As a phrase, “A picture says a thousand words” can be over-used, but when you look at the miles of column space devoted to Wales’s ultimately doomed 2011 Rugby World Cup campaign, it would be nice to have them all distilled into a wordless series of dramatic, emotional and revealing photographs.
Heads Held High from Seren Books does exactly that, albeit with the photos sandwiched by a pragmatic assessment of Wales’s campaign by Phil Bennett, and a typically poetic epilogue from Max Boyce.
For those of us who are still feeling the pain of that fateful night in Auckland when fate conspired to rob Wales of a deserved World Cup Final place, this book serves as a reminder of the immense highs and lows we all experienced during the Autumn.
It’s amazing how a photograph can take you back to a moment during a match, bringing it back to life and forcing you to re-live the emotions you felt as you watched it for the first time. As a piece of silent reportage on Wales’s World Cup campaign this is a splendid memento to have.
There will be many more books written about Rugby World Cup 2011, but few of those thousands of words will come close to capturing the spirit and fervent feelings we all experienced when a nation dared to believe that the impossible was possible.
“Heads Held High” is published by Seren Books.