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TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 5 February 2011
"The Iron Duke" is Bobby Windsor's story. The story of a rugby player from a time before professionalism. A time when the sport was played by ordinary men for little other reward than pride and passion.

Bobby Windsor was a hooker and, in his time, considered one of the best players in the world because of his ferocious tenacity. Windsor was a true master of 'the dark arts' (front row tactics) and his story will transport you back to a time before elite athletes, computer aided game analysis, massive pay days and strategic game planning. In fact, the nearest Windsor seemed to have been to a post match debrief was a sing-song and a punch up on the journey home. His were the days when the opposition were 'dealt with' on the pitch by the players and not 'talked to' by a referee. A hard game for tough men who left the rugby behind on the field and traded in match day aggravation for a laugh and a pint after the game.

This is a hard hitting book and it pulls no punches, like the man himself, but outside of the sporting elements it's also a moving tale of dreadful personal tragedy. Windsor has had more than his fair share of grief off the pitch and had to use every bit of his rugby playing grit and determination to survive. At times it looked as if he wouldn't make it and my hope has to be that writing the book has helped him deal with some of his issues.

Great insight into a much loved sport and a great character, a one off, with enough talent and grit to live his life like he played his rugby....hard!. Loved it.
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on 6 March 2017
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on 27 April 2017
The best and most moving biography I have ever read! Tremendous
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on 27 November 2010
As i have said in the title what you see is what you get and i would not have expected any less from Bobby Windsor.
I have known Bobby for many years from working with him in the steelworks and playing a few games with him in the steelworks side and his story and what he achieved makes you wonder what he would have been worth if he was playing today.
Playing in those days was not for the faint hearted and this comes over really well in the book,He has also delt well with the personal tragadies in his life.
A really good read
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on 18 January 2011
A rattling good read from beginning to end - good memories, clear insight, fabulous humour, far ranging,and straight talking over all the issues covered in a Golden Age of British, Welsh and Pontypool rugby. Reaches the tremendous highs of a superb rugby career and the heartbreaking lows experienced by personal tragedy with crystal clarity.Impossible not to feel pride at the achievements described and great sympathy for the hard road Bobby has travelled - thanks Bob, the memories and emotions all came flooding back.
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on 1 September 2013
An icon and real hard-man hero from my era. Fascinating insight and real nostalgia for a game that has changed hugely since those happy days. Even at my lowly level of playing you felt part of one big community that included internationals at every-day club levels.
I couldnt put the book down and enjoyed it immensely - by the end however I had had enough of too much criticism of colleagues and an over-egging of the violence - no need - we all knew how hard these men were.
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on 26 March 2016
Bobby Windsor was one of the hardest and most skilful hookers ever to play the game. This revealing biography, which draws on endless interviews with the man, shows him to be an excellent raconteur, perceptive analyst of the game that he loved so much and played for free, and a genuinely nice guy and family man, though he could be a bit of a rogue!

Rugby Union when Mr Windsor played was not for the faint-hearted and one had to be prepared to do things during a match that would no doubt today result in the 'aggressor' being sent to prison and the 'victim' claiming compensation and expensive trauma therapy!

Mr Windsor is scathing but not personally rude about today's calibre of players especially the much disempowered scrummage. I saw him play on a couple of occasions and would not have relished being on the opposing side playing hooker. The game was hard.

Read too about his personal tragedies, which are handled with open-hearted sincerity. The description of his beloved first wife's final days and eventual funeral cortège on its way to St Woolos cemetery is particularly moving as is his suicide dash to Tenby.

A great read.
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on 25 April 2014
This is a MUST read for any rugby player or fan of Bobby Windsor's era and, indeed, present day rugby players and fans who wonder what the game was like in its amateur days with only one referee and two "touch judges" ... no TMO, no multiple TV cameras, no interference from the touch judges, no big screen analysis of "dirty" play. The days when Hannibal Lechter could have been on the field murdering someone and the referee would ignore it. The days when Mike Burton was instructed to hit South Africa's Free State one-eyed lock, de Bruyn, to blunt his fearsome reputation ... Mick obliged, de Bruyn's false eye popped out and, when it was eventually found, he stuck it back in with a piece of grass sticking out of the side. A very entertaining book for any rugby forward and an eye-opener for a good few rugby backs.
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on 20 September 2011
The Iron Duke: Bobby Windsor - The Life and Times of a Working-Class Rugby HeroI have read hundreds of rugby biographies of some of the game's greatest rugby stars but this is by far the best, as it includes warts and all. It takes the reader through this great Welsh rugby player's life, including his scrapes with the law and rugby authorities, it also takes you through some of this player's saddest moments, which is written thoughtfully and at times with great sadness.

If you like rugby you will love 'the Iron Duke', especially as it was only written in 2010 and not at the height of his rugby fame during the golden period of Welsh rugby. You will laugh, frown and maybe even cry at his life but whatever you do, buy it!
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on 15 January 2011
I bought this book as a present for my husband. All I kept hearing was his laughter. He couldn't put it down and it was read in no time at all. Shame it couldn't have had more pages to it.
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