Paul Loughlin’s autobiography set for release

Neil Barraclough

This is the first of a two-part interview with author Andrew Quirke, who here discusses Paul Loughlin’s upcoming autobiography and will later reveal details of his next two projects.

If author Andrew Quirke did not know how to multitask 12 months ago, it is almost certain that he does now.

The St Helens season-ticket holder has been juggling a full time job with writing two upcoming rugby league titles, and has recently agreed a deal for a third rugby league book in 2011.

The first – Paul Loughlin’s autobiography From Grass to Glassis due out was released in September 2011, with Graeme West’s autobiography to follow by the end of the year and a book on the Chisnall brothers also in the pipeline.

Quirke told Rugby League Books: “I’ve written seven books in the past, but I’d taken a break in recent years.

“My cousin works with Paul (Loughlin), and he kept saying how funny and dry he was. That got my mind going, and one day I rang Paul to put forward the idea of a book. He hadn’t given it much thought, but he’d had a cracking career and once we sat down and started talking it all came quite easily.”

Quirke has plenty of experience, having previously ghosted the autobiographies of Doug Laughton (A Dream Come True: A Rugby League Life) and Paul Newlove (Newlove: At the Centre of Rugby League) as well as being co-author on the 2001 title Knowsley Road: Memories of St Helens Rugby League Football Club.

On Loughlin, Quirke said: “He’s very modest and self-effacing, but he’s got a good story. He started playing for St Helens in 1984/85, and people do sometimes forget how much he achieved. But it’s clear from talking to other players just how highly they regard him.

“Paul was the only person to go to Wembley five times and never win. He was a Great Britain tourist twice, and his career started when there were still three point tries and finished with him winning Super League with Bradford.”

For Quirke, being Loughlin’s ghostwriter was also a labour of love. He said: “I’m a Saints fan, so it was great to get to work with Paul. That team of the eighties was the one I grew up watching while I was at school.

“It hurt Paul when Saints sold him, because he never wanted to leave. But now he always looks for their results first.”