FROM BUSH KID TO AFL LEGEND
Sport is made up of moments that thrill us at the time and quickly disappear. Very few endure for decades. Even fewer transcend sport and speak to an entire nation.
April 17, 2023, marked the 30th anniversary of St Kilda legend Nicky Winmar's proud and defining stand against racism-one of those moments that hasn't diminished over time and regrettably is just as relevant today.
It is a stand that has become iconic, and so has Winmar, not just for his courage as he declared to a hostile, jeering crowd, 'I'm black and I'm proud to be black,' but also because he was one of the game's most talented and celebrated players.
Born to Noongar parents in Western Australia's Wheatbelt, 200 kilometres from Perth, Neil Elvis 'Nicky' Winmar quickly displayed an ability to overcome adversity. He would need it. He had a hard upbringing but loved to play footy every day with his younger brother amid the livestock on the farm where their father worked as a shearer.
The skinny teenager soon began playing football among hardened men for the local club and was signed to a senior team as a promising fifteen-year-old. Winmar would go on to become one of the most decorated players in AFL history. Recently inducted into the illustrious AFL Hall of Fame, a member of both the Indigenous Team of the Century and the St Kilda Team of the Century, Nicky was the first Indigenous footballer to play 200 games.
This long-awaited autobiography tells the story of Winmar's brilliant career in colourful detail, as well as giving moving insight into his life. Amid the pain, the turbulence and the triumph, his heart and abiding sense of humour shine through.
'His story is one that cannot be missed.' Tony Armstrong
'One of the truly great players . . . an amazing talent . . . If actions speak louder than words then Nicky Winmar's actions were better than anyone's.' Tony 'Plugger' Lockett
'Once we watched him in wonder. And now it's time to listen and learn.' Tim Winton
'A compelling account from the fleet-footed footballer who ran like the wind down the wing and stood strong against the rip tide of racism . . . A great read.' Peter Lalor
'Honest, moving, painful, funny . . . holds nothing back.' Gideon Haigh