Mark ‘Spudd’ Carroll’s answer to Manly’s rugby league woes is to sign Des Hasler, Geoff Toovey, and Kieran Foran.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Publishing your autobiography shortly after retiring is a sporting rite of passage.
In the case of some athletes, they even see fit to reminisce about their life and career mid-way through its run.
Sadly, the most entertaining and interesting autobiographies seem destined to never see the light of day.
1. Todd Carney – A guide to social etiquette (Foreword by Julian O’Neill)
A magnum opus of literature. O’Neill’s foreword is ripe with suggestions that are bound to improve your standing in modern society and guaranteed to win you money at the poker table.
For a football player, Carney is surprisingly eloquent about his experiences and there’s such good advice in here it’s surely only a matter of time until the NRL endorses it as its official rookie handbook.
2. Dimitar Berbatov – There is no God. There is only Dimitar
The book follows a similar structure to the Bible, with Dimitar the star of each re-written parable.
The highlight of the book is surely Dimitar’s re-telling of his own ‘parting of the red sea’, when he divided Manchester United fans on a promotional boat trip into two groups: those with a tattoo of his face on their body, and those without, resulting in the boat capsizing.
3. Ernie Els – It’s bloody hard being easy
Like Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting, it takes a little while to ease into the phonetic South African that Els has opted for. However, this stylistic choice is cleverly revealed to be a metaphor for Big Easy himself, and proves that not everything in the world should be easy; not even reading.
His stories of clubhouse banter are wonderful. Being Tiger Woods’ confidante for so long did seem to make writing an autobiography a lot easier though, which suggests the title of the book is complete rubbish.
4. Darren Lockyer – Inaudible (available in audio book only)
A magnificent collection of anecdotes and yarns from one of the best to have played the game. Every word uttered by Lockyer on his self-read autobiography comes out in that rough, sawdust whisper that we all know and love.*
(*The publisher of Inaudible has since confirmed that the audio book was read by Gary Larson.)
5. Michael Firrito – Life in Braith’s image
The North Melbourne clubman tells of his hilarious misadventures every time he headed north to Sydney. Being ushered into Kings Cross clubs in the early 2000s as a hero, then taunted by passers-by in the late 2000s.
The highlight of the book is his yarn about trying to convince Braith to do a Trading Places-style swap with him so he can spend a night with Jodi Gordon. Classic Firrito.
6. Marat Safin – Surviving supermodels
Who didn’t love the lethargic court movement and languid swing of the inimitable Marat Safin? Not every supermodel in Europe, North America or Australia is the answer according to the man himself.
Safin’s career numbers rival any of the greats, and he must be considered up there with Hefner, Sinatra and DiCaprio.
The book makes no mention of a tennis career.
7. Ricky Stuart – Stress more: The secret to my success
The great Raider himself delivers a step-by-step guide on how to achieve similar levels of success in life as he has in coaching.
Insightful and poignant, Stuart details how you too can develop minimal anger management capabilities and steam-from-the-ears stress levels to turn your life into a productive circus of spiralling dignity and shattered reputation.
8. Geoff Huegill – Pizza, water and powdered milk
Huegill has certainly packed a lot of living into his life. Capturing all the highs of swimming glory, the lows of pizza addiction, the comeback, the failure to comeback, the spotlight and the police lights.
As a special bonus the big butterflyer gives his exclusive take on why Michael Klim’s male cosmetics line was doomed to fail from the start.
9. Nick Riewoldt – It’s a big man’s game (Foreword by Nick Del Santo)
While the prose is sparse, this minimalist typographic approach is more than made up for by the 300 or so glorious, full-colour images spread throughout the book.
These photos tell the real story of Riewoldt and the only real downside is the heavy pixelation that occurs in most photos due to the x10 zoom.
Brave artistic choice.
10. Darius Boyd – Mr Charisma: Winning friends and influencing people
In his heyday, he was known to many as the most eloquent post-match interview in rugby league. ‘Mr Charisma’ opens up about how his silver tongue opened doors everywhere during his football career.
Mainly the door to Wayne Bennet’s shed and various toilet cubicles, but still Boyd’s autobiography shows that the gift of the gab and the beard of a starving gold miner can take you places.