Absolutely Bleeding Green

The Raiders story

David Headon
AUD $39.99
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The story of the Canberra Raiders football club, from the early days of community games to the prominent role the club plays in today's national league competition.

'There is no team that gives pleasure to the sporting public like the Canberra Raiders.' - Bob Hawke, former Prime Minister of Australia

The Canberra Raiders' spectacular grand final win against the Balmain Tigers in 1989 is widely regarded as Australian Rugby League's greatest ever decider. For a fledgling club this was an extraordinary and unexpected achievement, heralding a sequence of years that produced two more premierships and two near misses. The Raiders' trademark adventurous style of play was welcomed by all lovers of the game. Attacking football was back in vogue.

David Headon tells the story of a unique football team that entered the Sydney competition in 1982 with little fanfare and plenty of pessimism, despite the fact that league had been an integral part of communities across the Limestone Plains for nearly a century. From this firm base, the Raiders emerged to make their mark.

Absolutely Bleeding Green recounts the big wins and heart-wrenching losses as it follows the players through their Raider careers, revealing how the club was able to build exceptional team spirit, even in difficult times. It includes interviews with players past and present, with coaches and administrators, as well as with families and supporters who are so proud of the distinctive lime green jersey.

'This terrific book tells the story of a unique club that changed my life forever, just as the Raiders changed Rugby League forever.' - Mal Meninga, Rugby League Immortal, Canberra Raiders Hall of Fame

'Dave Headon's history of the Canberra Raiders explores the club's origins, why it was able to defy the odds and be so successful, so quickly, and how it fought its way through more troubled times. In the process of the highs and lows, a special culture of camaraderie was created. The Raiders family has a big story, and for me it's personal.I'm honoured to be a part of it.' - Ricky Stuart, Rugby League Legend, Canberra Raiders Hall of Fame

Author bio:

David Headon is a Canberra-based historian and cultural consultant, and a regular commentator on cultural, political and social issues on ABC Radio. He is a Foundation Fellow at the Australian Studies Institute of the ANU, and recipient of a Centenary Medal in 2001. David is editor of The Best Ever Australian Sports Writing and, with Lex Marinos, of League of a Nation, and he is the author of several other books on Australian history, culture and sport.

Category: Sport
ISBN: 9781760875084
Table Of Contents: Foreword

Chapter 1: Roots: Frederick Campbell to 1921
Foundation years
The strength of southern football
Points of the Lazarus sundial

Chapter 2: A league of their own: 1921-81
Rugby League begins
Bob Craig
Between the wars
A homegrown nursery
War years and after
International glamour
Blues, Roos and a blur named Larry
Changing the game
Time to roll up the sleeves

Chapter 3: The Canberra phenomenon: 1982-85
Sink or swim
The Pioneers, 1982
'Upset of the decade' and other achievements, 1983
Two steps forward, one step back, 1984 and 1985

Chapter 4: A movie script come to life: 1986-90
One long nightmare, 1986
So close and yet, 1987
Opportunity missed, 1988
'Inside each of you is a dream', 1989

Chapter 5: The team of the '90s: 1990-2001
Oozing class, 1990
Rise, fall and rise again, 1991-93
Mal Meninga and the last crusade, 1994
Surviving Super League, 1995-96
The changing of the guard, 1997-2001

Chapter 6: Harder yards: 2002-present
Winters of content, winters of discontent, 2002-06
Leave your ego at the door, 2007-08
Return of a favourite son, 2009-13
Forever Green, 2014-19

Chapter 7: Ties that bind

Key sources
The Canberra Raiders
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Pub Date: November 2019
Page Extent: 320
Format: Book
Subject: Sports & outdoor recreation

Read the opening chapters:

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