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The autobiography of one rugby league’s greatest characters, who will hang up his boots at the end of 2018

Sam Thaiday is one of rugby league’s most highly regarded and respected players. Often seen as one of the last true larrikins of the game, Sam has entertained Brisbane Broncos, Queensland State of Origin and Australian fans over his sixteen-year career.

But behind that playful facade and infectious grin is a deeply caring and thoughtful individual, a family man who is passionate about working for equality in the community. Sam’s book reveals his family connections to the Torres Strait, how it was his mum who taught him how to pass, tackle and how to throw a punch (just in case it ever came up), how he married his high-school sweetheart, and his wishes for his daughters’ futures.

He will also tell how this Townsville boy and die-hard Cowboys fan ended up a Broncos star. A one-club player, a rarity in the game today, he relives the high points of his career, including the 2006 premiership, his 2008 Dally M Award and his many representative caps. He tells some of the wild stories from behind the scenes of the club and representative training camps, with a cast of characters all NRL fans will recognise.

This is Sam’s unique story, told with his trademark humour, humility and honesty.

Formats & editions

  • Trade Paperback


    July 30, 2018

    Ebury Australia

    352 pages

    RRP $34.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • 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


    July 30, 2018

    Random House Australia

    352 pages

    Online retailers

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



The early days

I knew I needed a killer opening line.

I was chatting with a mate over a few drinks and I told him I was writing a book. We agreed that all the best things we’d ever read gripped you from the first line. I wanted something like that. We started tossing out examples. Maybe it should be:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was try time.

Or something even more dramatic, like:

They told me I’d never dance the tango again – but the rhythm said otherwise.

But in the end, I figured if I was telling my life story I might as well start with something honest and from the heart:

I reckon my brother regretted teaching me how to throw around the time he saw the axe flying towards him.

Yeah, that’ll do it. Not quite Hemingway but it’s a good place to start. I’ll explain.

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