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A different kind of sports book – alumnus Ben Mercer successfully self-publishes

After graduating in 2009, Ben Mercer joined the world of professional rugby. Over a decade later, he tells us why he decided to write his story.

Ben Mercer started out playing professional rugby in England, before spending a year in Sydney and going on to help French club Stade Rouennais for four years in their journey from an amateur to a professional team.

Describing his 2019 book, Fringes: Life on the Edge of Professional Rugby, Ben Mercer writes: “Sports books tend to detail extraordinary achievements, triumphs against the odds or commemorate World Cup winning captains. This book does not do that. For many, playing professional sport is the dream job. Few manage it, very few make it to the top and for the rest, life is very different. This is their story.”

Fringes is 5-star rated on Amazon, with one reviewer calling it 'A must-read for any athlete, parent, teacher, coach, sports fan and governing body'. The book is available in both paperback and Kindle form.

“My time at Newcastle was formative for me, enabling me to explore my dual passions of literature and rugby,” said Mercer. “I had a diverse experience captaining the University team, but also played for the Newcastle Falcons A Team and Blaydon Rugby Club.”

You can find out more about his work as a freelance writer and creator by visiting Ben Mercer’s website, which includes a newsletter, further information about Fringes and a blog featuring book reviews and thoughts on the world of rugby.    

Do you have an alumni story you want to share? Email us at advancement@ncl.ac.uk.

published on: 8 April 2020