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4.2 out of 5 stars31
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 23 October 2009
I got this book having bought it at a book signing in Limerick a week ago. Obviously I'm a fan of the man however the book was a real treat whether you are a rugby fan or not.
To most people, the author is the passionate rugby coach seen on the various Lions videos who has the knowledge and experience to get the best from his players. In his own words you get to see how he develops his coaching techniques and theories over the years. He writes with a very good style that is as accessable as his speeches.

His triumph is his ability to describe tense matches in a thrilling way, especially his account of the Lions tour of 1997 and more recently 2009. I was at the 2009 2nd test and it was a pleasure to read what he was thinking during and after that game. He pulls no punches regarding his comments on the 2005 Tour, and all I can say is that a certain spin doctor at the time is shown up for what he is. He is also firm in his conviction about what a Lions Tour is all about, the bond, the tradition, the teamwork. He always strives to get this right and has it as a precondition of the Tour.

The book is honest on his personal life too, and his comments about how Rugby has affected his family and his finances in the past are similar to what other 'old timers' from the amateur era have said. Needless to say, he owes Rugby nothing and if, as he claims, never coaches the Lions again, well this book is a fitting account of all his achievements, about which he is quick to share the glory.
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on 24 August 2010
I purchased this book on the back of the Lions hype after being fasinated by Geech. The book was a bit laboured to begin with with ramblings about cricket and the War, however, once he started talking about rugby it became very interesting - especially the lure of rugby league and a professional career. Lion Man provides an inside look at the toll coaching takes and the sacrifice Geech made, particularly the amount of time he took unpaid from his job to give to the sport. At times the book becomes repetitive, yet never so bad that you would put it down. There are moving moments in the book, most notably when a band member approaches him before his Scotland debut and asks about his father only to be told by Geech that he had passed away. The fact that his father never saw him play for Scotland still seems hard for him to accept. His arguments for choosing to play for Scotland, despite his wife's objections, are put forward providing humour. Intrestingly the book covers everything from club rugby to the latest Lions tour - giving his honest opinions on players past and present, with frankly brilliant stories about the Lions tours he has been apart of. For an autobiography its quite interesting and certainly Geech's story is one of the best in rugby terms and well worth a read.
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on 18 May 2011
The first rugby match I ever observed was the 1990 'Grudge match' between us and Scotland. I was only a 10 year old kid but my dad's reaction after the game said it all. He was gutted by the result but he told me a few things about their coach....a Mr Ian McGeechan. Fast track to 1997 and 2009 and the Lions tours to SA. I will never forget these tours. Immense viewing. Brilliant win in 1997, and so darn close in 2009. Sheer passion and pride in the Lions shirt. The architect of our success was...a Mr Ian McGeechan. This book brings back some exciting memories of these times. For a non-rugby playing man like me this book provides a superb insight into Sir Ian McGeechan. Particularly his coaching methods, his passion for the Lions shirt and what it represents, his loyalty to not only Scotland but to his Yorkshire roots and to his family. This is a solid book, but it is a bit disjointed and repetitive in places. Plus even I know that Willie John McBride was nae Scottish! Overall an enjoyable read.

Organised Chaos - I will always remember this!
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on 14 July 2010
...is how we used to address our teacher back in the 80s. As a young lad with undiluted passion for the beautiful game I was intrigued to hear what 'Mr McGeechan' would have to say about his time both teaching at a middle school in Leeds and playing for his country at the same time (no mean feat).

Yes it's not as fluid as more accomplished authors and yes some of the factual elements are a little wide of the mark but my small part in the history of Mr McGeechan was enlightening and us 'donkeys' and 'fairies' (forwards and backs) were never fully aware of the time and commitment he gave to making our start in the game of rugby the most enjoyable and educational it could be.

His memories of Firtree Middle School were a revelation and it's not every day that a sports personality will hold this time in their lives in such high esteem. To this extent I am aware that he still meets with his old teaching chums from then too.

Thanks Mr McGeechan! You infused me with a passion that holds true today and forever more and for that I am truly grateful.

Not a bad read either Sir.

Yours, Nick Brown aged 38 and a half. Firtree Primary School, Leeds 1981-85.

PS. I'll be reading this next with added conviction.Ripley's World: The Rugby Icon's Ultimate Victory Over Cancer
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on 31 January 2010
Sports biographies are often aimed at the devotee - those that will buy no matter the quality or insight of the words on the page. However, they are still books and as such should be well structured, researched and written.

This book isn't. It's mostly a series of unrevealing (though often interesting) mini travelogues through time. There is little revelation or thought provoking prose about playing for your country,the lions or indeed masterminding the greatest recent lions victories as coach.

If you love your rugby and want to read about the top line actions and feelings of around these momentousoccassions then this is a decent enough read. For me it lacks real insight, detail or indeed passion. Worthy but not up to the story that needs to be told.

The Ronan O'Gara of the rugby biography.
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on 23 November 2009
A fascinating insight into one of the great rugby minds of all time. Thoughtful and provocative the book is extemely well written and easy to read. McGeechan's insights into the Scotland and Headingly set-up are very interesting but the highlight is his story telling of the Lion's Tours and tourists. A must for Lion's fans, coaches and rugby fans. A great read - I thoroughly recommend it.
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on 12 February 2013
Ian McGeechan's writing style (I assume he wrote it himself) is quite unusual in these days of ghosted biographies - quite clipped and almost as if he were typing up notes, and organised by themes rather than in strict chronological order. But once you get used to it this is a really interesting read.

McGeechan was a fine player and an even better coach, who has worked with club, country and Lions teams in the amateur and professional eras. His book gives a real insight into what it was like to play and coach over a time of huge change in the game, and sheds some unexpected light on tactics and players he has worked with.
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on 7 January 2014
Great account of the man who not only knows what it is to be a Lion, but also embodies and represents the greatest team in Britsh & Irish sport. Superb.
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on 18 February 2013
Excellent autobiography that I would recommend to all. Very well written and extremely informative and funny, about a brilliant character.
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on 17 May 2013
Excellent read, couldn't put it down was such a remarkable story how one person was so synonymous with one side!!
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