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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 10 October 2009
I could not wait to read this book having been present at most of the games described within its covers.
I was not disappointed either,as it proved to be a trip back in time with revelations that made me sit back and wonder.
It was a time when no surname was necessary when talking of anyone in the red jersey,and the results of the team meant so much to the people of Wales during a pretty bleak period.
Season by season accounts brought the memories flooding back,I could almost smell the beer breaths and flowing urine on the east terrace once again!
The book tends not to pile too much glorification on the men who brought us the pride,although obviously recognising their undoubted skills.Interviews with all the usual suspects give substance to my description that even the gods have warts!
Gareth,Gerald,Merve,JPR,Phil,JJ,etc all give insights as to what it was like to play for Wales at that time.
Contributions are also printed from Clive Rowlands,and John Dawes who had to coach the elite.
Behind the match day build up details are most interesting with tales of those training days on Aberavon beach beside the Afon Lido sports complex watched by thousands.
A book generally aimed for those who were there as Max Boyce once said,but also one for anyone younger who wonders why those such as I can't stop talking about those halcyon days.
Buy it with confidence.
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on 8 April 2013
If you were there in the 70's following Wales you will love every second you spend reading this delightful book. It took me back to days spent at Twickenham, Cardiff Arms Park and Parc des Princes, and is beautifully written.
I did not want it to end.
You will not be disappointed... a wonderful tribute to JPR, Reames, The King, Gareth, Benny, et al and a trip down memory lane.
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on 10 May 2013
Seeing as I wasn't around in the 70's, this gave me an idea of why the players of this era were so revered by their peers and the country as a whole. It covers all the key events and is a great insight into how the players of the amateur era lived and played the game. This makes their achievements even more astonishing. The book is interspersed with the social and economic issues that were dominating Wales at the time and made it apparent why the teams success was such a welcome distraction for people who were facing cuts and redundancies etc. It is this back story that adds to the romance of the era and why people hold the players in such regard for everything they achieved during such an era.
Anyone who is a fan of Welsh rugby should read this, whether they were around in the 70's or not as this was a brilliant period in the national game. A great read.
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on 20 February 2011
I was there but never realised how good those days were or what had really been achived. The book was unbiased and full of anecdotes that I had never heard. A must for all rugby buffs whether you are Welsh or not! Got to be in every sports fans collection.
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on 12 December 2015
As an American, living in California and being introduced to rugby in the winter of 1973 while attending Santa Clara University, I and my teammates were lucky to have one of the top American rugby players as our coach, Mickey Ording, a prop for the Olympic Club of San Francisco. He had been on the Pacific Coast Grizzlies tour to New Zealand in our summer (their winter) of 1971, and had first hand experience of seeing the British Lions take on the All Blacks while on their tour. He also had somehow gotten a hold of 16mm film highlights of the tests, so that at a post-season get together, we were able to see Barry John, Gareth Edwards, Mike Gibson, and a number of other British stars on the pitch through those films. It was hard to get anything like that, pre-VHS and DVD age. Into the 80's it was possible to purchase a gem of a video tape, The Golden Years of Welsh Rugby, 1969-79. Of course I have the DVD now, and have watched those highlights time and time again, along with the original 101 Best Tries. I'm just about at the last chapter of this book, and have had a hard time putting it down; and I have learned a few things: some players for Wales did go "north" to league, information about various injuries and replacement players not always the first choice of selectors, how Barry John came to realize that he had what he considered to be unwarranted and unwanted fame and celebrity. This is a book well-researched and full of stories within a story by so many who played for Wales, and some against Wales, during that time. I'd recommend it to anyone who is a rugby history aficionado, such as myself.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 22 December 2015
Do not be misled, this book only garners a slightly under 5 star rating generally because one twerp decided to, as it were, abuse his/her/its button. I know, He/She/It Had One Job.... - to which this is my Block.. In my opinion there are two salient matters about sports books: A). are they good in and of themselves ?and B)., if one is lukewarm about the particular sport, ought you nevertheless to look? In fact this is for the Wales and/or the Rugby fan mainly, but all sports types will like it. No, this stands up well as a Rugby Book and one that, as a Wales fan I really enjoyed; especially as any side with Gareth Edwards AND King Barry John in it is the stuff myths are made of and impossible to say who is the more wonderful. It won't convert non Rugby fans but it will fascinate as this is one of sport's great sides, legendarily annoying in the manner they won, especially irritating to England fans across the Severn with their own team of scufflers; Max Boyce had a juicy target, 'Haitch Q' and all . Being a fan is not exactly essential yet not knowing about the legends surrounding the stunningly gifted early retiree who was Barry John would be a shame - a member of the OTHER 27 club that includes one G. Best - he really should be better known - and make this a terrific read; the awe others speak of him with suggests certain genius. And there's a gallimaufry of not-quite-rogues too and JPR isn't as nice as he seems...well how could he be, Junior Wimbledon champ, Medical doctor and all. It does communicate the ;lost world of pre Sport-Has- Eaten-Itself 1970s Britain in a way only Simon Garfield has managed, in 'The Wresting' thus right royal read if so inclined - the difference between VG and brilliant in a nutshell ("case more like," BF.). Top bobbing it is what it is.
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on 16 January 2011
As a rabid Welsh follower I lived the era and remember well many of the events in the book. The background and insight are fascinating. It probably takes a non-Welshman to write such a good book because we are so partisan about our rugby! I had never heard of David Tossell before seeing this book but I shall certainly read some of his other works on other sports.
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on 24 November 2011
A must for all Welsh rugby fans hopefully it will be an excellent christmas present for my brother who is a Welsh rugby fan
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on 3 January 2015
Very interesting.
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on 16 January 2012
Excellent book for those that follow Welsh Rugby. Great present for the Dads that have grew up with Welsh rugby and also good for the younger generation that missed out on the 1970's team!
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