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Being John Stankevitch Hardcover – 6 Jun 2011
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Obviously a lot of his progression through the ranks was for him fairly easy, and like many players he has skimmed over incidents that fans probably wished to know more about, like Murrayfield 2002, for example
But it becomes a tale of woe from the minute he gets injured
The book should be given to all aspiring players as a word of warning. He was unlucky that he was injured but many just don't make it and their tales I would guess are similar
He also seems to be brilliant at making the wrong choices
A good read, well worth buying
By the time he retired at the age of 25, John Stankevitch had packed plenty into his short career, playing in 131 games for St Helens and 22 more for home-town Widnes before finally accepting he would have to retire.
He made a meteoric rise to first grade at Knowsley Road, making his Saints debut as a 20-year-old in the 2000 World Club Challenge defeat by Melbourne, playing in two Grand Final-winning sides, two more World Club Challenges and a Challenge Cup final, representing England A and Great Britain under-21s, and having a full international cap within his grasp...until he made that fateful tackle at Wigan.
John tells the story in his own words of how he fell into Rugby League by accident and from then on thought about little else.
Not being able to make a living as a player was a huge problem. John admits he had put everything into making the grade as a professional, to the detriment of anything else. He was qualified for nothing and his story since then has been one of struggle to adapt financially and emotionally.
In 2007 he came to an out-of-court agreement with Craig Smith who had caused the injury that shattered his dreams of representing his country and cut off his earning potential.
John is currently coach of Championship 1 side Rochdale Hornets and his story is far from finished . . . . .
If you're a Rugby League supporter (and even more so, if you're a Saints fan) this is definitely for you! John tells his own story in a straightforward, logical and unselfpitying way. Easy reading start to finish - you'll enjoy it.