A BATTLE with cancer has prompted former Press sports editor Martin Jarred to pledge half of all royalties from his new football book to charity.

The Wessie tells the story of the West Riding County FA Senior Cup. First contested in 1910, and won by the West Riding FA, the cup was last played for in 1999. It was won by Leeds United 22 times, Bradford City on 13 occasions and 12 times by Huddersfield Town. Bradford Park Avenue, Halifax Town, Goole Town, Selby Town and Barnsley have also lifted the trophy, and York City even won it during the Second World War when the trophy was presented to the winners of the Combined Counties Cup, a competition which included teams (like York) from outside West Yorkshire.

Martin, who is recovering from prostate cancer after treatment at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, has promised half of all royalties from the book will go towards Yorkshire Cancer Research.

He said: “After the outstanding treatment I received at the Bexley Wing at Jimmy’s I wanted to give something to a cancer charity. Yorkshire Cancer Research fitted the bill as it is a county-wide organisation which matched the profile of the book.”

The book, which took Martin hundreds of hours to research, travelling to local libraries throughout the county and the British Library at Boston Spa, contains season-by-season match results, scorers, and line-ups. It also includes details of other competitions run for West Yorkshire clubs, such as the West Yorkshire Cup, the West Riding Supplementary Cup, the Combined Counties Cup, the Yorkshire and Humberside Cup, the Yorkshire Electricity Cup and the West Riding County Cup (from 2007 to date).

The Wessie is published by Tony Brown of SoccerData, priced £14. Copies can be obtained from the soccerdata.com website using Paypal, from specialist sports booksellers or direct from the publisher at 4 Adrian Close, Toton, Nottingham, NG9 6FL, with £2 for postage and packing.

York writers Alan Smith and John Wheatcroft have both taught in prisons - and themes of imprisonment cast long shadows in both of their new books for York publisher Stairwell.

Alan has written about prison in The Guardian and in his book, Her Majesty’s Philosophers. His latest novel, Virginia, is also about romantic love and its delusions, however.

“As I got into writing this book I started to think about how we like to get things just right,” he says. “We spend time on our hair, clothes, make up. We like special occasions to be just so, we learn dance steps, we work out what to say and do.

“It seemed to me that this was why artists spent hours reworking their pictures, why actors rehearsed, musicians practised. Part of me felt that this was admirable and part of me felt that it was simply a way of making ourselves miserable. In Virginia the desire to make things perfect collides with ordinary life, perfection turns sour.”

In Rocket Boy, meanwhile, former York Press journalist John Wheatcroft tells the story of Simon Waiters, a man who reckons that his life has been going downhill for the past four decades.

Wheatcroft, who spent a year teaching in a Category C prison, says: “Simon suffers from guilt over a failed marriage. That’s bad enough but he also has an unhealthy obsession with women from his past – rather weirdly, the ones he never even went out with. Perhaps ironically in view of his job as a prison teacher, Simon is himself imprisoned by his past. An inmate at the prison latches on to his insecurities and tries to use this knowledge to torment him.”

Rocket Boy by John Wheatcroft and Virginia by Alan Smith are both published by Stairwell, priced £10 each. The two authors will launch their books in a joint event at York Explore Library in Museum Street at 7pm on Thursday. Tickets free from eventbrite at bit.ly/2L6NJbt