Apr 21 2011 Joe Mcguire
Teacher ditches dream football job to pen book
A former teacher has swapped parents' nights with world class footballers for book signing after writing his first novel.
Brian Conaghan, who studied at Glasgow University, taught Drama at the International School in Milan where the kids of footballing icons including Paolo Maldini, Cafu and Roberto Mancini also studied.
He said: "I often watched gamesattheSanSiro.Itwasgreat, especially if, like me, you love football.
"One day, I'd be watching the players on the park at the San Siro, and the next, we'd be discussing how their children were getting on in my Drama classes."
Something of a wandering artiste,Briantravelledtheglobe, living in Perugia, Bologna, Glasgow and current home, Dublin.
Working variously as a painter and decorator, actor and teacher, he has brought all his life experience together in his new book, The Boy Who Made It Rain.
It tells the story of Clem, a studious English boy who is forced to relocate to Glasgow by his travelling salesman father.
His new school is rough and Clem's posh accent and love of learning mark him out as a target for bullies.
Can he survive the gritty realityoflifeinGlasgow,andwin the heart of school beauty, Rosie? Written for teenagers, much of the story is based on Brian's own secondary school years in Coatbridge.
Despite his success today, and the bookish leanings of his novel's protagonist, Brian left school as soon as he could.
He said: "I was a painter and decorator. I painted the high-rise blocks near Albion Rovers football park and I painted a lot of the flats in Coatdye as well as a lot of the railings - I lost count of the number of railings.
"The job was just not making me feel fulfilled so I went back to Coatbridge College, got my Highers and went to Glasgow University to do a degree in theatre and film.
"Of all the cities I have lived in throughout my life, Perugia, Milan,Bologna,Sydneyandnow Dublin, Glasgow is, by far, head and shoulders above them all... give or take a few rainy days."