Rugby Union Heritage Story. The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players. The Ellis Rugby Preview

Author – Stephen Cooper

Award-winning author Stephen Cooper was born in Birmingham, England. After Cambridge University, he was a MadMan in New York. Then London and Toronto. He first began writing as a travel journalist. His grandfather fought at the Somme. But refused to tell the tale and so inspired a lifelong fascination for the Great War. He has also played and coached rugby longer than he can remember. His first book, therefore, combined two of his many passions.
Praised by commentators as diverse as Fergal Keane, Sir Anthony Seldon, and Jason Leonard. It won Rugby Book of the Year in the 2013 Times British Sports Book Awards. Also, featured in BBC TV’s World War One At Home. And has been optioned for West End theatre. A regular speaker, Stephen lives in London. A second book was published in August 2015: ‘After The Final Whistle: The First Rugby World Cup and the First World War’.

Rugby Union Heritage Story. The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players. The Ellis Rugby Preview

‘The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players’

Foreword by Bill Beaumont CBE DL, Chairman RFU

Winner of the Rugby Book of the Year Award 2013 at The British Sports Book Awards. In the years leading up to the First World War. The Rugby grounds of Britain became training grounds for war. The Final Whistle pays tribute to the pivotal role Rugby played in the Great War. The book follows the poignant stories of fifteen men who played for Rosslyn Park, London.

They came from diverse backgrounds. With players from Australia, Ceylon, Columbia, Ireland, and South Africa. But they were united by their love of the game and their courage in the face of war. Stephen Cooper follows them from London to the Western Front, Mesopotamia, Turkey, Italy, and Dublin. Through some of the war’s fiercest battles. The Final Whistle is a must-read for any rugby enthusiast or First World War historian.

Press Reviews. Rugby Union Heritage Story. The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players.

“A fresh and fascinating take on the impact of the Great War, with a novel and moving focus” – Ian Hislop

“Stephen Cooper has written a haunting and beautiful book. Here we see the grinding slaughter and the everyday humanity of men hurled into the abyss of modern warfare at its most terrible. His book tells the story of men from one rugby club but it is a universal narrative of heroism and loss. He writes superbly and has produced a book of commendable scholarship. I cannot recommend it enough.” – Fergal Keane

“People use the word hero to describe sportsmen but the guys in this book are true heroes. A fantastic and inspiring read from the first page to the last.” – Jason Leonard, England & British Lions

“… a deeply moving book about the loss of fifteen members of Rosslyn Park Rugby Club during the Great War. The lives of these young men, all so promising, are poignantly and vividly recalled by historian Stephen Cooper.” – Max Arthur

‘This is a portrait of an age where boys grew to be men driven by certainties, where today we have only doubts. And for those certainties, they fought and died. Sensitive, original and profoundly moving’ – Anthony Seldon

‘Absolutely wonderful…the heroic story of some of rugby’s finest men, in harm’s way’ – Stephen Jones, Rugby correspondent, The Sunday Times

‘A fitting tribute not simply to 15 individuals cut down in their prime, but a paean to all those who died in the First World War’ – Mark Souster, The Times

‘…a book of stunning quality…a team-full of heartbreaking stories, each going in different and fascinating directions; poignant and powerful’ – Rugby World Magazine

Where to buy The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players?

In conclusion. This excellent book The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players. It is available from AMAZON.
Also, if you love rugby heritage. Many of our designs celebrate the great history of the game. Take a look at our Vintage Rugby Shirt Ellis Rugby Old Boys. In addition, we offer a stylish Vintage Ellis Rugby Polo XV Retro Shirt.