“Last night I finished your book, and just wanted to say a big well done.

It was an enjoyable and insightful read, and not being aware of your successes until reading it, you are very humble about your career – on the rugby field and off it!!

Well done again, and your future generations some of which you will never meet will be delighted and grateful you wrote it.”

Jamil Qureshi (Author of ‘The Mind Coach’)


MAKING MY OWN LUCK by Harvey Thorneycroft (Out of print)

“This autobiography of retired rugby player Thorneycroft offers readers extraordinary insight into the era of rugby as it changed from amateur to professional sport and how players adapted. Peppered with the greats of rugby, it’s ideal for anyone into sport, rugby and business.”

Celebrity chef and restaurateur Michel Roux Jr, 52, lives in London with his wife Gisele and daughter Emily. His book Cooking With The Master Chef: Food For Your Family & Friends (W&N, £25) is out now.

“I read the book over the Christmas break. First things first, I enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it more the further into the book I got. Certainly you’ve had a hell of a life! The detail is remarkable – do you keep diaries? At times I wanted you to expand on some point or other. I’m very interested in this idea of mountain people, or John Kirwan not comprehending your relatively relaxed attitude to striving to play for England. From what you say, Tim Rodber is a mountain person.

I didn’t know about the trip to Ghana at all – fascinating. And that bit about Rugby Special editing highlights to enhance your England case – also fascinating! I’m thinking I might turn the Cape Town 7s/Winterbottom casino/pub story into a tour tale. We run these at the back of the mag.”

Alan Pearey (Deputy Editor of Rugby World)

“Just returned from holiday and as promised here are my thoughts on the book. To be honest I have not completed it (about 75%) but I absolutely love it. To read about so many players that graced the game in that era was a joy that brought back so many memories of the ethos of the amateur game. I will never forget the after-game drinks with the players down at the Rec, which the majority of supporters of the modern game will never experience. Reading about the camaraderie and passion you felt reminded me of so many great days watching the greatest game in the world all over the country.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to indulge in a little nostalgia and providing an insight into this great game from a players perspective.”

Dave Frampton

“In ‘Harvey’s World’, remarkable things tend to happen during otherwise ordinary days. I’ve witnessed you ‘make your own luck’ for over two decades now, always with the same infectious energy and sense of purpose. This book is more than just a story – it’s your philosophy. And I’m hopeful that a little bit of the positivity inside will rub off on all who read it.”

Yaser Martini

“Many thanks for the book mate, it was there when I got back from travels. Read the first 100 pages on the first night….honestly couldn’t put it down, a great read, I think especially as it sounds very very familiar to me!”

Jim Darragh

“I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Harvey’s voyage through life to date. He has always been a rather unique character, and a strong sense of the man he is, comes through his book, as well as a fascinating glimpse through the veiled curtains of top level rugby and at the characters who played the amateur game; Harvey demonstrates a lifestyle choice, alien to many, but which now, during these economically challenging times (2011), should make us all question how we wish to conduct the rest of our own voyage through life. Harvey makes you question creation of wealth versus wealth of experience, and in pursuing the latter demonstrates you can still achieve the former whilst thoroughly enjoying the journey – well done Moonchild!!!”

Jake Richardson

“I have started your book and am now about a third of the way through. I am really enjoying it, not least because I can readily relate to the names, places and the era – not just at the Club, but also around Northampton and of course at School.”

Leon Barwell

“ I really enjoyed your book. Nobody i know has had so many experiences and i still think, ‘you’d never believe what happened to me today’ would have been a great title. I have heard many of your stories before but never tire of hearing them again. With so many incredible life experiences and great rugby stories your book would appeal to both rugby and non- rugby audiences alike. It must have been a difficult task getting the book together but I can assure you it was well worth it as it reignited some great memories of the incredible time we all had from the game we all started out playing just for fun.”

Nick Beal

“Thank you very much for the copy of your book Harvey. What a brilliant book. I was so moved by the stories especially of your sister & mother. One point you should note … damn right ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, best one ever.”

Jack Saxton

“Harvey, thank you so much for the book you sent to me. I admire you greatly for taking the time and devoting the energy to your book as I also admire you greatly for setting the standard and an example for rugby players that there can be a very meaningful life after a professional rugby career if the right dedication and thought is put into it. It is no idle flattery to tell you that I cannot think a single player that has had a more fulfilled, varied and interesting life than you. You might not have won all the England caps but who cares, you had a great rugby career and now you have a great second career. I have seen so many people be a success at one thing and then they try something else and fail. To be successful in 2 careers is unusual and you should be very proud of that. There is a long way to go yet so I am sure there will be a second book at some stage.”

Dominic Silvester

“Harvey’s chronicle of recollections provides an avalanche of provocative memories for those of us who reached majority at the end of the 1980s. It also gives great a insight what life was like for HT, an extremely popular and endearing sportsman and businessman, through some significantly changing times. An interesting and detailed journey through the era and the changes to the sport with one of the key players involved. The book was difficult to put down until it was finished.”

Paul Silcock

“Well as I said on the phone I thought it was a wonderful read. Much better written – and indeed more enjoyable – than I thought it would be. As is normal when given a new book I leafed through it for a few minutes immediately after you gave it to me and a lot of it seemed to be about rugby which doesn’t really interest me that much so – while I wanted to read it because you wrote it – I didn’t think I would enjoy it all that much.

As it was, clearly it was about more than just rugby! For me the best parts are definitely the very beginning and the very end. I LOVED your description of your childhood which has a really “Swallows and Amazons” feel to it. (“It felt like Wembley” – brilliant.) And I loved – as I described on the phone – the loveletter aspect of it: the birth of your children, the love for Alice. I thought these sections were beautiful and really elevate it above the books of it’s class.

The theme that really comes through for me – which is interesting to me personally and therefore really fascinating – is the balance between striving for the future and peacefully enjoying the present. From the school’s motto to the section about the contrast between Neil Back and yourself to Tim Rodber’s pushing of the company, it is all about the extent to which someone should strive to be more or just appreciate what one has now. I loved that.

I also liked the examination of luck – from your admittedly very lucky start in life to the way you appeared to make your own luck through your extroverted and energetic networking as RTL develops.

Other aspects I didn’t expect to enjoy but did were the account of the professionalisation of Rugby and the dying days of amateurism (and indeed the role of change in the world more generally such as Caucescu and the changes at Northampton not being appreciated by all). I loved learning about Tony Hewitt and your first client, Design Bridge and Wella – whom I probably have a lot to thank. I really benefitted from learning of your relationship with John Inverdale and the way in which you see intrinsic motivation.

AND I even enjoyed some of the rugby!!

To be honest the most amazing thing about that aspect of the book is your incredible memory for detail – names of players and coaches you haven’t talked to for years; plays put on at school; cars that your schooldfriends crashed 25 years ago! Amazing.

Finally, I really appreciated your generous quoting and description of myself and things I have helped you appreciate in your life.

What comes through from the book is that it has been a wonderful life – and you are to be congratulated on it :)”

Caspar Berry

“I am just writing to tell you how much I enjoyed reading it. I picked it up to have a flick through, read the first couple of pages and then couldn’t put it down.

It was fascinating to read about your personal journey through the world of sport, and also to understand more about the transition that rugby went through when it became a professional sport.

Anyway – really just wanted to say it’s a cracking book, I love your sense of values and how you try to live your life, and I finished reading it wishing there were still a few more pages to turn.”

Sarah Mammatt

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book and felt that your taking me on the journey of both the marvels and the sadder aspects was wonderful …. there were also a few parallels. As you say, what a gift to bestow upon 2 children.”

James Richards