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Spoof biography Absolutely Huge takes long-awaited sideways look at the world of Welsh rugby

This week sees the publication of Absolutely Huge (Y Lolfa), the hilarious memoirs of Gethin 'Huge' Hughes, Welsh rugby's most famous imaginary player.


Affectionately sending up Welsh rugby and the media hype surrounding it, Absolutely Huge spoofs the standard tell-all sports autobiography format, charting the highs and lows of Huge’s remarkable and meteoric rise from youth player to worldwide star, and revealing the truth behind his often controversial career both on and off the pitch.


The book has already received great reviews, with The Guardian describing it as “an Odyssey for our times. Hilarious take on the chemistry between huge talent and the 21st century."


After a stunning international debut and glory for club and country, by the age of 20 Huge is on top of the world. He’s the biggest star in Welsh rugby, he’s dating the nation’s sweetheart Heledd Harte, and after one particularly heroic moment at Twickenham is voted Second Best Welshman Ever.


But the good times don’t last. He causes a diplomatic row on a Lions tour, gets involved with some calamitous product endorsements, falls out with his club, inadvertently incites a pitch invasion, and after one particularly embarrassing incident at the World Cup is voted the Second Worst Welshman Ever.


Things don’t improve after early retirement at 23. A disastrous appearance on reality TV is followed by a brush with death on Mount Snowdon and entanglement in a political scandal at the Welsh Assembly. On the eve of his playing comeback, and for the first time, the full extraordinary story of his time in the spotlight, and the subsequent wilderness years will be told.  


Absolutely Huge is a big hit with Wales and British and Irish Lions star Mike Phillips, who loved Huge’s antics:

"I couldn't put it down – hilarious from start to finish. If I'd got to play alongside Huge, even I might have learnt a few things!"


Absolutely Huge is the first novel by Luke Upton. Born and bred in Swansea, his first job was selling match-day lottery tickets for Swansea RFC in those last few glory years before the arrival of regional rugby. He now lives in London, and is a business journalist and Welsh rugby satirist. He co-runs @NotGavHenson, the humorous Twitter account with over 42,000 followers including a large portion of the Wales squad.


“I wanted to write an easy and amusing read that appeals to anyone who loves rugby and the larger-than-life characters it creates. At times the media circus around big-name sports stars can be a little ridiculous, and I wanted to have some fun with that,” said Luke.


“Though Huge is obviously an imaginary player, he has a mixture of traits from a range of rugby players who have graced the heights of rugby in the UK over the last 10–15 years; it’s a caricature of the kind of trouble someone in the public eye could get themselves into in these days of omnipresent social media comment. It’s also a parody on the media, and the way that they portray our rugby heroes,” he added.