A hilarious and, at times, moving and soul-searching account of rugby union’s rollercoaster days in the 1990s, told through the eyes of a player who saw it all as the sport lurched shambolically from the crazy final days of amateurism into the professional era.
Martin Bayfield has a story to tell. Indeed, some might describe it as a very tall story. Standing at 6ft 10ins, the former England and British and Irish Lions second row remains one of the tallest players ever to have played international rugby, and his immense physical stature made him one of the most destructive forwards in the world game. He played for England during one of the most successful eras in English rugby, winning two Grand Slams alongside legendary players such as Will Carling, Jeremy Guscott, Brian Moore and Rory Underwood.
His international heyday came at a seminal moment for rugby union when, almost overnight, it was transformed from a noble minority sport to a celebrity event, with stories appearing on the front pages of the British tabloids. Now Bayfield is ready to reveal the inside story of that rip-roaring decade that changed forever the face of English rugby. The book provides an emotional link between the generations, so that today’s fans can reconnect with rugby's soul. Renowned as one of rugby's best and most entertaining storytellers, the former policeman and Hagrid's body double has written a brilliant and very funny love letter to a sport that continues to inspire and entertain millions.
At 6'10", Martin Bayfield remains one of the tallest people ever to play rugby for England. As a second row forward, he won 31 caps for England and three for the British Lions during the 1990s, when he was also a serving police officer. After retiring from the game, he became a hugely popular after-dinner speaker. He has worked as a rugby presenter on ITV and BT Sport as well as hosting the BBC's Crimewatch programme, and was Hagrid's body double in the Harry Potter films.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (September 15, 2022)
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