Story of a man and the game

On the face of it, you couldn’t get a much blokier book, with a foreword by former Swans coach Paul Roos and a story about the Swans’ grand final victory in 2005. 

However The Man in the Box by David Wade is a universal story with several strands.

It’s about a young man entering the Victorian police force and his difficulties with adjusting to the tough police culture and then struggling with bowel and testicular cancer. 

But it’s also about his love of the Sydney Swans.

Being given only a short time to live by his doctors, he approaches Paul Roos during the team’s training at the SCG and tells him that he’s dying and that he wants to get involved with the club. 

‘‘He started coming to training, travelled with the players to the matches in the team bus and sat in the coach’s box with me in the run-up to the 2005 grand finals,’’ Mr Roos wrote in the foreword.

It’s an engrossing story of how David’s cancer battle and the Swans’ battle to win the grand final were entwined that year.

The blurb on the back of the book says ‘‘Former detective David John Wade had two goals in life ... to beat cancer and to will the Sydney Swans to the premiership. Only one came true’’.

■ The Gazette has its review copy of The Man in the Box to give away. Simply tell us whether you prefer Australian Rules or rugby league, and why, in less than 50 words. Email justine.doherty@fairfaxmedia.com.au.

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