Sports writers and sports stars rarely meet on the same playing field. But veteran sports journalist Martin Flanagan and former Western Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy are doing just that. Both, now, as authors. And both drawing on a true triumph-of-the-underdog tale: the Bulldogs’ miraculous 2016 Grand Final victory.
Murphy’s second book, Leather Soul, describes ‘Footscray winters and the glorious liniment-scented afternoons’: all the laughs, scraps and yarns of his 17-year footy career. And Flanagan’s latest, A Wink from the Universe, draws on player interviews, diaries, videos and fans’ recollections, to build a layered narrative of the Dogs’ 2016 victory – a triumphant 25-year conclusion to his acclaimed Southern Oval, Western Sky, which covered the Dogs’ failed 1993 season and battle to survive.
If you missed the pair’s last Wheeler Centre event, now is your chance to catch the long-awaited rematch. Join them as they share tall footy tales and discuss the scrappy, winsome club they both love.
Sun Bookshop will be our bookseller at this event.
Bob Murphy played for the Western Bulldogs from 2000 to 2017, and was their captain from 2015 to 2017. In 2015, Murphy was named Captain of the Year at the AFLPA Awards, and was also captain of the All-Australian team – the first player ever to collect both honours in the same season. The following year, the Bulldogs won their first premiership in 62 years.
Off the field, Bob has written regularly for the Age. His first book, Murphy’s Lore, was published in 2015.
Martin Flanagan is one of Australia’s most respected sports journalists. He was a regular AFL columnist for the Age for many years, and is the author of over a dozen books – most recently The Short Long Book and On Listening – and A Wink From the Universe, about the Western Bulldogs’ remarkable 2016 premiership win.
Martin was born in Tasmania in 1955 and graduated in law from the University of Tasmania in 1975. He lives in Melbourne.