Category Archives: Sport

The day the Australia’s cricketers came to Sunderland

Sunderland Echo Article: The day the Australia’s cricketers came to Sunderland, 11th April, 2013

“WEARSIDE cricket fans will be bowled over by a new book. Today we take a look.

HOWZAT! A new book featuring Wearside’s links to a historic Ashes game planned for this summer has just been published by sports historian and archivist Keith Gregson.

Australia in Sunderland: The Making of A Test Match details ten games played by Australia within the town between 1878 and 1977 – complete with archive photos and documents.

“On August 9, 2013, the Australian cricket team will step onto the Emirates Durham International Cricket Ground for a history-making Ashes Test – the first ever on Durham soil,” said Keith.

“For cricket fans this is the final page of the final chapter of a fairy tale which started to turn into reality in the 1990s, with Durham County’s move to First Class cricket status.

“However, there is a already a solid historical link between Australia and the County, and nowhere is this more obvious than in the ten matches played by Australia in Sunderland.”

Wearside’s cricketing roots are thought to date to at least 1801, just before the Napoleonic Wars, when the first recorded local games were held on Monkwearmouth Shore.

It would be another seven years, however, before Sunderland Cricket Club – whose members would later beat the Australians during their first visit to these shores – was documented….”

Read the full article here.

Keith Gregson will be at Waterstones in Sunderland signing books on Thursday, 1st August 12.00 – 2.00.

Australia in Sunderland: The Making of a Test Match is available from all good bookstores including in the USA Barnes and Noble and Amazon, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones. For other countries Book Depository offer free delivery worldwide.

australia in sunderland

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Posted by on July 31, 2013 in Sport, Uncategorized


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Rare Photograph inspires Author



This August sees the first ever Ashes test match on Durham soil.  The most famous contest in the cricketing world first took place in Melbourne, Australia in March 1877. Writer, historian and musician Keith Gregson takes up the story;

“We had to wait another three and a half years for the first England v Australia match in England. However, the Australians did come over to Britain in 1878 on what is regarded as the first proper representative tour here.”

The last game of this tour was against a Sunderland side, one of ten Sunderland -based games eventually scheduled to involve Australia. Keith, who looks after the extensive archives at the city’s Ashbrooke Sports’ Club, decided to put together a book of records and photographs to celebrate the first Durham Test.

“Eight of Australia’s ‘Sunderland games’ were scheduled to be played at Ashbrooke – the first in 1912 and the last in 1977. The archives contain many rare photographs of these games but the one that stands out pre-dates Ashbrooke itself and Ashbrooke has been on the go since 1887.”

Prior to Ashbrooke, the Australians took on Sunderland sides twice, in 1878 and in 1880, just before the first Ashes Test in England. A photograph of the 1878 side is in club archives.

003b 1878 Australians retouched

“The photograph shows the entire 1878 Australian squad of 12 plus three officials and has bushes in the background. I searched internet photograph sites for a similar picture and came up with a blank. I sent a copy to one of Australia’s leading cricket historians who researched it and noted that ‘it did not ring any bells’. More recently a researcher at the MCC at Lord’s confirmed that they had no copy. It is an exciting discovery. ”

The story of ‘Australia in Sunderland’ is an exciting one too, packed with interesting information and flagging up cricketing characters, some well-known and others little known.

Australia in Sunderland: The Making of a Test Match is available from all good bookstores including in the USA Barnes and Noble and Amazon, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones. For other countries Book Depository offer free delivery worldwide.


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Posted by on April 10, 2013 in Book Launches, Sport


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Review of Rugby World Cup Argentina 2023 by The Buenos Aires Herald

Rugby column
By Frankie Deges

“The second book is the labour of love of a Kiwi-born, Brazilian resident Paul Tait. For reasons that beat me, he has written, in English, the very interesting “Rugby World Cup Argentina 2023” in which he analyses the many reasons why after the England (2015) and Japan (2019) World Cups, the following should come our way. He sounds like a lunatic, but some of the ideas he puts across are interesting.

Not that the Argentina Rugby Union have already taken notice of this book, but he has done a lot of research on what makes rugby in our country tick and how to best distribute such a tournament. I’d love to go with him on this one…the current national scenario makes me sceptic to say the least. But he has a dream and he’s put it over 286 pages of compelling reading.”

