Macca to reveal his Pompey truth

Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Sarah Standing (131975-1566)
Alan McLoughlin. Picture: Sarah Standing (131975-1566)

Alan McLoughlin claims he has already lined-up his second book – and third, fourth and fifth.

That infamous dry sense of humour, traditionally cutting, acutely sharp, yet always with a foothold in truth.

Of course, the 47-year-old has no intention of establishing himself as a prolific best-selling author capable of “flying into Portsmouth on a helicopter” as he paints it with grand strokes.

Rather this represents one shot only for Pompey’s joint first-team coach as he finally dips his toe into sporting autobiographical waters following an initial reticence.

This month A Different Shade Of Green: The Alan McLoughlin Story is published – a book brimming with trademark Macca anecdotes.

It is the result of the retired midfielder’s desire to forever preserve his memories in the game, enabling his family to learn of his highly-respected career.

Having recently successfully battled kidney cancer, the time had arrived for a man considered a Pompey legend to leave a legacy.

But there definitely will not be a series or volumes.

McLoughlin said: ‘I could write four more books if I am honest but there are only so many words, only so many pages and only so many things you can do.

‘If it is just writing things for writing things sake then there is not a lot of point.

‘I will not be flying into Portsmouth on a helicopter because I have become a best-selling author or something stupid like that, I just want to leave something for future generations of my family, to make them proud of me in terms of putting something down.

‘I had actually been asked on and off for the last 10 years about whether I would consider putting together a book.

‘I suppose once I had my cancer scare, life has thrown up different things.

‘I have changed a little and thought to myself why not if people are genuinely interested in me.

‘I have two daughters, Abby is 23 on Saturday and Megan is 20.

‘They know dad was a football player but they have not got an interest in football, although are interested in Portsmouth and ask how the team is getting on.

‘My parents live in Manchester so the grandparents are not so close, they don’t tell stories of what Daddy used to do as a little boy because when we meet there is a small window and it is difficult.

‘A lot of the things in there they are not going to know about their dad and how he did it, where he went and how he achieved it because it is not something I can sit them down and tell them to listen to for the next three hours.

‘But they are becoming more interested the older they get, plus it would be good to leave something so if they do have children they know what their granddad did and it might be passed down the line.

‘I have no axe to grind, there is no-one I slag in there, nobody I have a pop at, hopefully it is a genuine story and I try to mix and match situations in the book.

‘I am not doing it to be the next big author, it is a one-off event. Hopefully people enjoy it.’

Pompey fan Bryce Evans worked with McLoughlin on the book, the duo spending the duration of the last close season putting together the publication.

Hailing from Fratton, these days Evans works as a senior lecturer in history at Liverpool Hope University, while fitting in away matches.

Inevitably, Macca’s forthrightness and straight talking are the cornerstone of an autobiography which lifts the lid on his Fratton Park days and his international times.

And he insists nothing has been left out.

He added: ‘Great credit to Bryce for how he has put it together, while I would like to think I could spin a yarn and talk quite freely and be quite expressive.

‘Personally it was quite cathartic but I also wanted to do it because I feel I have some good bits to relay about football and there are tonnes more.

‘I have a good memory, I surprise myself what I can remember, even games from 25 or 30 years ago.

‘I speak to my friend Alan Kelly and say “Do you remember on the coach going to that game, sat next to that bloke” and he has gone “What are you on about?”.

‘I have a really good memory in terms of recording things.

‘I can take things in quite well, taking in a lot around me and can recall them. That has helped along the way.

‘There are sections about my childhood and how I got started, a part on cancer, there is Portsmouth, the Republic of Ireland, Jack Charlton and Mick McCarthy.

‘When you travel the world to play football you can get yourself into silly situations and I have had a few rollickings from my wife Debbie – which is documented in the book.

‘In various situations it has been down to having too many drinks and telling the odd porkie pie now and again but she has stood by me with it.

‘And this book is for her and my 
family. It took me two or three months to make my mind up on the book but I am glad I did it.’