The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - FRONT PAGE -

THE most fa­mous face in rugby league is writ­ing a tell-all autobiography.

Johnathan Thurston, ar­guably the great­est player of all time, will cap off his fi­nal sea­son of footy with the re­lease of his me­moir in Oc­to­ber.

The as-yet-un­ti­tled ac­count delves into the jour­ney of a young Bris­bane kid who was writ­ten off as be­ing too skinny, too slow and too wild to play pro­fes­sional footy — not to men­tion the time he al­most walked away from rugby league — only to be­come one of the great­est rugby league play­ers of all time.

De­spite his Ori­gin suc­cess, Aus­tralian vic­to­ries, fairy­tale 2015 grand-fi­nal tri­umph, Dally M and Clive Churchill medals, and a unique laugh, Thurston ad­mit­ted he is still blown away that peo­ple wanted to read his story.

“My story started in the back­yard of a hous­ing com­mis­sion house in Sun­ny­bank Hills,” he said. “All these years later and de­spite my achieve­ments, I am still blown away and com- pletely hum­bled that peo­ple want to read my story. I’m hon­oured to have part­nered with HarperCollins on this pro­ject and hope ev­ery­one en­joys read­ing about my jour­ney.”

The book was writ­ten with long-time friend and Sun­day Tele­graph re­porter James Phelps, who said even he was sur­prised at the rev­e­la­tions.

“I thought I knew ev­ery­thing about him,” he said. “I didn’t. No one does. But soon they will.

“JT gave me ac­cess to all his per­sonal files and all the knock­backs, con­tracts and deals will be laid bare for the first time.

“He opens up on the set­backs and scan­dals and on the time he al­most walked away from rugby league.”

Johnathan Thurston.

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