Mud, Maul, Mascara - great book!

Posted 04.02.2020


In the first memoir of its kind, Catherine Spencer shares a painfully honest account of her life during and after being an elite female rugby player.

As captain of the England Women’s rugby team for three years, Cath scored 18 tries for her country, won six of the eight Six Nations competitions she took part in, and captained her team to three championship titles, a European cup and two Nations Cup tournament victories.

Cath also led England at the World Cup held on home soil in 2010, which thrust women’s rugby into the limelight. In this book you feel the raw emotion of that loss to NZ in the final at The Twickenham Stoop and how that result it has impacted the rest of her life.

Mud, Maul, Mascara is Catherine’s effort to reconcile the contrasts in her life – showing us the real woman behind the international sporting success. It will resonate with women in sport everywhere.

In places, the honesty and emotion of this book makes gripping, yet uncomfortable, reading. It’s a no holds barred approach when it comes to sharing her thoughts on the RFU’s poor development of the women’s game, men’s football, Rugby sevens and those accepting Queen’s Honours (ahem).

I don’t think I’ve ever read a sports memoir that is so honest in its approach. It’s heartbreaking to read about the regret Catherine now feels following her decision to retire in 2011 – never achieving her ultimate sporting goal of winning The World Cup. The England team went on to win in 2014.

Big recommendation for this fantastic book. It’s very real and relatable. Warm, funny and incredibly inspirational – whatever your life dreams might be.

Available from all good book shops from February 6 or order online here.


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