By Simon Ravens
Online shop price: £16.99
RIVERBALL is the fairy tale of Wharfedale Rugby Club – one of the wonderful anomalies of modern sport.
How has a small village in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales produced a club which has, for twenty years, played in English rugby’s National League One? RIVERBALL answers that question by following the team around the country for the duration of the 2014-15 season, and by revealing Clarty, Tiff, Adge, and the other larger-than-life characters who, over the years, have brought about this freakish phenomenon.
On a shoestring budget, but with an unparalleled wealth of spirit and humour, Wharfedale continue to defy the odds of the modern professional game. The backcloth of this portrait is the most beautiful ground in English rugby. The soundtrack to the book is the roar of the crowd at The Avenue – one of the most intense atmospheres in the sport.
RIVERBALL is that rarest of sports books: it spills the beans on a feel-good secret.
Apart from some tense moments defending down at the river end, as a player and spectator I’ve been enjoying my visits to Wharfedale for over forty years. It’s a quite unique club, and Simon Ravens has told an absorbing tale of its great achievements, and wonderful atmosphere. He’s also painted a broader picture of our wonderful community game – its passion and humour. You don’t have to be a Dalesman to find Riverball a great read.
Bill Beaumont, July 2015