WA AT WAR WITH IT­SELF

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

FOR­GET David and Go­liath, Harry Pot­ter and Vol­d­er­mort or Su­per­man and Bat­man, this is the big­gest and most im­por­tant ri­valry for West Aus­tralians. The Western Derby. Most have their al­le­giances: just ask Dock­ers fa­nat­ics Shaun Mc­Manus, Kim Scott and Luc Lon­g­ley, or die-hard Ea­gles David Wir­rpanda, Den­nis Lillee and Justin Langer, who have all con­trib­uted to Fre­man­tle Press’s new book on one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest sport­ing ri­val­ries.

Co-au­thored by David Whish-Wilson and Sean Gor­man with con­tri­bu­tions from 40 Perth per­son­al­i­ties, Derby delves into the pas­sion, the his­tory and the mem­o­ries each per­son has about their favourite club.

Whish-Wilson said it was time to look at the ri­valry that had de­vel­oped over 22 years and 44 der­bies.

“As any fan will tell you, the Derby game is no or­di­nary game, char­ac­terised by a high level of anx­i­ety that is gen­er­ally matched on the oval by a fe­roc­ity and a com­pet­i­tive­ness that has be­come a hall­mark of the AFL calendar,” he said.

“It’s bragging rights for the winning team and a feel­ing of be­ing ragged for those on the los­ing side.

“There is gen­uine an­tipa­thy be­tween the fans of both clubs which is mostly re­served for the fans of the other side, rather than the play­ers or the club.”

He said it was a mus­tread for all WA foot­ball en­thu­si­asts.

“We found that peo­ple were very ea­ger to talk about their al­le­giances, but what we were look­ing for was peo­ple with in­ter­est­ing sto­ries to tell, fans from all over the state, who had some­times very funny and some­times poignant rea­sons for fol­low­ing their club, and what that’s meant for them over the years,” he said.

“There are plenty of laugh-out-loud anec­dotes in the book and some sur­pris­ing in­sights into what be­ing a footy fan means, as it re­lates to deeper themes of fam­ily, com­mu­nity and sense of place in Western Aus­tralia.”

“On the sur­face of it, the book is about foot­ball, but it’s also about us as a peo­ple and about this place, about so­cial mem­ory and cul­tural her­itage.”

Derby is avail­able from www.fre­mantlepress.com. au.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d467506

And the war rages on: Derby co-au­thors Sean Gor­man and David Whish-Wilson.

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