New book immortalises Newcastle United’s Championship success

Martin Hardy with copies of his new book Rafa's Way.
Martin Hardy with copies of his new book Rafa's Way.
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Newcastle United’s Championship winning success has been immortalised in a new book.

North East sports writer Martin Hardy has released Rafa’s Way, which follows the club from its relegation last summer to snatching the Championship title thanks to a last-minute goal at Villa Park.

Martin, who lives in Whitley Bay, was given unprecedented access to the club, players, manager Rafa Benitez and coaches for the book, which only went ahead after the club’s promotion was confirmed.

Martin, who has had success with two other books on the Magpies, said: “I’ve got on well with Rafa, had a chat at the start of the season and asked if he would be interested to follow the club through the campaign.

“The club was taking off like it did under Kevin Keegan and the division between it and fans was being mended, the club felt more united and I thought it would be interesting to capture that.

“Rafa thought about it and said he would do it if we got promoted. He was great. He let me watch training, meet his friends and join him at events in the community.

“I went to watch some away games with the supporters to see their side of things.

“You couldn’t have got a more dramatic end of the season, with a last-minute goal at another ground for United to win as champions.”

Rafa’s Way, priced £19.99, is available from www.touchingdistance.co.uk and Martin will be selling signed copies at Tynemouth Market on Saturday and Sunday.