Text Publishing 2005
I had the idea for Players on Elgin Street, Carlton, in 1999. For four years, my father begged me to write it: ‘The Footy Show will get cancelled and you’ll kick yourself!’, he’d plead. I explained that The Footy Show would never get cancelled, that it was like asbestos and that they would have to get specialists from outside the TV industry in to remove it. Nevertheless, I took his point and wrote the novel.
Tickets began to have qualms even in the instant that passed between the headbutt starting and the headbutt landing…
Ian ‘Tickets’ Thompson, former football star and current playboy, is a media darling. Arrogant, womanising, deeply offensive; he’s the star of TV’s top-rating football show ‘Leather and Lace’. Billy Nock is still playing football, even though his best days are well and truly behind him. Married to the beautiful and talented Olivia – lotto host extraordinaire – and committed to his team, his friends and his family, Billy’s the genuine article. Unfortunately, on the ground he’s a has-been, and on TV he’s a never-was. His football show, Pill Talk is unfunny, unoriginal and unwatched.
But fame is fickle, and sooner or later, the good guys are due for a win. Tickets has gone beyond the pale in one of his regular tussles with the public. And Billy has the footage. With big reputations and even bigger money on the line, this is much more than a game. This is celebrity, and these people will resort to anything – lies, betrayal, double-crosses and maybe even murder – to stay on top.
One of the finest satirical novels ever written in this country.
Wendy Harmer, The HooplaSee all reviews
Steve Austin, Conversation Hour, ABC Queensland, 20/4/05See all reviews
"Very funny. We're lucky it's just fiction and people in TV aren't really like this."
Dave HughesSee all reviews
"Wilson lines them up from point blank range and fires - at television celebrity and those who cloak themselves in it. It's very funny."
Tim LaneSee all reviews
"Tony Wilson's cracker of a novel is without doubt the most accurate study of the sports ego ever embarked upon. The result is a frightening collision of stupidity and success. I couldn't put it down."
Rampaging Roy SlavenSee all reviews
Wilson’s characters and plot show that everything is about politics, and professional football is just another commodity in the shrinking Australian media landscape.
David Cohen, Courier Mail, 16/5/05See all reviews
A highly recommended antidote to the footballing banalities of the months ahead.
Fred Pawle, Limelight Magazine, May 2005See all reviews
Better yet, Wilson has resisted the urge to simply caricature these characters, to give us pantomime villains and pure-of-heart heroes.
Bernard Zuel, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2/4/05See all reviews
It has the potential to be read widely and with great social effect. As a fantasy of hypocrisy and corruption it is reminiscent of Frank Hardy's Power Without Glory
Ian Syson, The Age, 9/4/05See all reviews
'This is a rollicking and fast-paced read that stands alone in terms of originality and wit.'
Claire Sutherland, Herald-Sun, 23/4/04See all reviews