The Grudge

‘Epic . . . The Grudge puts you right on the touchline as the English and Scottish teams go to war’ - Simon Briggs, The Daily Telegraph


‘An absolutely outstanding piece of work, weaving in the strands of history, politics, sociology, dislike and tactical nous, which make the game probably the most remarkable ever played. The insights into the minds and roles of Jim Telfer and Brian Moore are worth the price alone' - Stephen Jones, The Sunday Times


‘A priceless read . . . quite outstanding’ - Huw Richards, The Guardian


‘Superb . . . a fantastic drama. The Grand Slam match was part of a political world . . . This is what gave the occasion its power, its glory and its ultimate significance’ - The Herald


‘Gripping’ - Simon Redfern, The Independent


‘shudderingly good’ - Alan Peary, Rugby World


‘marvellous . . . brilliant and revealing’ - Allan Massie, Scottish Review of Books


‘a compelling read’ - Andrew Alderson, The New Zealand Herald



  • Special revised and updated hardback edition published ahead of the 30th anniversary of Scottish rugby’s most famous season
  • Winner of the British Sports Book Awards’ Rugby Book of the Year, 2011
  • Short-listed for the William Hill Award, 2010
  • Movie rights optioned by the producers of The King’s Speech


About the Book:

Murrayfield, the Calcutta Cup, March 1990. England vs. Scotland – winner-takes-all for the Five Nations Grand Slam, the biggest prize in northern hemisphere rugby. Will Carling’s England are the very embodiment of Margaret Thatcher’s Britain – snarling, brutish and all-conquering. Scotland are the underdogs – second-class citizens from a land that’s become the testing ground for the most unpopular tax in living memory: Thatcher's Poll Tax. In Edinburgh, nationalism is rising high – what happens in the stadium will resound far beyond the pitch.

The Grudge brilliantly recaptures a day that has gone down in history when a rugby match became more than a game. This is the real story of an extraordinary conflict, told with astounding insight and unprecedented access to key players, coaches and supporters on both sides (Will Carling, Ian McGeechan, Brian Moore and the rest). Tom English has produced a gripping account of a titanic struggle that thrusts the reader right into the heart of the action. Game on.

Fully revised and updated, this special hardback edition is published to mark the thirtieth anniversary of Scotland’s most storied rugby season.




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