FORGET David and Goliath, Harry Potter and Voldermort or Superman and Batman, this is the biggest and most important rivalry for West Australians: the Western Derby.
Most have their allegiances. Just ask Dockers fanatics Shaun McManus, Kim Scott and Luc Longley, or die-hard Eagles David Wirrpanda, Dennis Lillee and Justin Langer, who have all contributed to a new book on one of Australia’s biggest sporting rivalries.
Co-authored by David Whish-Wilson and Sean Gorman, with contributions from 40 Perth personalities, Derby delves into the passion, the history and the memories each person has about their favourite club.
Whish-Wilson said it was time to look at the rivalry that had developed over the past 22 years and 44 derbies.
“As any fan will tell you, the Derby game is no ordinary game, characterised by a high level of anxiety that is generally matched on the oval by a ferocity and a competitiveness that has become a hallmark of the AFL calendar,” he said.
“It’s bragging rights for the winning team and a feeling of being ragged for those on the losing side.
“There is genuine antipathy between the fans of both clubs which is mostly reserved for the fans of the other side, rather than the players or the club.”
He said it was a must-read for all WA football enthusiasts.
“We found that people were very eager to talk about their allegiances but what we were looking for was people with interesting stories to tell, fans from all over the State, who had sometimes very funny and sometimes poignant reasons for following their club, and what that’s meant for them over the years,” he said.
“On the surface, the book is about football but it’s also about us as a people and about this place, about social memory and cultural heritage.”
Derby is available from www.fremantlepress.com.au.