The book is an historical tale about early twentieth century Collingwood player Doc Seddon, his teammate Paddy Rowan and a girl named Louie.
Set against the backdrop of an improvised Collingwood in 1917, Doc Seddon introduces his childhood sweetheart, Louie to his dashing team mate Paddy Rowan. Paddy sweeps Louie off her feet and they marry.
But war intervenes. Doc and Paddy go off to fight, leaving Louie to raise Paddy’s baby. Just before the 1917 Grand Final, Doc sends a horseshoe back from the Somme, where he continued to serve. It brings the Magpies luck—they win.
The book is a love story except that fairytales didn’t come true in Collingwood in 1917, the biggest slum of Melbourne.
What really happened to them is a much grittier tale. Throughout the story author Paul Daley explores the role that the Collingwood Football Club played in the struggling community that gave rise to it.
274 pp, 2011