Born in Broken Hill in 1939, Phil Wilkins was educated in remote Waratah (Tasmania), Broken Hill, Drake and Lismore, gaining his tertiary degree in the Broadway gutters and back streets of Sydney as a newspaper cadet police roundsman in 1958 with The Sydney Morning Herald.
Ever the leg-spinning cricket devotee and rugby league player, placing sport before academic honours, becoming a graded journalist after three years as a cadet, he temporarily abandoned the newspaper game to spend two years labouring and playing rugby union in New Zealand. Recalled to the Herald, he became the Australian Rules reporter and ultimately its chief cricket writer in 1967.
This highly regarded sports journalist spent 45 years with the Herald, the Sun-Herald and The Australian newspapers as well as becoming the Australian correspondent for the Wisden Cricket Almanack and Cricketer magazine, before retirement in 2003, receiving the Walkley Award for outstanding journalism in 2004. He continues as the rugby union writer for the Great Lakes Advocate in Forster as well as the Manning River Times of Taree.
Hell for Leather is his first book.
Hell for Leather is available towards the end of April 2023.