Rugby Book of the Year | Shortlisted

Fighting to Speak

by Mark Jones & Anthony Bunko

A talented yet ferocious player, and one of the acknowledged ‘bad-boys’ of rugby, Mark Jones’ on-field brutality was a direct consequence of the off-field torment he suffered with a debilitating stammer.

In Fighting to Speak, his revealing and uplifting autobiography, Jones explains how his frustration with his stutter led to a self-loathing and the internalising of an explosive hate that only playing rugby could release – with his unfortunate opponents often on the receiving end of his rage.

Sent off six times and banned for over 33 weeks for violent conduct during his career, the dual-code Wales international and Great Britain RL forward was desperately unhappy and detested the thuggish reputation he’d created. After one exceptionally ugly incident, when he broke another player’s eye socket, Jones realised that in order to defeat his demons and control his bad behaviour he needed help to conquer his stammer.

Mark Jones fought and won the hardest battle of his life with a steely determination and has now found the inner peace and dignity he’d longed for as a young man. He has decided to tell his story in order to seek redemption for his violent past on the rugby field, and to help others overcome their stammers.

Fighting to Speak
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