Derby by the book
FORGET David and Goliath or Batman versus Superman, 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 diehard Eagles fans 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 Whishwilson and Sean Gorman, with contributions from 40 Perth personalities, Derby delves into the passion, history and memories each person has about their favourite club.
Whish-wilson said it was time to look at the rivalry that had developed over the past 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 must-read 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-outloud 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.
“This book is both great fun and funny, but also touches on some deeper themes about the role of football in terms of West Australian identity.
“On the surface, the book is about football, but it’s also about us as a people, this place, social memory and cultural heritage.”
Derby is available from www.fremantlepress.com.au.
Co-authors Sean Gorman and David Whish-wilson have penned a book on the Western Derby with a little help from some Perthonalities.