Exclusive interview with Ian Heads OAM Former editor of now defunct Rugby League Week on the Grapple 2017-05-25

The Grapple team Exclusively chat with with Ian Head OAM Former editor of now defunct Rugby League Week about his close relationship with Rugby League, the highlights and even releases a never before admitted secret listen in to the podcast for that gem.

Highly respected journalist, historian, author and storyteller Mr Ian Heads OAM who has covered the passing parade of Australian sport for  50 years.

Since 1988 Ian has been the author or co-author of more than 40 books and from 1981 to 1987 was the Managing Editor of the now defunct 47 year old Rugby League Week.

Some of Ian’s 40 books either as author or co-author include:

The History of Souths, 1908-1985 (1985)                                                     

200 Years of Australian Sport: a Glorious Obsession  With G. Lester. (1988)  

Played Strong Done Fine: the Jack Gibson Collection (1988)                    

Backpage:  Australian Greatest Sporting Moments  (1989)


Sterlo – the Story of a ChampionPeter Sterling (1989)                           

Local Hero – the Wayne Pearce Story (1990)

Quick Whit – The Mike Whitney Story (1993)                                              

Balmain Benny: The Stormy League Career of Ben Elias (1993)

The Kangaroos: The Saga of Rugby League’s Great Tours (1994)             

Straight Between The Posts: The Legendary Frank Hyde and His Stories  (1995)

Taylor Made: A Year in the Life of Australia’s Cricket Captain Mark Taylor (1995)

Hard Man: a Life in Football. Noel ‘Ned’ Kelly (1996)                             

Arko: my game. Ken Arthurson (1997)

Mark Taylor: Time to Declare. An Autobiography. (1999)                        

Nothing Great is Easy: the Des Renford story. 2000

Ian Thorpe: The Journey. (2000)                                                                  

Saints: the Legend Lives On: History of the St. George Rugby League Football Club (2001)

My Story: Louise Sauvage. (2002)                                                                

Never Say Die. The Fight to Save The Rabbitohs.

With Spirit & Courage: the Extraordinary Life of Paul Featherstone. (2002). Paul Featherstone is Australia's most well-known Ambulance Paramedic who has been involved in rescue missions for the Mt Thredbo disaster, The Granville Train Disaster, The Bali Bombings, and The Beaconsfield Mine Rescue


Big Artie: the autobiography.   Arthur Beetson (2004)                               

Matthew Burke: a rugby life. (2005)

The Golden Girl: Tributes in words and pictures to the legendary Betty Cuthbert. (2006)

The Wide World of Ken Sutcliffe (2009)                                                      

And The Crowd Went Wild. Sporting Days that That Thrilled a Nation. (2010)

The Night the Music Died – How a Bunch of Bushies forged Rugby League’s Last Great Fairytale  (2014)

Richie - The Man Behind the Legend. With Norman Tasker. (2015)


In his five decades covering sport, Ian thinks the story of the Western Division and the Amco Cup is the best football story he's come across.

The Amco Cup was a new rugby league competition that began in 1974. The Western Division, a team from country NSW, included miners, a farmer, a greyhound trainer, a policeman, and a brickie. Against all the odds, and expectations, the Western Division took home the Cup.

Ian is currently working on a book about the intriguing background of Balmain’s big upset win over the Rabbits in the 1969 Grand Final called The Great Grand Final Heist.

It will be released around July this year.

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