous books include A Social History of English Rugby Union".

Might be an "interesting" evening!

https://www.salisburyfestival.co.uk/detail.php?id=440

 

Of course, that is indeed the title of one of his books, but I take your point.  At least some of what he has to say may not be too well received!  I have just been into Salisbury and got my ticket.  Are you going, WR?

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I've read This Sporting Life

I've watched This Sporting Life

I watched nearly all Oxford RL's home matches in their first two seasons before I moved

I've been to my first Super League match this year

I've watched the Challenge Cup Final every year on the BBC since about 1988

 

I want to know more about this strange new (to me) sport so question for the assembled masses given I drew a blank on Amazon last night:

 

Is there a decent one volume history of UK rugby league from 1895 to the SL era (not as interested in Australia because I'm still trying to get my head around the domestic game from a standing start without complicating it further)?

 

I've got one for Union, and one for cricket - never been bothered at all by football but I'm sure there will be one for them too. So, where do I start? Or isn't there one?

 

Any/all recommendations welcome. Ta.

This sporting life is not really a RL film. It isn't mentioned once.

The Jonathan Davies autobiography "Jonathan" gives an interesting look at RL from someone who knew little about it and was about to be plunged in at the deep end.

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All these suggestions are good!

 

But it also highlighted that we are overdue a decent book about TGG!

Given the quality of a lot of the books recommended above, what are you still looking for in a RL book?

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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This sporting life is not really a RL film. It isn't mentioned once.

It's absolutely about things other than RL, however I'm pretty sure it is mentioned *at least* once - the bit where Richard Harris forces his way into the ballroom and watches from the balcony as the compere introduces the audience to "our City Rugby League team."

 

I know some people don't like it because it has become a handy cliche for the knockers, but if BBC4 hadn't screened it on Rugby League Night in about 2012 I wouldn't be here. And watching the film made me read the novel, and the novel *is* a RL novel. So This Sporting Life has got at least one person into RL - me. I can't believe I'm the only one.

 

Jiffy's book is a good shout - thanks for that.

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It's absolutely about things other than RL, however I'm pretty sure it is mentioned *at least* once - the bit where Richard Harris forces his way into the ballroom and watches from the balcony as the compere introduces the audience to "our City Rugby League team."

 

I know some people don't like it because it has become a handy cliche for the knockers, but if BBC4 hadn't screened it on Rugby League Night in about 2012 I wouldn't be here. And watching the film made me read the novel, and the novel *is* a RL novel. So This Sporting Life has got at least one person into RL - me. I can't believe I'm the only one.

 

Jiffy's book is a good shout - thanks for that.

Yeah you are right they do. It isn't that I don't like it but it is more often touted as a sports film when really it isn't. You could replace RL with any bit of good fortune that'd drag a man out of his confines and it would work just as well.

Jiffy's book is good. My copy cost me a £1.

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Yeah you are right they do. It isn't that I don't like it but it is more often touted as a sports film when really it isn't. You could replace RL with any bit of good fortune that'd drag a man out of his confines and it would work just as well.

 

I think that's true - and redolent of a whole swathe of British film, eg Quadrophenia (bored of your job in the postroom? Try being a mod).

 

Have you read the book though? That's David Storey putting his heart and soul on the paper about what it was like being a rugby league star in the late 50s and early 60s. And (I believe) he mostly played for Leeds A side. Most of that didn't make it to either the screenplay or the cinematography.

 

If I can make a recommendation to the experts, if you haven't read the novel do. It's as bleak and depressing as the film, ultimately, but it's a rugby league book in the way it isn't a rugby league film.

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I think that's true - and redolent of a whole swathe of British film, eg Quadrophenia (bored of your job in the postroom? Try being a mod).

 

Have you read the book though? That's David Storey putting his heart and soul on the paper about what it was like being a rugby league star in the late 50s and early 60s. And (I believe) he mostly played for Leeds A side. Most of that didn't make it to either the screenplay or the cinematography.

 

If I can make a recommendation to the experts, if you haven't read the novel do. It's as bleak and depressing as the film, ultimately, but it's a rugby league book in the way it isn't a rugby league film.

I've not read the book, I found FM such an unsympathetic character in the film .  

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I think the book does a much better job of showing *how* Frank Machin became like that, and there is much more of a narrative arc. In the film, he just comes across as a fairly nasty piece of work - in the book he has got a much greater sense of idealism (although he still gets his trial by knocking out the club captain in an alley). As I say, I'd seriously recommend it.

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I have a book coming out in a couple of months called 100 Days that Shook Rugby League. Further details will be on here and in League Express.

