Hell for Leather - The World of a Sporting Journalist
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From the 1960s until the turn of the century, Phil Wilkins was chief cricket writer in turn for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Sun-Herald, then The Australian and The Sun newspapers.
In this autobiography, he remembers great players watched and interviewed, historic events, reviving memories of cricketers, rugby league, rugby union and soccer players, of boxers and tennis titleholders.
Among his cavalcade of champions are Rod Laver, Ian and Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson, Bob Simpson, Bill Lawry and Shane Warne; England’s Freddie Trueman, Ian Botham, Colin Cowdrey and Geoffrey Boycott, the West Indies’ Vivian Richards, Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes, the Pakistanis, Javed Miandad and Imran Khan, the Indians, Bishan Singh Bedi and Sunil Gavaskar, and earlier Australian immortals, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall and Norman O’Neill; in rugby league, Johnny Raper, Ron Coote, Reg Gasnier, Harry Wells and Bobby Fulton; in rugby union, Ray Price and Ken Catchpole, Ewen McKenzie and Phil Kearns, Tim Horan and Jason Little, David Campese and Nick Farr-Jones; in football, Joe Marston and Ray Baartz, all match-winners and game-breakers, the mightiest of performers. But the first of his greats was Melbourne’s Australian Rules captain and later coach, the splendid Ron Barassi.
Above all players, Wilkins praises his littlest hero, the fearless nine-year-old Guyanese boy, Dominic, who saved his life by throwing himself at a pipe-wielding thug at the height of a riot in the World Series Cricket match in Georgetown on the “Forgotten tour” of 1979, when the Australians drew the SuperTest series with Clive Lloyd’s world champion West Indians.
As always, Phil has the last word: "Among a thousand personalities, your name could well be included. If not, consider your immortality."
Published: April 2023
ISBN: 978-1-925914-57-3, 978-1-925914-58-0 (ePub)
Size: 229mm x 152mm
Pages: 466 pages including 16 pages of black and white photographs
Imprint: Fair Play Publishing
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