AN author had to completely rewrite his second book after it was stolen in a burglary at his home.

John Trueman, 72, who comes from Pinehurst, had just finished Grammar School boys when his home in Portugal was broken into and the laptop containing his manuscript was taken.

Now after months work it has finally been published. He said: “I had to put a lot of effort to rewrite it and do it again because I was absolutely distraught.”

John told the Adver of the moment he discovered months of work had gone and he realised he would have to start from scratch.

He and his wife Sue had moved to Portugal to look after people’s holiday homes. They had just got back after returning to Swindon for the 50th anniversary of the Allen Brook Football Club in 2016. He said: “I was absolutely gutted because we had a long drive and door was wide open and I thought ‘I didn’t leave the doors open’.

“It took a long time for us to go inside and when we did everything was everywhere. It took us a while to realise what had happened. We thought it was an animal at first, but they took everything they even took my clothes it was heart-breaking.”

A USB stick containing a copy of the book was also taken.

John, whose first book, Grass Roots was a novel based on his time playing football, couldn’t bear the thought of writing again until almost two years later.

He told the Adver: “I was preparing to come back to the UK and I just couldn’t do it and then when I was here for a year I sat myself down and just decided get it done.

“It’s still very frustrating because you remember things you had written and wish you had included it the second time.”

Grammar School Boys follows John’s childhood in Pinehurst and his time at Headlands Grammar School. “The book itself talks about me and my friends who were brought up in Pinehurst which is a council state and has a bad reputation. But it’s not a bad place at all it’s just rougher in some places,” he said.

“We used to go to the cinema at the Savoy and we would go to the pictures and come back its all about life as a child, playing football and having fun. I decided to do a book on my experience in grammar school as there’s a lot of talk about them being old school.”

The book is available on Amazon.