Stephen Cooper was born in Birmingham, England. After Cambridge University, he was for many years a MadMan in New York, London and Toronto; he first began writing as a freelance travel journalist. His grandfather fought at the Somme, but refused to tell the tale and so inspired a lifelong fascination for the Great War.
His first book,’The Final Whistle: the Great War in Fifteen Players’ examined the vast sprawl of the war through the prism of one community – a rugby club. “A fresh and fascinating take on the impact of the Great War, with a novel and moving focus” said Ian Hislop. Praised by commentators as diverse as Fergal Keane, Sir Anthony Seldon and Jason Leonard, it won Rugby Book of the Year in the 2013 Times British Sports Book Awards, featured in BBC TV’s World War One At Home and has been optioned for West End theatre. A regular speaker, Stephen lives in London.
A second book, ‘After The Final Whistle: The First Rugby World Cup and the First World War’ told the story of a first ‘world cup’ played by returning soldiers in 1919. Published in August 2015, it was shortlisted for the same BSBA award in 2016.
But man cannot live by rugby and war alone. In a sudden swerve away from non-fiction, he is now at work on the first novel of a trilogy set in 19th Century Sicily and England.