Big few weeks ahead. Book is finally out on Aug 11th! Amazing to think how much has gone into the whole project since my initial scribblings over 2 ½ years ago!
I enjoyed doing an interview with the Clydebank Post yesterday and whilst talking to them, it made me think that perhaps it was a strange career move for me, as a Shropshire based Englishman, to have set my first book in Clydebank, Scotland! But after the interview, where we explored all aspects of why Clydebank, Glasgow and Celtic, I came away thinking and knowing that, strange career move or not, Jump! simply had to be set there. Or (as an adopted Scot) can I even now say, here?!!
But why Clydebank? Why Glasgow? Why Scotland?
Firstly, Clydebank’s rich industrial past in ship building provides the perfect background to Robbie’s story. The echoes of this world peek out from every corner of Robbie’s many comebacks runs and seem to symbolize his desire to rebuild his own body, rivets and all! The bleakness of this once bustling landscape seems to focus Robbie’s steely vision further, pushing him on and on.
Then, once I read about the incredible Celtic players of the 1920s, it became clear to me that Celtic, in nearby Glasgow, just had to be the focus of Robbie’s footballing dream. The Celtic fans seem especially proud of their rich history and, in a book drenched in history, this was a perfect fit.
When Joe Hart (who is from my home town of Shrewsbury) signed for Celtic, it felt like the stars were aligning and I was really pleased when he heard about the project and agreed to provide a foreword for the book. Joe Hart is fast becoming a legend at Celtic and I am very grateful for his support. Hopefully, Robbie Blair will become a legend at the club too- in his own way…….