Put Les Darcy in a uniform and the men of Australia will march to hell behind him.
Les Darcy was arguably the greatest boxer Australia ever saw. A good Catholic boy from a poor rural family, he began his boxing career in the years before World War 1, and captured the imagination, and hearts, of the Australian public. But when war broke out, Les was not ready to sign up until his family, who relied on his winnings, was provided for. As the conscription debate raged, Les found himself an unwitting target of those who believed he should sign up. Torn between his duty to his family and his love of his country, Darcy struggled to balance the two, with a tragic outcome.
The Ballad of Les Darcy tells the story of one of Australia’s greatest sporting heroes. Previously ranked alongside Donald Bradman and Phar Lap as Australia’s leading three sports legends, Darcy’s name has perhaps faded a little from the public spotlight. In this well paced biography, author Peter Fitzsimons brings his story to life both for those who perhaps who already know something of Darcy’s tale, as well as for those who perhaps may not have heard it previously.
Darcy’s life was remarkable – and deserves to be remembered.
The Ballad of Les Darcy, by Peter Fitzsimons
This edition Harper Collins, 2009
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