Tag Archives: tom palmer


combat zone coverOn Saturday I will host an event at Cheltenham Literature Festival. It is called Football vs Rugby. The idea is to find out which game is best.

There’ll be a quiz about different things you can read about each game, testing fans’ knowledge of their game. Then there’ll be a penalty shoot out at two different sets of posts, testing fans’ skills.

Who’ll win? I don’t know.

Which game do I want to win? I don’t know that either.

I am in a quandary, you see. I don’t know which game I like best. Football has always been my great sporting love. I have been to over 700 Leeds United games in stadiums from Scunthorpe to Real Madrid.

But something changed when I started writing the book above: Combat Zone, the first Rugby Academy book. I had to immerse myself in a game I knew less than a lot about. I went to games. I watched games on TV. I read magazines, books, websites, newspapers.

And I loved it.

To the extent that… I find it hard to say this… to the extent that… at the moment… on the balance of things… I like rugby more that I like football… perhaps…

It’s complicated. It’s guilt-ridden. I feel like I have betrayed someone, though I am not sure who.

But the evidential truth is that this season my daughter and I have season tickets at Yorkshire Carnegie, Leeds’ rugby union team and not at Leeds United.

Please join us in Cheltenham if you can. You can help me decide. Here’s the link.

Combat Zone is about a school rugby team whose players have parents in the RAF. Here’s the opening chapter.