Terry Davies: One of Wales's first rugby superstars

One of the first superstars of rugby union, Terry Davies, reveals the truth about his life in rugby in the 1950s as well as the loss of his talented brother to leukaemia at a young age in his long awaited autobiography this week.

He also reveals all about what happened to that crossbar that was stolen from Twickenham in 1958.

Terry Davies - Wales's First Superstar Fullback by Terry Davies with Geraint Thomas is a tale of a typical working-class upbringing and coming of age before finding glory on the rugby field – is as much a social commentary as a fascinating insight into the heydays of amateurism.

The post-war period saw top rugby players in Wales achieve the kind of fame once associated with Hollywood movie stars and few captured the headlines more often than Terry Davies. The boy from Bynea, who combined the good looks of a young Robert Redford with silky skills and tough as teak tackling, went on to wow crowds across the rugby playing world through his displays for Wales and the British and Irish Lions.

The book tells of the remarkable life story of the Lions star, encompassing his childhood in Llanelli, learning rugby in Strade 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.

From the highs of touring New Zealand and beating the All Blacks in their own back yard to the lows of a career-threatening shoulder injury, his rugby journey, which began as a nervous 17 year old one rainy day up in Ebbw Vale and ended with universal acclaim, is real Roy of the Rovers stuff .

Terry also remains one of the few living Welshmen to have won a test match in New Zealand.

'Terry is a natural storyteller,' said co-writer Geraint Thomas, 'His book is packed with humour. He typifies the Welsh humour once so prevalent amongst the working class,'

'His tale is both a social commentary and cultural account of Welsh life pre and post war as well as a priceless account of a bygone age of rugby union' added Geraint.

'As a young inspiring player he left a huge impression on me due to the way he stood out from the rest.' added Sir Gareth Edwards, who wrote the introduction to the book.

The book is presented in memory of Terry's brother Len, who was caped for Wales before Terry, but died in his 20s of leukaemia.

Geraint Thomas is a Swansea Valley based journalist, writer and playwright. After graduating from Cardiff University's School of Journalism he secured a position as a news reporter on the South Wales Evening Post where he is currently still employed. He also writes the occasional feature for Swansea Life magazine.

His play, the comedy Roofless, which is set around the Welsh rugby Grand Slam of 2005, played in the Grand Theatre Swansea in March 2008.

The book will be launched officially at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli at 7pm on Thursday the 20th of October.