Father's SonMat Rogers
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.