Along the way he met the people whose enthusiasm for the game has made it so durable - current and former internationals as well as others involved at all levels - as well as a few miserable old gits for balance. In this intimate account, Hadfield observes the way rugby league fits into the history and sociology of towns like Wigan and Castleford, with which it is synonymous. His record of the journey is in the great tradition of writers from Wordsworth to Laurie Lee, who found in long walks the perfect medium to explore and reflect upon their surroundings. Up and Over is the definitive book about the game and the local passions it engenders, as Hadfield seeks out the poignant and the humorous on a personal journey of discovery. For those who follow rugby league, it will give a unique perspective on the parts of the world they know intimately; for others it will be an introduction to a different world, seen via one of the elements that gives it its identity.
Dave Hadfield has been the rugby league correspondent for The Independent since 1990. He is also the author of XIII Winters: Reflections on Rugby League and XIII Worlds: Pursuing Rugby League Around the Globe. He currently lives in Bolton.
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