Queensland’s favourite son and one of rugby league’s all-time greats Johnathan Thurston has announced that, along with his final NRL season, he’ll also be telling his incredible rags-to-riches story via a tell-all autobiography.
HarperCollins confirmed they will be releasing the as-yet untitled book, written in collaboration with NewsCorp journalist James Phelps, will chart Thurston’s life from his early upbringings in outer Brisbane, to his struggles as a burgeoning league player deemed too small, too skinny, and too slow to play professionally, to carving out one of the most remarkable professional sporting careers Australia has ever seen.
Thurston, following the announcement of the book, remained his usual humble self, stating he was still shocked that people are interested in reading about him.
My story started in the backyard of a housing commission house in Sunnybank Hills. All these years later and despite my achievements, I am still blown away and completely humbled that people want to read my story.
Collaborator Phelps stated that the book will be a remarkably in-depth and surprising dive into Thurston’s incredible and unlikely rise through the ranks of rugby league, and will cover the harrowing time in which Thurston seriously considered walking away from the game.
I thought I knew everything about this Australian sporting legend. I didn’t. No one does. But soon they will. J.T. gave me access to all his personal files for the project and all the knockbacks, contracts, and deals will be laid bare for the first time. He opens up on the setbacks and scandals. On the agony and pain. On love and hate — and on the time he almost walked away from rugby league. But this story doesn’t begin with medals and trophies, it begins in a Brisbane backyard; with a boy, a ball, and a bloody big dream.
JT confirmed earlier this year that Season 2018 will be his last in the NRL, bringing to a close a remarkable career that has seen him become the first-ever four-time Dally M Award winner, as well as a tenured servant of Queensland’s State of Origin side; a career that saw him bring a long-awaited premiership to North Queensland, and become a legend of the game in just about ever measurable metric.
The book is set to be released this coming October, following the conclusion of the 2018 NRL season.Image: Getty Images / Ian Hitchcock