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Fred the Needle
The Untold Story of Sir Fred Allen
By Fred Allen, Alan Sayers, Les Watkins

Very good hard back with dust jacket, no inscriptions. Slight creasing and shelf wear to jacket.

264 pages, illustrated
Pub: NZ, 2011, 1st edition.

Few New Zealand rugby personalities can truly be labelled "legends". Sir Fred Allen, though, is one of those rare exceptions. Allen is an icon of the game, universally loved and a true New Zealand hero. For years, the man who famously captained and then coached the All Blacks unbeaten through 37 matches in a golden era from 1966-68, has resisted the urgings of writers and publishers to tell his story. That is until at 90 years of age he relented. Impoverished childhood, War Hero, Rugby Legend, successful businessman, knight of the realm. Before he became All Blacks coach in 1966, Fred "The Needle" had already lived an extraordinary life. He served as a lieutenant in the 30th and 27th Battalions during WWII and saw more action than most in his role as a New Zealand commando. In the Pacific, he was badly wounded in the neck, but refused hospitalisation and instead chose to lead another mission with "my men". At the end of the war in 1945, Allen made his name as a player as a brilliant five-eighth for the famous and much-loved "Kiwis", the 2nd NZEF team which toured Britain and France. He then went on to captain the All Blacks in the two-test series against Australia 1946, in Australia 1947 and South Africa 1949, appearing in two tests in each series. Fred also captained Auckland and the North Island from 1946-48. Allen was one of the greatest post-war All Black backs, playing equally well at either first or second five-eighth. He had an outstanding record as selector-coach of the Auckland team 1957-63, including their 26-match tenure of the Ranfurly Shield, and of New Zealand 1966-68, during which the All Blacks won all 14 tests played.
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  • Seller location: Waimate, Timaru - Oamaru, NZ

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