A chance remark in the coach park at the Willows, after Leeds had narrowly beaten Salford in the opening round of the 2007 Super League season saw Rhinos pack leader and national skipper Jamie Peacock pen his life story, which is due out next weekend. |
Co-written with Phil Caplan, the pair first came across each other as Jamie was breaking through into the Bradford side and establishing a name for himself and Phil was writing player profiles for the Bulls programme as well as doing match reports.
With an idea germinated, a decision to go ahead agreed and a publisher chosen from among three who expressed an interest, work started in earnest just after Easter 2007.
Jamie takes up the story of the book’s creation. “I dug out my dad’s scrapbooks, which started the ball rolling” he commented.
“Phil went through them and the other background material to ask the pertinent questions, we had quite a few meetings and managed to get the memories down.”
“It took 15-20 minutes each session to really get back into the year in question but once we had it was a really rewarding experience reliving the major events of my life.”
“It didn’t change the way I’ve viewed my career” the current ‘International Forward of the Year’ continued, “although sometimes you do need to step back to see the wider picture.”
“I realised how fortunate I’ve been to be a part of the teams I have, be coached by the people who have invested in me and to play alongside so many top quality team mates.”
“I’ve been really lucky and had some great times but I know that’s also down to others and the book’s as much about them as me.”
“I found writing it difficult at first because I’ve never been one for putting myself forward in the public arena but I really enjoyed it.”
“I think it’s a pretty positive story that might be an interesting tale for people to read and just a bit different to the norm.”
“If someone, somewhere can draw some inspiration from it, then that would be fantastic, it’s been a tough journey but I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
“Maybe there are some young lads out there playing who, like me, might not consider themselves world beaters but through hard work and determination – along with being in the right place at the right time – can go on to have a memorable career.”
“More rugby league players should definitely commit their stories to print, I can immediately think of a couple of characters that would apply to and they would make very interesting reads.”
Phil outlined why he was so keen and honoured to be involved in the project, his eighth book about rugby league. “I’ve always held a passionate belief that the guys who play this, the toughest of team codes, without question, are the true unsung gladiators of the sporting world.”
“That is why getting Jamie’s inspiring story and unique insights out there was so important.”
“He has a wonderful turn of phrase, great perception and depth and a fine sense of humour and the hope is that the book has captured that and it will not quite be the view of him people are expecting.”
“There is no set way of putting an autobiography together, it is a bit like a jigsaw, but it quickly became clear that each season built with greater incident and intensity and it ends with a fitting climax of Leeds winning the Super League title and Great Britain their first Test series victory for fourteen years. That bit though couldn’t be scripted in advance!”
Leeds Rhinos’ newly crowned ‘world champion’ Jamie Peacock will be launching his much-anticipated autobiography, ‘No White Flag’, at Philip Howard Books, 47 Street Lane, Roundhay, Leeds 8, on Saturday 22nd March from 11am.
Coming from a forthright Yorkshireman and renowned patriot, his tale is full of honest opinion, anecdotes and insights which provide a unique look into the highs and lows of life as a top professional sportsman.
Included in it, he candidly reveals how he went from nearly losing his hand to becoming the ‘Man of Steel’ in 2003; how he was sent to Australia to serve an apprenticeship and eventually returned there to score a sensational Test match try; and the real reasons why he left Bradford Bulls after steering them to Grand Final glory.
Also at the launch will be the Super League and World Club Challenge trophies for anyone wishing to bring a camera.
Signed and dedicated copies can be reserved in advance by calling Ros on 0113 225 9797