James Stafford, the editor of The East Terrace, released two books on rugby in 2021.
Stafford’s An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby (art by Raluca Moldovan) was released in February 2021 by Polaris Publishing to critical acclaim. After selling out in late 2021, it was revised, updated and rereleased before the 2022 Six Nations.
The second book from Stafford, ‘How Wales Beat the Mighty All Blacks‘ (from Y Lolfa) is a children’s picture book based on the famous 1905 Welsh win over New Zealand. Illustrated by Carys Feehan, it sold out after just three weeks and had to be reprinted.
It was the top-selling children’s book in the Christmas English language charts from the Books Council of Wales.
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An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby: Fun, Facts and Stories from 140 Years of International Rugby (Polaris Publishing)
Released in February 2021, ‘An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby’ was revised and updated in early 2022 after selling out. The book is the only title to TWICE by named book of the week on The Socially Distant Sports Bar podcast (thanks to Mike Bubbins).
Full of tales of fighting clergymen, poisoned arrows and deathbed confessionals, James Stafford’s An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby takes a unique look at the games, the players, the legends and the myths behind Wales’s national game.
Blending fun and facts with trivia and social history, this is Welsh rugby like you’ve never experienced it before. Brimming with delightful illustrations from Raluca Moldovan and irreverent humour, this book will fascinate young readers and curious adults alike.
Praise for An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby
“An Illustrated History of Welsh Rugby is a big achievement and will frame the game for young readers and curious grown-ups alike. It’s earned its place, spine to spine with the rugby historians who inspired its author to fill that gap on the bookshelf for a new generation.”
Carolyn Hitt, Western Mail and Wales Online (Winner of ‘Welsh Sports Journalist of the Year’ and ‘UK Sports Journalist of the Year’)
“A lighthearted, but also weighty, well researched, passionate and fun and serious look at our national game.”
Gary Raymond, Editor at Wales Arts Review on The Review Show BBC Radio Wales
“A lot of fun…I was surprised at how much it packed in.”
Kate North, Chair for Literature Wales on The Review Show on BBC Radio Wales
“Just my sort of thing…I love it… been my go-to book for the last few weeks. A really, really good book. If you love rugby and history, I really recommend. Fabulous illustrations and really interesting.”
Mike Bubbins, BBC Wales and The Socially Distant Sports Bar
“…the book underlines…how rugby and Welsh society are intertwined. An impressive amount of detail has gone into [its] creation.”
Welsh Rugby Union article on wru.co.uk
Available online and in all good (mainly Welsh) bookshops.
How Wales Beat the Mighty All Blacks (Y Lolfa)
Written by James Stafford and illustrated by Carys Feehan.
- #1 Best seller on Amazon
- Bestseller – Books Council of Wales monthly charts (Oct, Nov and Dec 2021)
- Top selling English children’s book for Christmas (Books Council of Wales)
Fully illustrated picture book which will appeal to children (8+) and rugby-loving adults alike. This is the story of Wales’ heroic defeat of the All Blacks on their first tour to the northern hemisphere, in which they trampled all other opponents into the dust. The book focuses on Welsh captain Gwyn Nicholls and his decision to come out of retirement to face the biggest challenge of his life.
“How Wales Beat the Mighty All Blacks is beautifully illustrated by Carys Feehan…Children’s sports literature has gone up a few notches in the past couple of years…Now Stafford’s collaboration with Feehan adds to that material.”
Alan Pearey, Rugby World magazine
Available in all good (mainly Welsh) bookshops or online.