Robbie Savage backs ex-Ribblesdale pupil’s debut novel

David Fearnhead
David Fearnhead

A FORMER pupil of Ribblesdale High School Technology College, Clitheroe, is on course for a best-seller following the release of his debut novel.

David Fearnhead’s book “Bailey of the Saints” has already sold-out twice on Amazon and attracted the interests of television producers.

“I’ve been really surprised by how well the book is doing,” David said. “It seems to appeal to more people than I initially thought it would do.”

The novel set in the world of professional football tells the story of Jack Bailey, a struggling Premiership footballer who goes to play for a team in New Zealand. Although a work of fiction, the David relies heavily on his true life experiences covering the professional game.

“I started out as a cameraman filming the Premier League for television. Then I turned to journalism. I’ve covered the game in England and New Zealand and thought that the gulf between the two leagues would make for a great setting for a novel. To take a character from one world and dump him in another.

“I was tired of going to the airport and not finding anything I wanted to read. I like sports, but have grown a little tired of autobiographies, and I didn’t want to read another crime novel. So, that’s what first sparked the idea to write my own. I wanted a quick pace to the novel, something for people who only read perhaps one or two books a year. Something to entertain the reader.”

David wrote the first 6,000 words and posted them on the Harper Collins website “Authonomy”. The book was voted into the top five, and received over 1,000 comments.

He added: “I received some great feedback and knew that I had to continue writing the book. Though it’s set in the world of professional football, its not just a book about football. I try to bring in the personal aspects of what it’s like to be a professional footballer, and for that I relied heavily on the professional players I have know.”

Strictly Dancer and former footballer Robbie Savage has lent his support to the novel along with Sky Sports news presenter Rachel Wyse, and former England Goalkeeper Paul Robinson. Slovakian supermodel Silvia Kucherenko has even featured the novel in a photoshoot and football legend Graeme Souness described the book as “a real page-turner.”

“I’m hoping that it will be the first of many novels. I already have the plot outlines for two more novels, so if sales for Bailey go well then I’ll be able to write those next.”

Bailey of the Saints is published by Great Northern Books. Copies of the book, which are priced £8.99 each, can be bought by logging onto and Amazon. They are also being sold at Pams Book End, Great Harwood.