This is the incredible story of Brian 'Stack' Stevens, born in a remote former mining area of Cornwall with no sporting background, yet found he had an exceptional talent for rugby. When still a teenager, he was playing against established international players but, with Penzance being cut off from the rugby mainstream, he would have very little recognition for a decade.
At twenty-eight, following some outstanding county matches for Cornwall, he was at last given an England trial. He won twenty-five full international caps for England over the next six years, including famous wins over the top southern hemisphere teams; he also scored the winning try against the All Blacks in Auckland and represented the British Lions in New Zealand.
He was under constant pressure from his father, who needed him at home on the farm, and this prevented him going on a second Lions tour. He temporarily signed for Harlequins to the dismay of his local club Penzance & Newlyn, and had to travel overnight to London for England training and Harlequins matches by hitching a lift on a broccoli lorry to Covent Garden and then back again afterwards.
Stack is still very much a favoured son throughout Cornwall, where the locals see him as `one of their own'. He continued to run the farm after his father died, and became an England selector when he finally stopped playing. In recent years he has suffered from a serious neurological condition but as ever he continues to battle against the odds. This book has been written with the full cooperation of Brian and his family by someone who played with him, and who remains a friend.
Steve Tomlin is a passionate Cornish rugby fan who has followed the Pirates since he was nine. He and his wife, Miquette, live close to their family and five grandchildren near Berkhamsted in Hertfordshire, but still gets back to his beloved Cornwall as often as possible. John Inverdale is one of Britain's leading sports broadcasters and journalists. Among others. he has presented coverage on the Olympic Games, Rugby World Cup and Wimbledon Championships.