DEFYING THE ENEMY WITHIN
Each and every grand final day, us outsiders are presented with images illustrating the glorious end of one legend or another’s storied career. We watch on, wishing we were them. What a life: an elite footballer. And now he gets to retire to the good paddock that is legend status. But it’s certainly not like that for every player who laces on the boots, as former rugby league first-grader Joe Williams attests in this title.
Williams signed with the Sydney
Roosters at the age of just 13, having been spotted by none other than the legendary
Beetson. Soon, he was playing at the elite level, first for the Chooks’ under-20s, and later for the
Bunnies, ‘Dogs and Panthers.
But during these years he was plagued by negative voices in his head. The pressures of big-time sport took their toll. Turning to the booze and drugs, Williams (these days a mental health advocate, especially in the area of suicide prevention) attempted to take his own life back in 2012. This book presents not only the story of his return from his internal darkness, but also the arduous journey he takes every day, even now, to ensure his mental illness demons don’t get the better of him.
Good for: Fans who think footy players have it easy.