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Ken Jones: Boots & Spikes

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Ken Jones: Boots & Spikes

By Steve Lewis

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Format: Hardcover
Other Information: 32
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 September 2011
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Ken Jones was a former British Lions, Wales and Newport wing as well as a sprinter good enough to win an Olympic silver medal. He died at the age of 84 in 2006. Jones started his rugby career with local side Blaenavon and Pontypool before joining Newport in time for the 1946-47 season. He won 44 caps for Wales - 43 of them in consecutive matches - which was a Welsh record until overtaken by Gareth Edwards. Jones scored 17 tries for Wales. He also played three Tests for the British and Irish Lions during the 1950 tour to New Zealand. An all-round athlete, Jones represented Britain at the 1948 Olympics in London and won silver in the 4x100m relay. He and his teammates were actually presented with gold medals because the USA were disqualified. But three days later, once home in Newport, he received a message to return the medal because the USA had been reinstated! Jones captained Britain at the European Games in Berne in 1954 and represented Wales at the Empire Games in 1954 in Vancouver. He was the Welsh sprint champion for seven consecutive years, using that pace on the rugby field to score 146 tries in 293 games for Newport, captaining the side in 1950-51 and 1953-54.

Steve Lewis lives in Newport. His latest book is Last of the Blue Lions an account of the 1938 series in South Africa.

About the Author

Steve Lewis lives in Newport. His latest book is Last of the Blue Lions an account of the 1938 series in South Africa.

Reviews

...a fitting tribute to a modest, dedicated man who deserves to be remembered. -- Simon Redfern Every so often, one stumbles upon an unexpected treat - a beautiful view across a deserted bay, a night sky replete with a billion stars, or a labour of love which tells of a hugely successful and very modest sportsman: Ken Jones: Boots & Spikes is one such delight. -- Peter Sharkey Every so often, one stumbles upon an unexpected treat - a beautiful view across a deserted bay, a night sky replete with a billion stars, or a labour of love which tells of a hugely successful and very modest sportsman: Ken Jones: Boots & Spikes is one such delight. This should be required reading for every modern-day sports star who craves our attention with the desperate intensity of a z-list celebrity because it offers a perfect template of how they should behave inside and away from the sporting arena. Ken Jones' sporting prowess may never be replicated. He was an accomplished rugby union international, winning 44 Welsh caps and representing the British Lions on 17 occasions, scoring 16 tries in the process. One of those tries, beautifully described here: "...He ran at all times with the sinuous grace of a greyhound and now his long legs stretched forth, flashing over the green and driving onward toward the goal..." was credited as the greatest of all time. But Ken Jones was also an Olympic silver medallist and, as this excellent biography reminds us, he won umpteen national athletics' titles. Steve Lewis's well-researched book enables us to relish sport and the behavioural standards of a bygone age. This was a time when players would embark upon long sea voyages (as Jones did with the Lions to New Zealand in 1950) and write letters home, telling loved ones of how they passed their time engaged in "...whist drives, brains trusts and quizzes." How the modern-day 'Twitterer' would fare is anyone's guess. What strikes the reader is the easy-going manner in which Jones alternated between top-flight rugby and international athletics. He was a fixture in the successful Welsh team between 1947-56, playing his final international the following year. Meanwhile, he captained Britain's athletics team at the European Games and represented Wales in Vancouver in 1954. His consistency and dedication resulted in this modest and unassuming man being awarded an OBE for services to sport in 1960. Lewis closes his outstanding biography by telling us that: "...what a trawl through the tomes that record such deeds will not confirm is what a damn fine fellow Kenneth Jeffery Jones was." It's an epitaph of which the man would be proud, though one which many of our modern-day sportsmen would fail to understand. -- Peter Sharkey I congratulate Steve Lewis, the author of the book, for giving me not only so much satisfaction reading this book, but also completely enlightening me about the life of Ken Jones. From his early days in school including Jones' West Monmouth Grammar School (my old school) until his twilight years, the book gave me a real knowledge of the life of Blaenavon's greatest sporting son. The book was indeed written in such a way from the first chapter that it was difficult to put down once started. The research, which made this book an exceptional publication, must have been so very time consuming but the result gives the reader an incredible insight into the life and sporting achievements of one of the outstanding sportsmen of all time. The foreword from another Welsh rugby great, and one of Wales' rugby legends from bygone days, Cliff Morgan, was indeed a great introduction and which in itself was testimony to the high esteem Ken was held by him and other contemporaries. This book indeed highlights the sporting achievements of perhaps the best sportsman Wales has ever produced. His like will never be seen again and I am extremely grateful to the author for writing such a factual publication about one of my great sporting heroes. The statue of Ken Jones mentioned in the book by Steve Lewis, will be erected when all the necessary funds are in place, and the people of Blaenavon will, I am sure, rejoice that the great man will at last finally be honoured and remembered as he so richly deserves. -- Lewis Freeman this book is a fine tribute to a remarkable and much loved sportsman. -- Mel Watman ...a grand hardback book that features stacks and black and white photos. -- Athletics Weekly Welsh rugby historian Steve Lewis has put together a thoroughly researched book that also highlights the standards in behaviour with which Jones and his contemporaries complied and which seem alien to so many modern stars, particularly in rugby. Lewis writes how players would embark on long sea voyages - Jones sailed to New Zealand with the Lions in 1950 - and pass their time engaged in "whist drives, brains trusts and quizzes." In the words of one reviewer, reading Boots and Spikes - another notable work given life by the astute Cheltenham publisher Randall Northam under his SportsBooks imprint - was "like stumbling upon an unexpected delight." -- The Sports Bookshelf

EAN: 9781907524059
ISBN: 1907524053
Publisher: SportsBooks Ltd
Dimensions: 23.37 x 15.75 x 3.81 centimetres (0.77 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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