1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Keep calm and play rugby!,
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This review is from: My Life as a Hooker: When a Middle-Aged Bloke Discovered Rugby (Paperback)
Be very careful where you read this book.......it had me laughing out loud at times as I followed the fortunes of Warlingham's Fourth XV.....!
What does a man do when in sight of middle age and with a successful career, things start to get harder? The answer seems to try something different, some more sensible than others......It can be a radical career change, taking up a completely new hobby, becoming an Open University student, or going in for tattoing and wearing leather...
Thus it was with Steven Gauge who at the not so tender age of 35 took up......playing rugby
In the professional game you are hanging up your rugby boots at this age, such are its demands and I have to admit I wince at times when I watch a game and see them go right into each other or ferociously engage in the scrums.....It really is a game for the fit
Things are however quite different it seems in the lower leagues of the amateur game where you have some seriously unfit men playing rugby.......a game for 'all sorts and conditions of men' of all ages, and sizes and getting fitter into the bargain, and making good friends on the way. So you're well into your 50s, 3 stone overweight, and amble from scrum to scrum? Not a problem! somewhere a team will have a place for you
Even at this level though, rugby demands a certain amount of commitment, with two training sessions a week and a Saturday game
On the way Steven has such a lot of fun... and pain. He gets hurt,he has to leave the field on account of injury, someone takes a punch at him, but then again he finds he has made friends for life and revels in the camaraderie that this sport is famous for
It is very funny but with some serious undercurrents. As with one of the other reviewers I started caring about Steven and the motley group that make up Warlingham's fourth team, for them to make a good go at things.I was laughing with them and not at them.Their game improves, our hero becomes captain, and his ability to inspire loyalty in his team-mates becomes very clear and beyond doubt
I could not but empathise with Steven's experience on the committee - and having been on committees I can assure him that it's not only sports teams that have this problem. I was on a committee myself when I was his age (I'm now in my 60s) for many years but I was glad when I was able to step down. Unfortunately they're a necessary evil....!
Steven communicates the sheer joy and exuberance of rugby in his book and I for one couldn't put it down....I won't even try to pick out bits I really enjoyed it would be a shame to waste the others. He obviously loves his rugby and I hope he doesn't hang up his rugby boots quite yet......