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Media Release: Johnathon Thurston: The Autobiography

Johnathan Thurston
The Autobiography

by Johnathan Thurston with James Phelps

A Boy, A Ball and A Bloody Big Dream.

Johnathan Thurston is Australia’s most celebrated and award-winning rugby league player. His autobiography follows his journey from a Brisbane kid who was written off as too skinny, too slow and too wild to play professionally; to his debut with the Canterbury Bulldogs in 2003; to State of Origin star; to Dally M and Clive Churchill Medal winner; and the fairytale premierships with the Canterbury–Bankstown Bulldogs and the North Queensland Cowboys.

Thurston says, ‘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. I’m honoured to have partnered with HarperCollins on this project and really hope everyone enjoys reading about my journey.’

On writing the book with Thurston, journalist James Phelps says, ‘I thought I knew everything about this Australian sporting legend. I didn’t. No one does. But soon they will. JT 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.’

Johnathan Thurston is widely regarded as the world’s greatest rugby league player. In 2015, he became the first ever four-time Dally M Medallist, as well as the first ever three-time winner of the Rugby League World Golden Boot Award.

Thurston is an Australian international, Queensland State of Origin and Indigenous All Stars representative. In 2017, he won the Human Rights Medal for his work in Queensland Indigenous communities and was named as the 2018 Queensland Australian of the Year. Thurston lives in Queensland with his family.

James Phelps is an award-winning Senior Reporter for The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. He began as an overnight police rounds reporter before moving into sport, where he was one of Australia’s best news-breaking rugby league reporters. He then became News Corp Australia’s Chief National Motorsports Writer and travelled the world, chasing F1 stories as Australia’s number one V8 Supercar reporter.

Following the bestselling Dick Johnson: The Autobiography of a True-Blue Aussie Sporting Legend, James returned to his roots to delve into the criminal underworld with a series of bestselling true crime books including Australia’s Hardest Prison: Inside the Walls of Long Bay Jail; Australia’s Most Murderous Prison: Behind the Walls of Goulburn Jail; and Australia’s Toughest Prisons: Inmates. His latest book, Australian Heist, explores the incredible story behind Australia’s greatest ever gold robbery. James is based in Sydney.

For further information or to request a review copy or interview
please contact:
Lara Wallace, Non‐Fiction Campaign Manager
E: [email protected] or T: (02) 9952 5477

Title: Johnathan Thurston: The Autobiography
Johnathan Thurston with James Phelps
Publication date:
18 October 2018
Hardback; ISBN: 9781460752609
$49.99; E‐book: Available


November 9, 2018


Media Release: Johnathon Thurston: The Autobiography


Lara Wallace

(02) 9952 5477

[email protected]