For Reading Passport 2015, Gloucester players John Afoa and Richard Hibbard were reading Playing the Enemy and The Secret Life of Twickenham.
On 24 June 1995, at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, Nelson Mandela stepped onto a rugby pitch and, in front of an audience of millions worldwide, a new era for South Africa began. Playing the Enemy tells the extraordinary story of how that moment became possible, tracing Mandela’s history from Robben Island to Ellis Park.
Twickenham Stadium is rightly venerated as the home of the Rugby Football Union (RFU). While it may bask in this fame, the stadium’s beginnings were very humble. The land it was built upon was purchased in 1907 and would subsequently become the home to the Harlequins who would play the first ever match against Richmond. With such a colourful and celebrated history The Secret Life of Twickenham digs deeper into its history to reveal the many men and women, cutting across all social backgrounds, jobs, and positions within the RFU who have helped to build this iconic stadium into a globally recognised brand. It will reveal to all fans of rugby union the true history of the most iconic sports stadium in the British Isles with a compendium of facts, dates, figures and revealing anecdotes of England’s sporting fortress.
One of John Afoa’s favourite authors is Lee Child and his favourite novel is One Shot. “It is the first book I read as an adult,” he says, “and I was hooked by the story line and character of the book. I like reading as it’s a good way to pass the time travelling and to keep the brain ticking over”