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One town. One football club. One struggle for greatness.

James Button fell in love with the Geelong Football Club as a boy. It was a family affair. But as the years wore on and the defeats mounted, one nagging question became louder and louder: would his team ever win a premiership again?

Comeback tells the Geelong story—how a town unloved by the big city up the road turned to football to show it was as good as anyone.

It paints the characters—two Gary Abletts, 'Polly' Farmer, Bob Davis, 'Bomber' Thompson, Matthew Scarlett, Joel Selwood and many others—who helped to make Geelong a byword for excitement, and it explains how a bunch of talented but flashy individuals ended years of despair by finding the magic ingredient that makes a great team. More than a book about sport, Comeback shows how the history of a town and the spirit of a place can be funnelled through the fortunes of a football club.


The days of our Geelong lives tenderly told and lovingly recounted.

Gerard Whateley

Geelong fan, or not, Comeback opens the door on the years of drama and struggle spent searching for that elusive prize every club craves – success. It's a story for all.

Tracey Holmes

At last, a book to explain the stunning success of Australia's second oldest AFL club.

Hon. Steve Bracks AC

Recently my daughter joined me to watch a Geelong v Hawthorn replay, cheering in all the right bits, booing every Hawks goal, and recalling the song in such a way as to impair her future appreciation of Carmen. And if she ever wonders what her dad is on about — which she's bound to, perhaps with a curse — Comeback is the book I'll give her.

Gideon Haigh, The Australian

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    August 29, 2016

    Melbourne University Press

    RRP $29.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    August 29, 2016

    Melbourne University Press Digital

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

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The Long and Winding Road
A Walk in the Park
Das Reboot
Running with the Firm
Greater London
Cider With Rosie
My Way
Front Up, Rise Up
Jamie Vardy: From Nowhere, My Story
Class of 92: Out of Our League
The Straight Dope Updated Edition
Saving Bletchley Park
Jurgen Klopp
The Good Life On Te Muna Road
Men in White Suits