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Boxing Day, Melbourne 2010: a packed house of over 80,000 sits down to watch the crucial fourth Test unfold. Three days later, only 12,000 remain - and it's just the Barmy Army, celebrating as England retain the Ashes. They run through their full repertoire of songs, cheering on England's success. Meanwhile, the England players salute those who have made the effort to be there, spending thousands of pounds to support their side, inspiring them to another great victory. What was it like to be there? How did it come to pass that thousands gathered together? Who is the trumpeter? Who came up with the songs? What else do the Barmy Army get up to when the cricket finishes? This book answers all those questions, and many more, providing a brilliant and hilarious insight to life on tour with the Barmy Army. For those who were there, it will bring back a flood of memories. For those who weren't, this book will show you what you missed, and why you need to join in next time to have the time of your life.
Chris Eubank, with his jodhpurs and gold-topped cane, who lisped in his posh accent about his distaste for the business of 'pugilism', could not have appeared more different from Nigel Benn, 'The Dark Destroyer', the Essex boy who had battled with his demons to reach the top of the boxing world. Their boxing style was just as contrasting, and it was inevitable that they would have to settle their differences in the ring. Their first bout for the WBO world middleweight title, in Birmingham in November 1990, was a brutal affair, widely held to be one of the all-time great contests. Eubank emerged victorious over Benn, the people's champion, and immediately fans called for a rematch. But, for three years, the two men circled each other before coming together again in front of over 40,000 fans at Old Trafford and a global TV audience estimated at 500 million. Author Ben Dirs has interviewed the key protagonists to tell a story that gripped the nation and that still resonates today, 20 years on. It is a tale that reveals the best and the worst of boxing, while rvealing the truth that lay behind the public facade.
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