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Goughy - A Tough Lock to Crack

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For over 20 years, lock forward Ian Gough earned the respect of rugby supporters as a hard, unyielding exponent of the game. Among his achievements, he can proudly claim to be a double Grand Slam winner who has made almost 500 club appearances, earning 64 full international caps. He played in more than 100 games for Newport RFC in the pre-regional era and afterwards with the Dragons. He also played over 100 games for the Ospreys, helping them win two Celtic League titles. Those are the simple statistics. But mere statistics do not begin to portray the character of this no-nonsense, tough but honest man. And his battles were not confined to the field of play. Having been stigmatised as a result of a court appearance following a domestic dispute, he fought relentlessly and successfully to clear his good name. Goughy begins where he has often been, recalling his Q and As for sponsors. The high point of his career? His first appearance for Wales. His low point? Also his first appearance, when Wales were, in his words, hopelessly outclassed. On the plane home he was engaged in friendly banter with Garin Jenkins who congratulated him for earning two caps his first and his last. But never one to lie down and accept failure, he reveals that everything he has ever achieved was done against the odds. In fact, this is the main theme of his autobiography. From his childhood in a broken home to the aforementioned court case, he has prevailed. It would have been easy for him to bemoan his luck. But no. This, he states, is not a story of someone who has struggled to overcome adversity. It is rather the story of someone whose struggles were usually self-induced. Indeed, one chapter is entitled My big mouth. Goughy pulls no punches. His comment describing the All Blacks as honest cheats was misinterpreted, leading to uproar in the press. He is deeply sympathetic towards manager Gareth Jenkins and the humiliation caused to him following Waless disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign. And one can only feel deeply for him as he contemplates the spectre of retirement. But looking back, he declares that his retirement from playing his beloved game is merely the end of Volume One of his life story. More to come, therefore, from this hard man with a soft centre. Lyn Ebenezer It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council. Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar, trwy ganiatd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru. -- Welsh Books Council

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