From Swn-Y-Mor to Seattle - Nicko's rugby odyssey by Mike Nicholas. Mike Nicholas has spent a lifetime in rugby. A boyhood Aberavon fan, he stood on the terraces with Richard Burton before captaining his school’s rugby union team as they remained unbeaten for three years.
He then played for Aberavon Boys’ Club, Aberavon Harlequins and Aberavon Green Stars as a muscular scrum-half. Eventually, he took the Aberavon team by storm as a wing forward and was voted their player of the year for the 1969–70 season.
Tantalisingly close to a Welsh rugby union cap, he turned professional in rugby league in 1972 when he signed for Alex Murphy’s Warrington. Two Wembley finals in two years followed as he quickly adapted to the 13-a-side code as a second-row forward.
Denied the chance to play for Great Britain by injury, Mike changed his style of play from running forward to ruthless enforcer, with controversial results. Never sent off in rugby union, he experienced 15 ‘early baths’ in rugby league to become a legend of the northern game. He also played for Wales, including in the 1975 World Championship, later became the team manager and, finally, become president of the Welsh Rugby League.
In 2012, he was inducted on to the Rugby Football League’s Roll of Honour for outstanding service to the game.
The book includes contributions from friends, former team-mates and referees as part of his story. Contributors include Jim Mills – who wrote the foreword – the late Roy ‘Ockher’ Aspinall, Bob Blackwood, Paul Cullen, John Grant, Richard Greenwood, Alan Gwilliam, Clive Jones, Ken Kelly, Dougie Laughton, Mike Peers, Bobby Wanbon, Dave Wright and three men who Mike kept extremely busy – former referees Ronnie Campbell, Fred Lindop and Billy Thompson.
This is the fascinating autobiography of one of rugby league’s great characters. All followers of the game will enjoy it.
Published at £14.95, available from us for £14.00 post free in the UK