A Father's Son
Family, football and forgiveness
'A book about humanity as much as sport. It’s like sitting at the kitchen table with your best mate and he’s pouring his heart out – about his life, his loss, his triumphs and his faults … and the love that got him through. Honest, generous, and most of all, courageous.' Markus Zusak, bestselling author of The Book Thief
Mat Rogers is an Aussie footy legend and TV star who has triumphed over hardship, loss and heartache. He is finally ready to share his powerful life story.
He is one of the most talented footballers of the modern era and a dual international in rugby league and rugby union. But for a long time, Mat Rogers lived in both the shadow and the thrall of his famous father, and their complex relationship shaped him in ways he couldn’t fathom. Craving paternal acceptance while determined to carve out his own identity and, later, to avoid repeating the sins of the father, he veered between periods of jubilation and depression, fulfilment and despair. Now, in his majestic, evocative autobiography, Rogers tells the story of a life framed by triumph and tragedy, a life in which, ultimately, he finds purpose and contentment in a harsh world.
With its cracking pace and unvarnished frankness, A Father’s Son will be widely read and difficult to forget. Though by and about a celebrated footballer, it is so much more than another athlete’s memoirs. In spare, vivid prose, Rogers reveals how his teenage years were marked by periods of rebellion and self-destructive behaviour. Then, at age 20, he became a father to son Jack before he had finished his own journey into adulthood. By 22, he was married to first wife Michelle with another child, daughter Skyla, following shortly after. As well as discussing the experience of having a family while still a young man, Rogers also recounts the challenges that have defined his life off the sports field – the impact of losing both his parents in tragic circumstances and the experimental neck surgery he underwent in 2007, ending years of debilitating pain.
Rogers’ story is one of a man who rises to the difficulties life sends his way. The discovery that his son Max is autistic prompted him and second wife Chloe to co-found charity 4 ASD Kids – and he talks passionately about the work he has done to raise awareness of a subject so close to home. That fighting spirit introduced Rogers to an even greater number of Australians who watched the sporting legend thrive on Australian Survivor. Across two memorable appearances on the reality TV series, he impressed viewers with his ability to combine his competitive spirit with his desire to play with heart. That duality, which defines Rogers' life, shines through in A Father’s Son.
'I couldn’t put this down. Mat shares his story with so much honesty and openness. I was overcome with emotion and such deep respect for Mat and the person, father and role model that he is.' Sally Obermeder, author and presenter