by Gavin Featherstone
Gavin Featherstone's latest field hockey tales Hockey in the Blood are a unique and engaging collection of stories where field hockey is the vehicle which transports us into the lives of a curious and extraordinary bunch of people. Gavin has spent a lifetime in field hockey - much of it coaching at the very highest level around the world. World-renowned, you might say, in field hockey circles. In his third book there is suspense, fun, pathos and excitement to engage both the hockey fraternity and the general reader. For these stories are about life. There's Leo Pavlovic the Yugoslavian international who escaped Tito's clutches in the late 1970s and smuggled gold out of Johannesburg. A 'Mr Chips' style schoolmaster Teddy Carter, pioneers coaching in Namibia. An ex-Oxford Blue becomes The Chaplain of Manchester City and goes on to a Bishopric. An American playboy in Baywatch territory, down Santa Monica way, changes the face of field hockey televising. One of the great post-War players is now living on the streets of Canterbury. Another world-famous poster boy of more recent vintage makes an amazing return to ice hockey. And so these tales of men and women unravel. There is hardship and sadness, but bags of humour and the inimitable style of Gav, which can always raise a smile. He zooms in to the lives of a few and pans back to allow us to judge the state - and values - of the game. Several stories recount the dedication of individuals who, at unsung levels, have done incalculable good for the younger generation. Gavin is the working class lad who made good in the middle class corridors of an elite sport. Field Hockey followers far and wide - indeed any sportsperson who celebrates extraordinary tales about ordinary folk - will enjoy this captivating compilation. Paul Sorensen. Field Hockey Commentator. Includes 22 pages of color photos.