Thommo Speaks Out
By Ashley Mallett
'I just run in and go whang.'This is how Jeff Thomson, the fastest bowler of all times, explains his technique. Thommo was feared by batsmen all around the world. Sri Lankan Sunil Wettimuny recalls facing one of Thommo's balls: 'Never before or since that day did I know fear on the cricket field.'Mike Brearley, the Middlesex captain who led England during the World Series Cricket incursion, said of Thommo: 'Broken marriages, conflicts of loyalty, the problems of everyday life fall away as one faces up to Thomson.'Greg Chappell, Thommo's former captain, put it this way, 'I don't care if Thommo hasn't a clue where they are going, he'll frighten these blokes out. They'll be so desperate to get to the other end they'll run themselves out.'This is Jeff Thomson's story, from the cricket fields of his Sydney schoolboy days to the international matches and beyond, as told to Ashley Mallet by Thommo, his former team mates and his opponents.Thommo's legendary partnership with Dennis Lillee, a combination known as Lillian Thomson, was one of the most lethal in the history of cricket. As the caption to Paul Rigby's famous cartoon said:'Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - if Thommo don't get ya, Lillee must . . .'
Three Little Ships
By Lilian Harry
Lilian Harry's engrossing wartime saga about the heroes and heroines of Dunkirk.During just nine days in the early summer of 1940, nearly eight hundred 'little ships', from lifeboats and passenger steamers to small private yachts and dinghies, set off across the English Channel to rescue almost half a million men trapped on the beaches of Dunkirk. Among them were three very different craft - a London fireboat from the docklands of the East End, manned by skipper Olly Mears and his crew; a small pleasure steamer from the River Dart in Devon, commanded by twenty-one-year-old Robby Endacott, an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy who grew up on the banks of the Dart; and a small motor yacht owned by Portsmouth solicitor Hubert Stainbank and crewed by his sons, Charles and Toby.As each boat ferries exhausted men from the beaches to the waiting ships, under incessant fire from enemy aircraft and in a sea awash with debris and bodies, the men are unknowingly united by a powerful driving force - the urgent need to find one man, brother or son, who matters more to them than anyone else. Each of these missing men has a family, a wife or a sweetheart at home who is anxiously waiting for news...One sweetheart in particular is determined to play her own part in the rescue.