Oi, this isn't The Graham Norton Show. Bloody luvvies muscling in. ;)

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Most of the books I read on RL are bit one sided I suppose but then i only interested in those played for Leeds...but another book also by Tony Collins  is excellent...The Glory of their Times celebrating the history of black British players in rugby league..this could also be included in the other thread on rugby league innovation ..though more on the lines of taking lead..should be something we should celebrate...when SL clubs or any rugby league club go to schools they should tell young kids...ok not get pay of football player....Anyway league first black person played RL was in 1912 an American soldier who was an american football player...George Bennett first black person to play for Wales in 1935..followed two years later when Jimmy Cumberbatch played for England....had to wait to 70s before first black person played for England Viv Anderson..Union did take lead on this in 1906 when James Peters played for England but did not happen again for over 80 years or same with black player representing Wales in union.  Football not had a black person as manager at top flight...RL done it with Roy Francis..for me one of the most successful coaches..though his fault Aussies allegedly became invincible ;) ..then Ellery Hanley...been coach of Great Britain....mentions too that in Britain as a black person banned from competing up until 1946.....Highly recommend the book...though would recommend also Lewis Jones former Welsh rugby union n Rugby League great for Leeds. 1940s - 1950s..great character...interesting thing in that was number of matches they played...players /some coaches moan but back then they played Christmas day, boxing day....it was a ridiculous amount of games something like 15 matches in 9 days..i'd have to look it up again. .enjoyable. :) 

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I've now motored through most of Up and Over - some genuinely laugh out loud moments, good bits of potted history, and the answers to some of those questions I had but never wanted to ask eg:

 

why "pie eaters"?

the geographical boundaries of the word "laike"

why Stevo?

who Stevo?

how Stevo?

etc

 

thoroughly recommended - I've obviously read lots of his articles but Dave Hadfield's prose works in the longer form as well.

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I've now motored through most of Up and Over - some genuinely laugh out loud moments, good bits of potted history, and the answers to some of those questions I had but never wanted to ask eg:

 

why "pie eaters"?

the geographical boundaries of the word "laike"

why Stevo?

who Stevo?

how Stevo?

etc

 

thoroughly recommended - I've obviously read lots of his articles but Dave Hadfield's prose works in the longer form as well.

I'd be interested in the second in your list. In my street, it was always a knock on the door to see if Blah was leckin out (kids round there didn't have proper names  :pickeat:  )

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I've just ordered Eddie Waring's The Great Ones & Other Writings for 1p plus postage from Amazon. Apparently, it is an expanded reissue of the original, and includes his 1946 tour diary. I'll post my impressions when I read it.

This has arrived. I'm starting with his 'Indomitables' tour diary and I read about differences in rule interpretations between Britain and Australia.

 

Both sides agreed that something should be done and that it would probably all be sorted out quite soon.

 

That was in 1946...  :ph34r:

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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Okay, so I have now read the majority of Eddie Waring's The Great Ones and it is a pretty good set of short biographies, written because, at the time of writing, there was virtually nothing in print about Rugby League. Many of the characters he covers have since had entire books dedicated to them, with far more information, but if you want to have a quick and concise education on Alex Murphy, Lewis Jones, Tom van Vollenhoven or whoever, this is a good entry point.

 

The bonus chapters in the modern edition, apart from the fascinating tour diary, comprises six articles taking a more general look at the game.

 

Add to that a very good biographical foreword by Harry Edgar and an afterword by Eddie's son Tony, and you have over 300 pages of extremely readable material. Eddie was a remarkable man who is remembered more for his later years, when his light entertainment persona and, later on, failing mental faculties made a lot of fans resent him as a cliche. But he was more foresighted than most people involved in the game.

 

One thing I'd never heard before is the Sevens tournament he promoted for Methodist youth clubs, which culminated in the final being played at the Royal Albert Hall! Does anyone know more about this? Obviously, it must have been on a reduced pitch size to fit in the RAH, but still, what an innovative idea.

"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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I've now motored through most of Up and Over - some genuinely laugh out loud moments, good bits of potted history, and the answers to some of those questions I had but never wanted to ask eg:

 

why "pie eaters"?

the geographical boundaries of the word "laike"

why Stevo?

who Stevo?

how Stevo?

etc

 

thoroughly recommended - I've obviously read lots of his articles but Dave Hadfield's prose works in the longer form as well.

1)Wiganers are called pie eaters as few have the requisite amount and type of teeth to warrant the term apple or brazil nut eaters.

 Pies are generally soft with mushy fillings and so gained popularity in the part of Manchester in which Wigan is found.

2) I don't know!

3-5) nobody knows!

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wiganers are called pie eaters due to a certain miners strike that occurred in the 1800s. All the miners from wigan and leigh went out on strike and all they could afford to eat was lobby.After a short period of time,our mates the wiganers turned bandit as they couldn't hack it and went back to work,thus the leigh miners said they had eaten humble pie to go back in and lo and behold called them pie eaters,with the quick witted pastry loving babboons in turn calling us lobby gobblers,truth! 

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