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Behind the Thistle
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Behind the Jersey Series, Sport
Publication Date
01 October 2010
In Stock
Birlinn Limited

Behind the Thistle

by David Barnes & Peter Burns - Find out more about the author


‘Takes the reader as close to the action as it is possible to get, short of invading the pitch’ - The Scotsman

 Tales from the Terraces‘Really good reminiscences from hosts of Scottish rugby greats about a host of great Scotland rugby occasions. Weighty in all respects’ – Stephen Jones, Sunday Times

‘In turns comic, poignant, spine-tingling and occasionally tragic, its anecdotes provide a dressing-room keyhole for those of us who could only ever dream of getting there by any other means… a gem of a book’ – Alasdair Reid, Sunday Herald
‘This is a remarkable insight into what it means to play rugby for Scotland… For all those with a deep love of rugby, its contemporary sporting history and intriguing gossip this is an unmissable tome’ – Bill Lothian, Evening News
Based on exclusive interviews with players past and present, Behind the Thistle gives a unique insight into the drama and emotion of representing Scotland in that most rarefied of environments – Test match rugby. Drawing on first-hand interviews from a vast array of former and current players, from Russell Bruce and Frank Coutts in the 1940s, all the way through to the present day, the authors uncover the heart and soul of Scottish rugby, recounting the ecstasy of victory and the despair of defeat, drawing out innumerable humorous anecdotes and heart-warming memories. Behind the Thistle presents an inside access to the private moments in the changing and team rooms, on tour, and on the pitch itself. From the tension before kick-off to the tumultuous heat of battle and the high-jinx thereafter, this is the story of what it is like to play for Scotland, the sacrifices and joys experienced by those who have shed blood, sweat and tears in pursuit of glory in the international jersey. Absorbing, illuminating and compelling, this is a must-have for all supporters who have dreamed the dream of playing for Scotland.

David Barnes is a freelance journalist, covering club, pro-team and international rugby for various Scottish newspapers. In 2008, he was shortlisted for Rugby Book of the Year at the British Sports Book Awards for The Accies: The Cradle of Scottish Rugby. He lives in Edinburgh.

Peter Burns was born and brought up in Edinburgh and educated at the Edinburgh Academy. He read English at St Andrews University and then returned to Edinburgh to complete a Masters in Publishing. He is now Sports Editor for Birlinn Ltd.

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