Hertford Highlander

Book launch planned and you are all invited

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :All Blacks, Original Content, Springboks, Super Rugby on 3 Jul 2011 at 04:06
Tagged with : , , , , ,

As momentum gathers towards next weekend’s Super 15 Final at Suncorp Stadium between the Queensland Reds and the Crusaders, I am wasting no time in writing my book. Here is an extract exclusive to Sharksworld.

Beauden Simpson was 7 years old and he lived for rugby.

He played for the Belfast club in Christchurch and modelled himself on Sonny Bill Williams the clubs current favourite son, sometimes he convinces himself he is SBW, if not playing rugby then playing a number of other sporting endeavours.

Beauden’s mum (Abby) and dad (Terry) are separated and have been for some years.

Beauden lives with his mum in an affluent suburb. Beauden’s dad lives on the other side of town and has fallen on harder times in recent years, having lost his job some time back – Beauden doesn’t see him that often.

Beauden’s mum is a financial controller at a large corporate in Christchurch’s Central Business District, such a role enabled Beauden to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle – well that was until 22 February 2011 when his world was turned upside down by a massive 6.3 magnitude earthquake.

Beauden’s house was badly damaged however it was still habitable, even though it did not have running water or power. Like all 7 year old boys Beauden was quick to adjust, the biggest inconvenience to Beauden was not that his house was all but destroyed and it looked like they would have to move, or that his school was shut down or that his rugby playing fields deemed unplayable. His biggest concern was that his beloved Crusaders would not be able to play at AMI Stadium and that they would be forced onto the road for the remainder of the season (Beauden hadn’t missed a game at AMI last year). What made it worse for Beauden was the fact that mums work was closed, as it was located inside the cordoned off ‘Red Zone’ of the central city, all work at the firm had been suspended as the multi-national looked at the potential prospects of relocating their operations off shore and future employment looked bleak.

When Beauden’s dad – Terry, turns up unannounced to manually dig Beauden’s house free from the liquefaction that covers the entire property, Beauden’s relationship with his father is rekindled. As the constant after shocks rattle the city, day and night, Beauden rings his dad at all hours as he struggles to sleep. On the phone Terry tells his son stories of when he was 7 years old and how he use to lie awake at night struggling to sleep in anticipation of the All Blacks 1976 Tests in South Africa. With these late night phone calls Terry dredges up his childhood experiences with his own father. As Beauden is drawn into his dad’s walk down memory lane, Beauden is full of questions not only about the Crusaders, All Blacks and rugby but about his mum and dad and his dad’s dad – his grandad, who he has never met.

As the season unfolds and with the permission of Beauden’s mum, Beauden and his dad walk every step of the season with the Crusaders watching their team often in the middle of the night in front of Terry’s old television.

With Terry’s relationship with Beauden rekindled, his mind is cast back to the times he spent with his father during 1976 and the great memories they shared in front of New Zealand’s first overseas televised tests against South Africa. When Terry contacts his father out of the blue for the first time in 10 years, a plan is hatched.

When Abby turns up at Terry’s house on the night of the Super 15 Final, she walks in on three generations of Simpsons huddled around an old television beaming in live pictures from Brisbane.

As they all settle down to see if the Crusaders can attempt to defy the odds in the final match of the season at Suncorp Stadium they all know victory will lift the Super 15 trophy for the Crusaders team and they realise that it will obviously lift the spirits of the Christchurch fan base but they all wonder will it be enough to bring an estranged Simpson family back together once and for all.


  • Hey HH, not sure what you do for a living, but you sure seem to know your way around a keyboard! Keep up the good work, and don’t lose momentum with that book, this story is going to have a fairytale ending (if you’re a Crusaders fan).

    While I was hoping against hope that the Stormers could pull off a win, I just didn’t see them as having the required class, and I have the same feeling regarding the Reds. They’re a quality side, and have progressed immeasurably in a very short time, but the Crusaders are not going to give Quade Cooper the keys to the playground in the same way that the Blues did.

    I trust you official launch budget will make provision for plane tickets for Sharksworld members?

  • Comment 1, posted at 03.07.11 07:24:46 by Culling Song Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld Author
    Culling Song
  • Lovely work, hh :). Who will play Beauden in the movie?

  • Comment 2, posted at 03.07.11 08:06:53 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Great story! But what happened to Beauden living next door to Dan Carter?

  • Comment 3, posted at 03.07.11 08:25:12 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • @Culling Song (Comment 1) : ja also want one ticket 🙂

  • Comment 4, posted at 03.07.11 09:09:41 by franshark Reply
  • Good morning(after) all….

  • Comment 5, posted at 03.07.11 09:11:58 by franshark Reply
  • Is beauden a typcial kiwi name, btw?

  • Comment 6, posted at 03.07.11 09:48:33 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • You best get down to Brisbane ASAP mate, ‘coz every man and his dog is going to be wanting to do a story about this. 😉

  • Comment 7, posted at 03.07.11 10:48:59 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @The Sharkies Shark:Living next door to dan carter… Leon schuster could write a song (living next door to alice)

  • Comment 8, posted at 03.07.11 12:21:36 by bergshark Reply

  • @HH:all the best with the book.(Mention SW somewhere in there).

  • Comment 9, posted at 03.07.11 12:23:46 by bergshark Reply

  • @bergshark (Comment 9) : Yeah maybe Beauden is a memeber of SW in the book?? Ice will be jealous though coz he lives next door to Carter! :mrgreen:

  • Comment 10, posted at 03.07.11 12:32:59 by The Sharks Sharkie Reply
    The Sharks Sharkie
  • 😀

  • Comment 11, posted at 03.07.11 14:37:51 by bergshark Reply

  • if the saders win,then blackadder wouldve won superrugby titles as player (captain)and coach

  • Comment 12, posted at 03.07.11 18:57:27 by bergshark Reply

  • Good job HH 😉

  • Comment 13, posted at 04.07.11 06:59:33 by Jarson (AddicteD) Reply
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  • @Culling Song (Comment 1) :

    I’m sure the huge budget will allow for that! 😉

    @robdylan (Comment 2) :

    Sir Peter Jackson will decide that 😛

    @The Sharks Sharkie (Comment 3) :

    He might yet 😆

    @robdylan (Comment 6) :

    Only ever heard the name once Beauden Barrett (Hurricane/NZ Under 20)

    @bergshark (Comment 9) :

    Could be some product placement in there somewhere

    @Jarson (AddicteD) (Comment 13) :


  • Comment 14, posted at 04.07.11 07:22:43 by Hertford Highlander Reply
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    Hertford Highlander

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