Irish rugby legend Gordon D'Arcy teams up with author Paul Howard to write series of children's books

Former Ireland rugby star Gordon D’Arcy has teamed up with Ross O’Carroll Kelly author Paul Howard to publish a series of children’s books with the first to be released in October.

The first book – part of a series called ‘Gordon’s Game’ –  is an illustrated story “inspired by Gordon’s early rugby playing years”.

Speaking about the book series, Mr D’Arcy, a former Leinster and Lions player, said: “I am thrilled to think that my own story, reflected in the pages of this series, could inspire children across the country to take an interest in both rugby and reading from a young age.”

“It is such a joy to work with Paul Howard and I am delighted that the Gordon’s Game series will be published by Penguin,” finished Mr D’Arcy.

The book tells the story of 11-year-old Gordon from Wexford, who discovers the game of rugby before leaving for a new school.

Mr Howard described the project as “exciting and original”.

“When Gordon first approached me about writing together, I was aware that he had a really interesting story to tell. But what really excited me about working with him was that he had no interest in writing a conventional sports autobiography,” he said.

“He wanted to produce a series that children – including his own – could read. And from it, they might learn some of the lessons he had to learn in his rugby career, about the importance of hard work and never allowing success to go to your head.”

“In the first of the Gordon’s Game series Gordon tells his story with great humour and wonderful self-deprecation. I think children will absolutely love ‘Gordon’s Game’ and I’m really excited for people to read it,” Mr Howard finished.

Michael McLoughlin, managing director of Penguin Ireland, said: “We are thrilled that Gordon D’Arcy and Paul Howard have decided to work together on this amazing new children’s series and are honoured to publish Gordon’s Game this autumn.”

Mr McLoughlin continued: “Who better to introduce children to the incredible world of Irish rugby than Gordon and Paul? We think it will really appeal to young book-lovers and rugby fans alike.”

Mr D’Arcy received his first cap for Ireland in 1999 and was a member of the team that won the historic Grand Slam in 2009. He retired in 2015.

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