This is the story of Tom Wills – the man most often credited with creating the game we now know as Australian Rules football.
Sent to a strict English school, Rugby in 1850 at fourteen, Tom returned a worldly man whose cricket prowess quickly captured the hearts of Melbournians. But away from the adoring crowds in the desolation of the Queensland outback, he experienced first-hand the devastating effects of racial tension when his father was murdered in the biggest massacre of Europeans by Aboriginal people. Yet five years later, Tom coached the first Aboriginal cricket team.
Tom Wills lived hard and fast, challenging authority on and off the field. But when his physical talents began to fade, psychological demons that alcohol and adrenaline had kept at bay surged to the fore, driving him to commit the most brutal of suicides, He was forty-four and destitute.