Fine thanks mate Cover

Fine thanks mate

John 'Bomber' Peard on League, Life and Second Chances

With Larry Writer

ABC Books

A rugby league great faces his greatest challenge…

John Peard is a legend of Australian rugby league. Immensely talented, he starred for Eastern Suburbs in their grand final wins under Jack Gibson in 1974 and ’75, and also played with distinction for St George, Parramatta, New South Wales and Australia. A consummate linkman in attack and a punishing defender, he was known as ‘the Bomber’, exponent of the most deadly and accurate ‘up-and-under’ kick the game of rugby league had ever seen. This controversial and tactical innovation terrorised opposition teams for years and led to scores of tries for Russell Fairfax, Ian Schubert, Mark Harris, Ray Price, Mick Cronin and other legends of his era – and literally changed the game. On his retirement he became a successful coach and businessman and a popular ABC commentator.

But John Peard’s memoir is more than just football yarns and grand final memories. In 2002, at only 57, he suffered a massive stroke. Doctors did not expect him to survive and his loved ones were told to prepare for the worst. Yet survive he did. Mustering all of his famous good humour and grit, he rebuilt his life. Knowing he had been given a second chance, he wasn’t going to waste it. Slowly but surely his condition improved. He taught himself to walk and think and speak again, to tie his laces, shower and make a cup of tea. Today he is an inspirational public speaker and comedian.