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Former daily sports reporter pens biography of rugby great

A former regional daily sports journalist has written the authorised biography of a former international rugby player.

Mike Gardner, who wrote for the North West Evening Mail, has written the biography of Arnold ‘Boxer’ Walker, who played rugby league for Workington, Whitehaven, Cumbria and Great Britain.

Entitled ‘Boxer, The Life of a Cumbria Great’, it is set to be launched on 14 May.

It will be available to buy at the Evening Mail’s Barrow office, with a donation from every sale going to Jo’s Appeal – a charity set up in memory of former Evening Mail journalist Jo-anne Davies, who died aged 38 in 2015.


Jo-anne’s husband Matt Davies, Evening Mail sports editor, chairman of Jo’s Appeal and a former colleague of Mike, said: “This is a great gesture by Mike which we really appreciate.

“Mike has done a brilliant job documenting the life of Boxer Walker, and this book will be a must-read for all avid Cumbrian rugby league fans.”

Mike himself said: “Boxer was a writer’s dream. He was keen that the book should be truthful and a honest portrayal of his amazing story.

“Boxer’s life is full of highs and lows, from playing in four cup finals and for Great Britain to when he was stretchered off with a serious neck injury, and the crowd thought he had actually died.

“He was an incredible player who had the nickname of George Best and this book will be of great interest to Barrow fans.”

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