on 9 May 2012
Malcolm Alker may not be a household name in the world of sport but in Salford he was a Trojan , a never say die gladiator . Salford RLFC have always been the proverbial underachievers but one day a kid called Malcolm came into the side as understudy to the great Kiwi Hooker Peter Edwards, that Kid became the clubs youngest ever captain at 19 .Stalwart of 14 seasons, a tackle machine amassing an incredible 1000 tackles in one solitary season a feat only bettered by legendary parramatta warhorse Nathan Hindmarsh. Alker has never backed down either on the field or off it, the latter ultimately resulted in being stripped of his title as club captain. Alker reveals all about his life on the streets of billinge,his life aboard his parents narrowboat on Salford quays and the regular fist fights with anybody who dared to take Alker or his brothers on .ultimately it's a brutal account of the physical demands that are bestowed upon a professional sportsman ,a sport that in terms of impact ,is equivalent to being hit by a car ,Alker reveals how despite being super fit his body was catching up with him and became addicted to painkillers ,not just your generic paracetamol but the powerful ,addictive and accessible Tramadol. Alker reveals how flirted with recreational drugs a fact that is indicative of today's society ,cocaine wasn't his only dabble,Alker reveals his foray into the world of Human Growth hormone abuse ,HGH is prevalent in rugby league and enhances growth and recuperation fortunately for Alker he wasn't successful with this course and never actually played a game under the influence of HGH. Alker lifts the lid on the Jacksonville brawl that resulted him in being stripped of the captaincy.At long last the Salford supporters will finally understand the constraints that were imposed on Alker and the coaching staff, and how his exit from the club was unjust and an act of hidden agendas by those he trusted the most. The Devil Within is more than just a sports book, it's about life,love,brawls,booze and bravery.
For me there was only one Malcolm Alker and he will always be a Red Legend. My Salford Son.
on 24 June 2012
I have supported the Salford City Reds for over 50 yrs and in the course of that time have become a 'sponge' when anything is either written or spoken about them and/or Rugby League in general. Malcolm Alker's book - The Devil Within, pulls no punches. It is an honest [sometimes embarrassingly honest] account of life as a rugby league player and in particular, life as a Salford City Reds rugby league player. A thoroughly good, easy read, if not a little repetative in places, but one that i read in 3 sessions. Somebody famously once said, " ..... you want the truth ..... you can't handle the truth ! " Well here is one version of the truth that will split opinion right down the middle. Fair play to the author for putting pen to paper. I can recommend this book to anyone remotely interested in Rugby League or sport in general.