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Roughy: The Autobiography

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Roughy is a story of perspective from a Hawthorn legend – much more than a footballer’s tale. A country boy who grew up watching his old man play local footy in Leongatha, Jarryd Roughead’s talent and dedication turned him into an AFL star. Lining up alongside some of the greatest to ever play the game, he was a key player in a Hawthorn team that will live on as one of the Roughy is a story of perspective from a Hawthorn legend – much more than a footballer’s tale. A country boy who grew up watching his old man play local footy in Leongatha, Jarryd Roughead’s talent and dedication turned him into an AFL star. Lining up alongside some of the greatest to ever play the game, he was a key player in a Hawthorn team that will live on as one of the best of any era. In 2015, when a melanoma was found on his bottom lip, it seemed like only a small setback. The spot was removed and, soon after, Jarryd was back on the ground, helping the Hawks secure their famous three-peat – his fourth premiership. He was newly married, planning a family, and life seemed carefree. Then, during a routine check-up in 2016, a scan showed the melanoma had moved into his lungs. He had cancer. Jarryd was one of the first to receive an immunotherapy treatment that is now saving lives around the world – and ultimately saved his. But the side effects were brutal. Endless days and nights of agony, including nerve damage to his feet that threatened any possible return to footy. What saw Jarryd through was the same resilience, drive and positivity that had turned him into an elite footballer in the first place. Not only did he return to play AFL, he was named captain of Hawthorn. A one-club man, Roughy retired as a legend and an inspiration.


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Roughy is a story of perspective from a Hawthorn legend – much more than a footballer’s tale. A country boy who grew up watching his old man play local footy in Leongatha, Jarryd Roughead’s talent and dedication turned him into an AFL star. Lining up alongside some of the greatest to ever play the game, he was a key player in a Hawthorn team that will live on as one of the Roughy is a story of perspective from a Hawthorn legend – much more than a footballer’s tale. A country boy who grew up watching his old man play local footy in Leongatha, Jarryd Roughead’s talent and dedication turned him into an AFL star. Lining up alongside some of the greatest to ever play the game, he was a key player in a Hawthorn team that will live on as one of the best of any era. In 2015, when a melanoma was found on his bottom lip, it seemed like only a small setback. The spot was removed and, soon after, Jarryd was back on the ground, helping the Hawks secure their famous three-peat – his fourth premiership. He was newly married, planning a family, and life seemed carefree. Then, during a routine check-up in 2016, a scan showed the melanoma had moved into his lungs. He had cancer. Jarryd was one of the first to receive an immunotherapy treatment that is now saving lives around the world – and ultimately saved his. But the side effects were brutal. Endless days and nights of agony, including nerve damage to his feet that threatened any possible return to footy. What saw Jarryd through was the same resilience, drive and positivity that had turned him into an elite footballer in the first place. Not only did he return to play AFL, he was named captain of Hawthorn. A one-club man, Roughy retired as a legend and an inspiration.

30 review for Roughy: The Autobiography

  1. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    I grew up watching Roughy play for the Hawks and he will always be one of my favourite players of all time. This one was an easy read and I flew through it in a good way; it was interesting to hear everything in Roughy's words, especially winning his 4 premierships in one of the greatest teams to ever play in the AFL. I also liked the separate chapters of some people that are important and close to him in his life, that was a nice touch. He is a resilient and inspiring person who overcame cancer I grew up watching Roughy play for the Hawks and he will always be one of my favourite players of all time. This one was an easy read and I flew through it in a good way; it was interesting to hear everything in Roughy's words, especially winning his 4 premierships in one of the greatest teams to ever play in the AFL. I also liked the separate chapters of some people that are important and close to him in his life, that was a nice touch. He is a resilient and inspiring person who overcame cancer in the back end of his football career but still despite everything, he got to play again for his club which is truly amazing. I really liked the chapter touching on his relationships with Indigenous players in the AFL and at Hawthorn and how important their history is in Australia. I will always have many fond memories of Rough, he's a Hawks great and I'm so lucky I got to witness him play and get so much success.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    One of my all-time favourite footballers and a great bloke. Bought this on the day it was released and finished it the day after. And woo hoo, I’m the first review! An easy read, as though he’s sitting in front of you telling his story. Interesting to hear from his wife, bestie, brother, oncologist, and nurse in separate chapters. Unlike some famous people’s autobiographies, I feel like I did actually get more insight into who Roughy is as a person, and his life. Some people seem like they don’t One of my all-time favourite footballers and a great bloke. Bought this on the day it was released and finished it the day after. And woo hoo, I’m the first review! An easy read, as though he’s sitting in front of you telling his story. Interesting to hear from his wife, bestie, brother, oncologist, and nurse in separate chapters. Unlike some famous people’s autobiographies, I feel like I did actually get more insight into who Roughy is as a person, and his life. Some people seem like they don’t want to give anything away. Love you Roughy. Thanks for all the memories.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Philip Hunt

    I have reasons to justify my enjoyment of this one. Four decades a Hawthorn member. A fan of the game, this team and Jarryd Roughead, the player. Reasons enough to add this book on a shelf alongside similar light reading. In this case, two unique reasons to recommend it. First, and most obvious, “the footballer who had cancer”. But secondly, towards the end of the book a wonderfully insightful chapter on his maturing appreciation of Indigenous Australians and his need for un-learning some myths.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mick Maye

    Good account of a country kid getting to play in the AFL. The journey from his early love of basketball and the ups and downs of being a professional sportsman was fascinating. The discovery of cancer, it’s apparent disappearance and then return and the way he honestly addressed it in this book makes it a standout.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Annie Reynolds

    A unique insight to the journey, recovery and life of one of the games and Hawthorns greatest players.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sally Brown

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Ferraro

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nish

  9. 4 out of 5

    Darren Hamilton

  10. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  11. 5 out of 5

    Denise Wilkins

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mcquillen

  13. 4 out of 5

    M Kendrick

  14. 4 out of 5

    David

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

  16. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Gates

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Stonier

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kate thebooklover

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michael O'Dwyer

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kate

  21. 4 out of 5

    Deidre

  22. 4 out of 5

    Karen

  23. 5 out of 5

    Animated Summary

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ros Richards

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nadine F Jones

  26. 5 out of 5

    Cara

  27. 4 out of 5

    Peter Fazackerley

  28. 4 out of 5

    Judith Peake

  29. 5 out of 5

    Frosty

  30. 4 out of 5

    Gisela Lina Bernhardine Young

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