New novel for rugby league fans

Author Geoff Lee
Author Geoff Lee

BOOKWORMS with a love for rugby league shouldn’t have too long to wait before they have a new novel to get stuck into.

Geoff Lee, author of five rugby league novels including ‘One Winter’, and ‘Two Seasons’ is halfway through book number six and expects to have taken the final page from the typewriter by April.

I’ve always been interested in history and sport, and always wanted to give back to the game I got so much from

Geoff Lee

Set to be published by London League Publications, Geoff’s latest instalment does

not yet have a title, but will pick up from where ‘Two Seasons’ left the reader on a cliff hanger.

“I’ve always been interested in history and sport, and always wanted to give back to the game I got so much from,” said Geoff, who is originally from St Helens and now lives in Yorkshire.

“It took me eight years to finish my first novel and once I’d finished it in 1996, it took my two years to find a publisher and I was getting pretty despondent.

“But I’ve since had great feedback from people like Tony Hannan (Scratching Shed Publications) and journalist Dave Hadfield – even actor Mickey Rourke has read one of my books but he said there were too many strong characters in it to make a film!”

Geoff’s new book will be set between the 2006 and 2008 seasons, and in-keeping with previous books will be based in the Wigan, Leigh and St Helens areas.

A former electrical draughtsman, 76-year-old Geoff first set down to write in 1988, coming up with a completed manuscript for ‘One Winter’ in 1996, set between 1962 and ‘63.

But now having more time to write, the four books since have been completed at a much faster pace, and Geoff says they have an appeal which is much wider than the sports community.

“I write on issues that I’m interested in. The books, although based around rugby league, aren’t just for fans,” he explained.

Geoff says rugby league is much more well represented in bookshops now than when he first started writing.

Aside from David Storey’s ‘This Sporting Life’, there were few rugby league novels until ‘One Winter’, and Geoff is happy to see more people picking up their pens.

“It’s really important people with an interest in rugby league write about it,” he said.

“There have been more people recently, but people have to know about it.”

More information on Geoff’s new book, and how to order his previous work can be found at www.geofflee.net

London League Publications now has plans to turn the whole series into e-books.