ALTHOUGH Trafford may not have a rugby league team of its own, a Sale author is hoping his new book about Widnes Vikings will appeal to those with an interest in the game.

Mike Healing, 63, of Barkers Lane, was late to the game himself being from Watford originally, but after attending a derby match between the Vikings and Warrington Wolves in 2002 he was ‘bitten by the bug’ and has rarely missed a home game since.

Mike, who retired in 2006 but was formerly responsible for Trafford’s school children’s home to school transport, has been a player sponsor, supporters club committee member and statistician at the club at various times, so is more qualified than most to write on the subject.

In fact, his current offering ‘Return of the Vikings: From administration to rugby league’s top tier’ is actually his second book to be published on the Vikings, following on from his successful ‘Dreams to Reality: A pivitol year in the history of Widnes Vikings’.

According to Mike, while the books are separate entities they do follow on from each other.

‘Dreams to Reality’ charts the Vikings’ 2007 season, which began with dashed hopes of Super League promotion, the club sinking into relegation and then being rescued by new owner, Steve O’Connor.

While ‘Return of the Vikings’ analyses how the club turned that failure into success and takes an ‘in-depth look at the many changes taking place within the club’.

Mike said: “I would say the first one was directed at Widnes fans and probably wouldn’t be of any interest to anyone else outside of the community.

“However, while the second one again has Widnes as its central focus, it deals with issues across the sport which would be of interest to the wider rugby league community.”

The book has been praised by many in the field, including Martin Lace, a journalist for the rugby league trade press, who described ‘Return of the Vikings’ as ‘among the best Widnes books, if not rugby league book, I have read’.

Although a lover of rugby league, Mike is passionate about all sport, having coached at Sale Harriers for 15 years and carrying out a commercial role at Altrincham FC.

• Both of Mike’s books are available to order from any book store and ‘Dreams to Reality’ is available to buy as an ebook from Amazon.