Tim Clarke: ‘The story this book tells has blown me away’

Journalist and editor of The Legend from Bruce Rock: The Wally Foreman Story, Tim Clarke. Credit: The West Australian

The following is a guest post by editor of The Legend from Bruce Rock: The Wally Foreman Story and journalist at The West Australian, Tim Clarke.

I have been lucky enough to make my living from words for more than 20 years.

First in the UK and now in Australia; I have worked for some of the best news companies on both continents.

And stringing those sentences together about challenging topics has done more than pay the bills. It has taken me to numerous surprising and distressing places, both physically and emotionally.

I’m proud of what I’ve achieved.

But what Glen has done in writing this book blows me away, in both senses of the phrase.

The sheer size of the project is one thing. Six years – the time it takes to get a medical degree in this country.

Six years of bloody graft – research, interviews, transcription, collation, writing, rewriting, editing, and finalising. That is worthy of admiration in itself.

But, then, consider the subject matter.

How many of us would have the patience, or the pluck, to explore the life of a father we lost when we were just 22-years-old?

Could you revisit those memories? And not just fleetingly, but over and over and over again? Would you open up your own emotions and then commit to the page for the whole state to pore over?

Not many could say yes.

But we should be glad he persevered.

Because what he has done is capture Wally Foreman like no-one else could. And, of course, those memories of Wally were worth capturing.

He was simply one of the best – and best loved – sports administrators and broadcasters Australia has ever produced.

But this book is about more than Wal’s work at WAIS, The West Australian or the ABC.

It is about Wally the man, Wally the husband, Wally the son. It is about Wally the dad.

That dad should – and would – be very proud of what his son has produced.

It was well worth the effort.

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