Suitcase Number Seven is Ursula Kane Cafferty’s memoir of her uncle Tom Cleary, who was described on his death in 1997 as ‘possibly the finest rugby scrum-half never to have been capped for Ireland’.
Born in Carrick-on-Suir, Tom Cleary was a Castleknock College, Bohemians (Limerick) and Munster scrum-half and captain from the mid 1940s to the early 1960s. He played in several final Irish trials and was a reserve for Ireland on up to 17 occasions (including the 1961 tour of South Africa) without gaining the distinction of an Irish cap. He died in Mullingar.
The book, however, is not just about one man or about sport, or even just about rugby. It is about natural talent in the extreme, allied to a competitive nature and leadership ability. But, blow by blow, life chips away at his gifts to reveal an intensely low self-esteem.
It takes a huge life crisis before Tom finally begins to realise and accept that he is truly loved ... just for himself.
His story is written as a fictional memoir.
Contact the author on 087 231 7758 (outside Ireland +353 87 231 7758) to order a copy.
Email ucafferty AT gmail DOT com [Replace AT and DOT with symbols]
Praise for Suitcase Number Seven!
“...a meticulously researched memoir, part fictional autobiography, part love letter ... (about) ... one of the forgotten men of Irish rugby history...” Sunday Times
“A fascinating story of how a gifted sportsman slipped from a position of considerable esteem... you will love it for the story and the sensitivity of the writing” Irish Examiner
“a moving, funny tale of life and sport... an excellent debut” Irish Times
“... the beautifully written memoir on the life and times of ... scrum-half Tom Cleary” Ireland on Sunday
“A fascinating warts-and-all story of a superb athlete and thorough gentleman” Westmeath Examiner
“this work is a truly outstanding tribute... a memorable and moving story told in a unique manner. There must be another book in her - but don’t miss this one.” Sunday Independent (Sports Books of the Year)
“the tour that launched (Tony) O’Reilly on the world scene .. was a time of home truths for Cleary; a greater contrast in fortunes of two colleagues can not be imagined.” Irish Times (Books that made your year)
“With rave reviews in the national press, Suitcase Number Seven is going to be high up my book list for the New Year.” Emerald Rugby
“much of the contents called up a variety of emotions and posed some profound questions - surely a sign of good literature.” A letter from a reader
“a remarkable new book... a fascinating read, cleverly written ...(about) ... a man who was much loved but little understood... a man of mystery and mercurial talent ...” Evening Herald