Book Review: Breakfast with Bails

I’ve just read the most remarkable ‘footy’ related book I think I’ve ever cast my eye over.

I put ‘footy’ in inverted comers because while footy is the way most of us would know the man that the story surrounds, this book is about much much more than that.

We all frequent the Footy Almanac website and contribute to the community because footy is our common touchstone, and provides an often poetic context to other parts of our lives. Rarely, if ever, have I read something the intertwines the themes of footy and death.

Written by former Adelaide staffer and colleague of Dean Bailey, Paddy Steinfort, “Breakfast With Bails” does just that. Many of us would remember the rapid demise of Bailey after what was thought to have been an innocuous cough turned out to be an aggressive form of lung cancer. When the seriousness of Bailey’s situation became clear, Steinfort sought to capture his mentor’s philosophies on footy, coaching and life through hospital bedside interviews. This book is the result.

It is equal parts raw, confronting, emotional and profound. It provides incredible insight and access to an incredible man in an incredible situation, and is a story that will stay with me for quite sometime. If you read one book this year it must be this one.

It’s available for purchase via Amazon and selected book stores, further details can be found at:

About Ben Footner

I'm tragic Crows fan, avid lawn bowler, public librarian and father of 2 little kiddies. Sometimes I also find time amongst all that to squeeze out the occasional article for the Almanac.

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