Derby by the book

Western Suburbs Weekly - - 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.

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie d467506

Co-au­thors Sean Gor­man and David Whish-wilson have penned a book on the Western Derby with a lit­tle help from some Perthonal­i­ties.

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