Thursday, December 01, 2011

Book Review - Ablett Greatest Ever by Ken Piesse

Finished another book off tonight. This one was called Ablett Greatest Ever and was written by Ken Piesse. The foreward was done by Rex Hunt but it was mainly used as a chance to blow his own trumpet. Not the most professional of works. Maybe it doesn't matter considering the target audience.

This book was more a collection of (very interesting) anecdotes and interviews than anything else and didn't feel like a biography. Great collection of photos and cartoons included though.

Still, after finishing I don't feel as if I know this enigma, Gary Ablett Snr, any better. This is despite the wonderful amoung to information about him and his footballing life.

Had to wait until chapter 29, which was devoted entirely to, before the only match I ever saw Ablett play in first hand was discussed in depth (chapter 28 mentioned the number of goals kicked and opponent). It took place on May the 1st 1993 at the MCG against Essendon and Ablett kicked 14.7. This was his greatest haul in a match at league level. The book referred to his banana kick for his 11th goal but the video shows that it was, in fact, for his 10th goal. And it is stated that 46,588 people in the crowd were enthralled. My recollection of the attendance that day was 44 thousand. But his figure is backed up by this Website. Maybe the scoreboard didn't record the figure correctly.

Having spent a few hours during this week in the medical centre waiting room I managed to finish the book in five days. I found it to be a good read, especially as I picked it up for $3 at the Save The Children Fund Book Fair, but you'd certainly need to be at least a football fan to have an interest in this book. It went a long way towards explaining why many consider Gary Ablett Snr to be the greatest ever Australian Rules footballer.

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