"'Literate, wonderfully vivid, funny, and offers a beautifully observedslice of sporting life and northern life' - Book of the Week, Sunday Times" "'No review can do this entertaining work justice' - Book of the Week, The Independent" "'A timely reminder of the game's unique appeal' - Books of the Year, The Guardian" "'Quirky, culturally insightful and deeply passionate' - The Times"
In the summer of 2003, Dave Hadfield, perhaps Britain's best-known writer on rugby league, set out on a 200-mile walk from Hull to Widnes, taking him through the heartlands of the game he loves. In the course of his meander, places he thought he knew already were revealed in a different light: from the Humber to the Mersey, he made fresh discoveries about the sport in which he has immersed himself and the landscape in which it has struggled and thrived.
Along the way he met the people whose enthusiasm for the game has made it so durable - current and former internationals as well as others involved at all levels - as well as a few miserable old gits for balance. In this intimate account, Hadfield observes the way rugby league fits into the history and sociology of towns like Wigan and Castleford, with which it is synonymous. His record of the journey is in the great tradition of writers from Wordsworth to Laurie Lee, who found in long walks the perfect medium to explore and reflect upon their surroundings. Up and Over is the definitive book about the game and the local passions it engenders, as Hadfield seeks out the poignant and the humorous on a personal journey of discovery. For those who follow rugby league, it will give a unique perspective on the parts of the world they know intimately; for others it will be an introduction to a different world, seen via one of the elements that gives it its identity.
About the Author
Dave Hadfield has been the rugby league correspondent for The Independent since 1990. He is also the author of XIII Winters: Reflections on Rugby League and XIII Worlds: Pursuing Rugby League Around the Globe. He currently lives in Bolton.