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Belfast man Roy France writes two books during lockdown


Prolific writer: Roy France has written two books while in lockdown

Prolific writer: Roy France has written two books while in lockdown

Prolific writer: Roy France has written two books while in lockdown

Belfast man Roy France has used his time spent in lockdown to the best effect - by writing and publishing not one but two new sporting travelogue books.

The sports fanatic had spent three weeks last year in Japan following Ireland's efforts in the Rugby World Cup.

Then, in more relaxed Caribbean mode, he followed Ireland's cricket team around the West Indies.

The result was two publications - An Ulsterman in Japan and An Ulsterman In The West Indies.

"They were two very different experiences", recalled Roy.

"Japan is an unbelievably unique country, but despite all the cultural and language challenges I somehow made it, covering over 5,000 kilometres in a Subaru.

"Day by day I came to terms with the logistics of getting around, even feeling things like how to pay for car parking, ordering a meal, and bunking down in futon style rooms in ryokans were major accomplishments. I almost didn't mind Ireland losing to Japan."

Roy, who has also written books about Glentoran's history, had plans to follow the Ireland cricket team worldwide this year but due to the covid-19 pandemic he only made it to Barbados, Grenada and St Kitts.

"Not a bad second prize," Sheffield-based Roy conceded.

"Ireland were very competitive in the six games against the West Indies and it was memorable to be there for the T20 victory in St George's.

"I sat amongst the locals that day and shared a lot of rum with them.

"My favourite island of the three was Grenada, the laid-back vibe and the understated nature of the glorious beaches there, alongside the fabulous restaurants and general cleanliness and local pride were major factor."

Roy has travel plans for 2021, having booked to visit South Africa for the first time to follow the British and Irish Lions as well as a postponed trip to China.

"Hopefully they'll go ahead and I can produce two more books on those trips," he said.

Both An Ulsterman in Japan and An Ulsterman in the West Indies are available on Amazon, in both kindle and paperback formats.

Belfast Telegraph