Mick Malthouse, a tenacious, hard-hitting defender in Australian Football racked up 174 senior games for St Kilda and Richmond including a Grand Final victory with the Tigers in 1980 and eight finals appearances in all.
But it was as a coach of genius that Malthouse fired the imagination of the football world. After cutting his teeth at Footscray, twice he took teams from the bottom of the ladder to Premiership glory - first West Coast, then Collingwood. A staggering eight grand final appearances and fifty finals in all mark an extraordinary record.
Malthouse never made excuses for himself and he was equally uncompromising with his players. Some fell by the wayside but most prospered and it was as a team builder and canny tactician that he shone. He soon became a colourful figure in the media, playing that game to his club's advantage, but for all his antics he remained a devoted family man and loyal mate to a legion of friends.
Malthouse: a football life is a thrilling roller-coaster ride through the hurly-burly of elite sport. It is also a sensitive and intimate portrait of the man behind the public figure: the compassionate man; the practical joker; the philosopher and author; the child-like enthusiast; the lover of humanity; and the mentor who turns boys into men.