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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book warts and all humour , sadness and a testament to of Man Of Gwent and Wales Mike " Spikey " Watkins, 2 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
As a former front row forward this book is a real gem having known and played against Mike his from the heart stories about his life his mentor Charlie Faulkner and all his rugby exploits it had me laughing and fully understanding how to reach your dream of representing your country Wales can turn sour by the people who run the game, it just echo's stories from friends and players who were involved in the Welsh squad in the same era. Anthony Bunko has a tremendous job writing and compiling this book a must read for any rugby fan i couldn't put it down
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling! Fascinating!, 28 July 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
Firstly, congratulations to Spike Watkins and Anthony Bunko for providing such a fantastic compelling read. Brilliant!
Welsh rugby: What a subject. What players – and what characters it has provided us. At the forefront is indeed Mike ‘Spike’ Watkins, a larger than life character whose book provides us with a rich, fascinating and sometimes surprising read.
Such a passionate character, a leader, determined, spontaneous. But also a very caring and appreciative person.
The book takes the reader through a range of emotions. Much laughter through the rugby stories and the unique relationship with Charlie, the passion and honor of leading your country, the battles on the rugby field, plus also a tinge of sadness in the unfolding relationship with his father, and the insecurities and dark times that Spike has encountered.
I have known Spike for many years inside and outside of rugby, and having read this book I am pleased that many others will have an opportunity to learn and understand a character who has sometimes been misunderstood.
A first class book about a very unique person carefully researched and meticulously constructed by Mr Bunko
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Michael J's First Cap In Journalism!, 19 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
Because I lived in Crumlin during the time Michael played there and being a member of the Welsh Rugby Union Committee from 1980 until 1995, Michael asked would I write an article he could put in his book. He gave me free licence to say whatever I wanted.
An hour or so later I emailed my contribution, which to his credit he has printed in its entirety, without editing one word. I have read the book and it is true to safe that it is a laugh a minute. It is a riveting read, designed to captivate and hold the reader to continue reading until the content of the book is exhausted, along with the reader. I was present in Ireland when Michael J did not get his first cap. He took this disappointment on the chin, like he has done with all the others he has had in his life. Well done M.J.W , you have contributed well and still have a lot more in the pen! Readers must buy this book, they will enjoy it from start to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Sports Autobiography I've Ever Read, By Quite Some Distance, 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
This is definitely the best sports autobiography, that I have ever read, by quite a distance. I bought the book and intended to read it on my next flight over to Bangkok. However, I could not resist just looking at a few pages. Once I started, I had a job to put the book down, and had finished it in three days. If I had not been busy, with other things, I probably would have read it in one day, it is really that good. Michael J was definitely a world class hooker and a world class character ! He can have your sides hurting, with laughter and a few pages later bring a tear to your eye. He has written this book, with total honesty and from the heart. I will never forget his first cap, my daughter was born, five minutes after Michael J lead the Wales team out, in Dublin. At the time Michael J was playing first class rugby in Wales, my late father was Chairman of Abertillery RFC, from 1980 to 1991 and we probably watched, two first class matches a week. During that time, if the Welsh team had been picked on club form, two of the people who would have been first on the team sheet would have been, No 2 - Michael J Watkins and No 9 David Bishop. On club form, both these players should have had 20 to 30 caps. One of Michael J's team mates at Cardiff, was Robert Norster, a drinking friend, of mine, for many years. If only half the stories, Robert recalled were true, I think that Michael J has enough ammunition to bring out a second book. If he does, I will put in an order for it, as soon as I can !
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down, 14 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
Hilarious, hard hitting, emotional...I've run out of adjectives to describe the best sporting autobiography I have ever read? Why is it so good? Because it is Spikey shooting from the hip as only Spikey can do....a fierce warrior on the rugby field, a brilliant cabaret artist off the field!....but behind it all a tough and emotional background that the author covers superbly well. A must read for every rugby fan....guaranteed you will piss yourself laughing one minute and wipe a tear from your eye the next.....a great read!......Alun Williams
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Without doubt the best sporting autobiography I have ever read - and I ..., 12 Dec. 2014
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This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
Without doubt the best sporting autobiography I have ever read - and I have read a lot! Mike 'Spikey' Watkins has the heart of a lion and is a gladiator of the game of rugby yet some parts of this incredible autobiography are very moving.

I met spikey in a bar in Bangkok 7 years ago, and I am honoured and privileged to be able to call him a close friend, but I feel that I know the man much better since reading the book.

This is not a run-of-the-mill rugby autobiography (which so many are with the author telling you how old they were when they scored their first try and how many they scored, blah blah) but this is a story of a battle against adversity and the 'establishment' trying to fit a square peg in a round hole but that was never going to happen to Spikey!

It is an inspiring story of how you can achieve your goal even when others around are writing you off. If you want it enough and you're good enough then anything is possible!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, 12 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
Fantastic book, so funny I ended up crying at times. it helps knowing Spike, but to be fair one of the best autobiographies I have read. It covers the ups and downs of a true character, who had the guts to not give up on his ultimate ambition, to be a Welsh International Rugby Player! I could not put it down and read it in almost an evening! Looking forward to the next volume!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldnt put it down, 2 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
this must be the best sports autobiography I have ever read. Made me laugh out loud and also brought a tear to my eye. 5 stars...well done Mike Spikey Watkins
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FANATASTIC READ...A MUST HAVE BOOK, 18 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
I never ever finish a book, im not really a reader of books, but was bought this for fathers day.
It took me just two days to read it, I couldnt put it down, there was many many laughs even a tear reading the book, and I would highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone.
I just hope that a film is made of it as it would rival "The Full Monty"
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best man won...., 19 Jan. 2015
This review is from: Spikey - 2 Hard to Handle: The Autobiography of Mike 'Spikey' Watkins (Paperback)
I gave this book 5 stars because to gain and keep my attention span in reading this excellent book, deserves a gold medal. Spikey Watkins reminds me of myself, not in the Rugby playing aspect but in the growing up in the 60's and 70's and experienecing the rough and tumble of valleys life and later on the hard work that met me after leaving school. Spike was a grafter like many others, in work and sport. Spike and Anthony tell it so well you don't want to put the book down. Here we have a man who worked his nuts off, came home to training and matches without the pay the gym monkies get today and boy you knew it when you saw him play or more so played against him. Welsh or not give this book a read, it's serious, funny and sometimes sad in the way Mike was treated but he's the winner he deserves to be in the end.
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