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Black Boots: New Zealand Rugby Legends by Phil Gifford


From a time when the All Blacks were the men next door - the pig farmer down the road, a local bank clerk or freezing worker, this book showcases evocative images from the classic era of New Zealand rugby. Until they ran onto the field at the weekend, the All Blacks were just one of us. They were unpaid heroes in the amateur era of rugby, which meant they had to hold down a regular weekday job too. It wasn't until 1995 that rugby turned professional following the Rugby World Cup in South Africa.


Many of the photographs also predate television, in an era when shops were closed on Saturdays and rugby dominated our winter weekends.


If you didn't attend the game you relied on newspaper and magazine photographers to capture the action in black and white. Fast burst digital cameras were yet to be imagined and sports photographers required great skill to capture the perfect moment on film.


This is an ideal book for nostalgic fans of the game. The dramatic photographs are accompanied by entertaining captions written by Phil Gifford.


Phil Gifford is a well known New Zealand sportswriter and broadcaster. Barry Durrant, opened his historic photographic collection to share images from the pre-1995 era when most players wore black boots. Former All Black captain Andy Leslie helped choose photographs for inclusion in the book.


Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Bateman, RRP $49.99

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