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Book's tribute to Swansea City hero Robbie James

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

Book's tribute to Swansea City hero Robbie James

Swans legend Robbie James

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THE life of a Swans footballing great who tragically died on the pitch has been honoured in a new biography.

Robbie James: A Life in Football, details the career of the player who made appearances for Wales for almost a decade and wound down his career with Llanelli AFC.

Author Gary Wharton follows the life of James, who made his breakthrough at the Vetch with the Swans, and remained a major contributor to the club's famous rise up the leagues.

His death while playing for Llanelli in February 1998 is also documented, with new, first-hand accounts from those present there that terrible night.

They included Tony Smolka, who spent five years with Llanelli, and was on the substitutes bench for the game against Porthcawl when James, then aged 40, suddenly collapsed.

Mr Wharton, aged 45, said: "During the course of my research, what I found was that whenever Robbie's name was mentioned, people always had an opinion about him.

"Whether it was his ferocious tackling, his canon ball shooting prowess, his speed, or as a person, people remember him.

''He remains a much-loved and valued sporting great and that's what prompted me to write about him."

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