Rugby player & commentator turns novelist…

A former Welsh rugby captain, British Lions number 8 and sports broadcaster turns his hand to publishing fiction.  Eddie Butler, the velvet voice of international rugby, launches his debut novel, The Head of Gonzo Davies, with Gomer Press.

The book tells the tale of an ex-Welsh rugby international who is invalided out of the professional game but returns to his struggling village club, little knowing that he is embroiled in a darker, more troubling world than that of mere rugby football.

The Head of Gonzo Davies takes us from modern-day Millennium Stadium professionalism back to the amateur days and the decline of Welsh heavy industry, and even further back to pre-World War Two valley life.

“Eddie Butler is a rare talent and after the runaway success of The Greatest Welsh XV Ever we’re delighted to be publishing his first novel.  It’s a thriller with a rugby setting, and is full of action, intrigue and humour. But because it’s Ed, it also has more sophisticated layers of story than first meets the eye, and should appeal to those who like to read and think at the same time!” says Ceri Wyn Jones, the editor at Gomer Press.

“The basic premise is why is this guy, this former Welsh rugby player, called Gonzo Davies,” explains Eddie Butler. “So we go back in time – there’s a distant family history of why he is called Gonzo and then there’s a slightly more recent time-lapse when we visit Gonzo’s glory days when he had his moment as a star rugby player and what became of that.

“Then we have his present because he’s re-emerged as an ageing player in his twilight years back in his home village. His team just happen to find themselves on a little cup run – and the cup run is set against a turbulence within Wales. The country is going through what is described in the book as the Welsh hell.

“There are three unconnected flashpoints, social troubles that bring Wales into the national consciousness.  The elements of Gonzo’s different past, his rugby present and this turbulence within Wales they all march together and come to a head.”

Brian Moore, Butler’s colleague in the international rugby commentary box at the BBC says that  “With Eddie Butler you should expect the unexpected and his novel is no different as it sweeps through the villages and cities of Wales, through its junior and senior rugby and all the way to the Basque country; hang on to your hats.”

 “Poetic, powerful, passionate and utterly compelling.  You don't just imagine what happens, you can taste, touch and smell it.  A Grand Slam winning debut of a novel," says Clare Balding.

The Head of Gonzo Davies by Eddie Butler will be available from all good bookshops and online retailers.  It is published by Gomer Press on 30 September 2014

To promote The Head of Gonzo Davies Eddie Butler will be at:

Book-ish, Crickhowell, Saturday, 11 October 2014, 10.30-11.30am                                                 

Chepstow RFC Wednesday, 15 October 2014, 7.30pm.  Tickets available from Chepstow Bookshop:

Penarth RFC –
as part of the Penarth Book Festival - Friday, 17 October 2014, 7.30pm. Tickets available from Griffin Books or                                                                              

Waterstones Aberystwyth Friday, 7 November 2014, 12.30-1.30pm
WH Smith Cardiff Saturday, 8 November 2014, 10.30-11.30am
WH Smith Llanelli Friday, 14 November 2014, 11-12pm
Waterstones Carmarthen Friday, 14 November 2014, 1-2pm
Waterstones Cardiff Saturday, 15 November 2014 10.30-11.30am
Monmouth Rugby Club Thursday, 20 November 2014 7pm Tickets available from Rossiter Books:

Victoria Bookshop, Haverfordwest Friday, 21 November 2014 12-2pm
Waterstones Abergavenny Saturday, 22 November 2014 10.30-11.30am
WHSmith Cwmbran Friday, 28 November, 11am
Waterstones Newport Saturday, 29 November 2014 10.30-11.30am

Hay Winter Festival Winter Weekend, Sunday, 30 November 2014, 2pm. Tickets available from or 01497 822629
Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Builth Wells Monday, 1 December 2014, 11am
Pontypool Market Wednesday, 3 December 2014
London Welsh Centre Thursday, 4 December 2014, 7.30pm                                                               

Waterstones Swansea, Wednesday, 10 December 2014, 12-1pm

WHSmith Swansea, Wednesday, 10 December 2014, 1.30-2.30pm