Writer and journalist Geraint Thomas, a graduate of Swansea University's Creative Writing MA, has gone head to head with the best sports writers in Great Britain and Ireland.
His new biography Terry Davies: Wales’s First Superstar Fullback, published by Y Lolfa, was nominated for Best Rugby Book of the Year in the 2017 Cross Sports Book Awards.
It tells the remarkable life story of Wales and Lions rugby star Terry Davies, encompassing his childhood in Bynea, Llanelli, learning rugby in Stradey School, making his debut as a schoolboy for Swansea, entering the Royal Marines and winning his first cap before going on to become a household name.
The book narrowly missed out to the biography of Ireland and Lions forward Paul O'Connell when the winners were announced announced at a black tie dinner in Lord's Cricket Ground on May 24.
Geraint said: "I was delighted to be nominated and know how big an honour it was as I had to write a story for the Evening Post last year on Anne Lauppe-Dunbar, who was nominated for her novel, Dark Mermaids. I know Anne as we did an MA in Creative Writing at Swansea University at the same time. It's quite an achievement for two students from the same course to do so well and it's a testament to the skills of our tutors Stevie Davies, DJ Britton, Fflur Daffydd and the late, much missed, Nigel Jenkins."
Of the book he said: "Lots of people ask Terry why he waited so long to tell his story but, to me, the fact that he did makes it stand out today; now it takes you back to a lost age of amateurism, when playing for Wales elevated you to true cult hero status amongst the working class people.
"It's also far more than a rugby book as it records so much of our social history and a lost way of Welsh village life. It's packed with that special brand of rugby humour and my most difficult task was explaining to Terry why some of his stories were too risqué to leave in!
"It's particularly satisfying as a number of years ago, when I was just staring out in journalism; I approached a Welsh international about writing his biography but was eventually overlooked. I never gave up on that dream of writing a biography and now, not only have I achieved that goal, it has been officially recognised. It's the same lesson sports stars - or anyone who has accomplished something big - tell youngsters... don't quit, never give up on your dreams!"
- Friday 9 June 2017 12.49 BST
- Monday 12 June 2017 14.53 BST