Rugby World Cup Argentina 2023 is available from all good bookstores including in the USAAmazon and Barnes and Noble, in the UK Amazon and Waterstones. For other countries Book Depository offer free delivery worldwide.

rugby argentina 2023

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Posted by on December 29, 2012 in Book Reviews, Rugby History, Sport


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The History of Sunderland Rugby Football Club RFC reviewed by The Northumberland Journal

A History of Sunderland RFC

“Books on North East rugby are few and far between, but the trend has been bucked by a fascinating history of Sunderland RFC. Titled One Among Many, Keith Gregson’s release uses the Wearside club as the focus for a much broader work, giving a superb insight into the development of the game in the region.”

The Journal reviewed the book in their Scrumdown section of the paper, a detailed full page review, and the full review is available online at JournalLive.

One Among Many is available from all good bookstores including on Amazon UK , Amazon USA, Amazon Japan, Amazon France, and Waterstones.

The book is also available in electronic formats – Amazon Kindle UK (and all Kindle countries), Barnes and Noble Nook, and via iTunes for the iPad and iPhone.

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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Book Reviews, Rugby History, Sport


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Founder of the Simeone Museum’s high praise for Hunt For The Blower Bentley

“A wonderful novel, filled with excitement”

Who better to comment on Hunt For The Blower Bentley than the founder of the Simeone Museum, Fred Simeone. Many of you will be familiar with their jaw-dropping collection of vintage racing cars in Philadelphia – which includes a Blower Bentley which Fred himself tracked down and lovingly restored. He draws many parallels with the novel and you will be pleased to hear him report that the Blower Bentley is a joy to drive.

They have more than 60 cars laid out in dioramas and displays. Many of them are simply priceless, being one of the most extensive collections in the world. There are displays that cover the history of Le Mans and Nascar, The Nurburgring, Brooklands and many more.

Fred was sent a copy of the book by the author Kevin’s father and it was back to him that the review of the book was sent. Fred even set about double-checking Kevin’s research for the book and feeds back that all the book research is spot on.

Hunt For The Blower Bentley is available from all good bookstores and on Amazon Kindle,  Barnes and Noble Nook, and iBooks (iPad/iPhone).

You can watch footage from the Simeone Musuem’s recent race day below:

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Posted by on November 5, 2011 in Book Reviews, Sport


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The History of Sunderland Rugby Football Club RFC by Keith Gregson nears completion

A History of Sunderland RFC

MX author Keith Gregson is currently putting the final touches to his history of Sunderland RFC ‘in its historical context’. Keith says that he is really pleased with the outcome.

“At first I thought that it would only be the Victorian and Edwardian periods that would be appealing with rugby union’s battle with soccer,  rugby league and  the question of professionalism, However I have found equal interest in the lmost recent  three or four decadeswith the reality of rugby union leagues, union professionalism and the growth of mini and junior rugby. Also what has happened to those in the older age brackets who now want to keep on playing competetive rugby till pensionable age”.

Keith’s book is timed nicely to be published during October’s World Cup and is already available on Amazon UK .


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Wilkinson wins 6th British Archery Title Using Sports Performance Secrets

Jackie Wilkinson won her 6th British Archery title last week and she revealed that she used her sports performance techniques to beat some very tough competition. Jackie documented her techniques, which can be applied to all sports, in her book ‘Succeed In Sport’.

In an interview a few years ago, Jackie admitted that before she used sports performance monitoring she was “just an average archer”. By applying the techniques, which enable you to track and improve your performance, she went on to win several titles including European medals.

Jackie said of her record 6th win:

I thought the course at Petersfield was difficult but the one they laid on at Castle Wellan was international level severity!  Some people complained that it was too hard but many of us loved the challenge.  I had a lead of 10 points on the first day but the second placed lady started strongly the following day.  I had to draw on all the work I’ve been doing to stay strong and keep making good shots.

Thousands of archers around the world use Jackie’s performance measurement techniques to improve their shooting. The techniques can be applied to most sports and the book has a wide variety of sports in it including golf, cycling, badminton, karate, running and many others.

Suceed In Sport is available from good bookstores worldwide and also in Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books and iBooks (iPad/iPhone) formats.

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Posted by on June 5, 2011 in Sport


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