‘There’s no one I trust more with my club’s yarn than Martin Flanagan’ – Bob Murphy
‘Brilliant’ – Wil Anderson
The Western Bulldogs’ 2016 premiership came from nowhere – they were the club with no luck, no stars, no right to win, no culture of success. They were the rank underdogs and they swept to victory on an unprecedented tide of goodwill that washed over the nation.
Only Martin Flanagan could bring to life this particular miracle. The club’s two guiding spirits – captain Bob Murphy and coach Luke Beveridge – welcomed him in, Beveridge making available his match diaries, pre-match notes and video highlights. Flanagan interviewed every player, watched every match, talked with the trainers, the women in the football department, the fans who never miss a training session, the cheer squad.
What Flanagan shows is that the Bulldogs found a new way to play partly because they found a new way to be a team – a new way to support each other, even a new way to be. A Wink from the Universe takes us into the heart of the community Luke Beveridge and Bob Murphy dreamt into being with the support of the Bulldog people around them.
This is a classic of sportswriting – a book for fans of the club, and of the game, but also a book for anyone who wants to know how a group of people can will a miracle to happen.