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New book charts the return of the Vikings
7:50am Saturday 16th February 2013 in Sport
A NEW book about the Vikings is about to hit the shelves as Mike Healing follows up ‘Dreams To Reality’ with his latest offering, ‘Return of the Vikings’.
The book charts the phoenix-like rise of the club, and subsequent return to Super League, following its fall into Administration in 2007. This latest addition to the Vikings library tells how the club was rescued by local businessman Steve O'Connor and fought its way back, via the new and controversial Licensing process, to the top tier of the sport in 2012.
Putting the events of 2007 into context time is also taken out to look back at the chequered history of one of the world’s best known clubs, who despite periods of adversity, had risen to become the first official World Club Champions in 1989.
Moving through Administration, the re-birth under O’Connor and rejection in the first round of Super League Licence applications, the book covers both the ensuing off-field developments as well as the playing side of the club and gives detail to the considerable changes that took place behind the scenes, between the 2008 and 2011 Licence applications.
Healing’s informative account of how the club turned the failure of the 2008 bid into success in 2011 is enhanced by superb images, supplied in the main by club photographer Ste Jones, and takes an in-depth look at the Licensing process, the emotive subject of stadia, and the many changes taking place within the club as it was re-structured for success.
In addition to the author’s own observations further insight to the club’s re-organisation and resurgence comes from O’Connor, Alex Bonney, Julie Gaskell and former leader of Halton Borough Council Tony McDermott MBE.
Attention is also given to the two major innovations which saw Widnes again lead the rugby league world - namely the Viking Stronghold and the controversial introduction of the i-pitch. Equal attention is given to the highs and lows of the on-field action through reviews of the ‘in between years’ of 2008 to 2011 as well as an account of the roller-coaster return to Super League in 2012, supported by contributions from the coaching staff including Steve McCormack, Paul Cullen and Denis Betts.
‘Return of the Vikings’ (ISBN 978-1-78091-202-8) will be available through the Club Shop in addition to all usual retail and on-line suppliers in February at a cost of £12.99, while an e-book version will be available for £6.99 through Amazon, i-Tunes and Kobo.
If you missed your copy of Mike’s first book about the Vikings - ‘Dreams to Reality’ (ISBN 978-1-4251-5860-6) - this can still be obtained through usual retail outlets or on-line from Amazon, along with an e-book version.