John Collier

Born in Leigh, Lancashire, I have lived most of my life in Burnley but now spend my time between Waddington in the Ribble Valley and Castellon in Valencia where I work as a solicitor with a Spanish colleague. I am interested in language and architecture as well as sport, particularly rugby union, and although I am not religious I dabble in campanology. I prize humorous books – Wodehouse, Bryson, Jerome and Twain amongst others. “Grass-roots” or amateur rugby provides such a wealth of funny material it is a good place to start trying to write humour. The Mud the Beer and the Rugby is my first book; I hope there will be others.

As a youngster given the choice between reading and kicking a ball about I would be out the door like a shot. All the other lads at school were soccer mad too. However, between leaving school and going to university at Nottingham I became terminally involved, completely by accident, with Calder Vale, the local rugby union football club and although I continued play soccer when the opportunity arose rugby union has occupied the top spot for me ever since.

I have linked the book to a campaign to raise £100,000 for the Rugby Football Union Injured Players Foundation, a charity which looks after players who suffer serious spinal injuries and I know that, in itself, will recommend the book to past and present players as the rugby community has a strong tradition of generosity when it comes to charitable causes. However, it is unnecessary to have an in-depth knowledge of rugby or even to be a sports fan to enjoy the humour in the book and if it causes mirth amongst the wider community I shall be doubly pleased.