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The rags to riches memoir of a football tragic.

Football veteran Les Murray is the face and voice of soccer broadcasting in Australia and is one of our nation's most influential people in sport. In this tell-all memoir Les tells of his humble origins as a migrant to Australia, through his struggles with life in a country that did not embrace the beautiful game, and details his rise to top of football media and commentary, at the same time documenting soccer's rise in popularity within the Australian sporting culture.

Fleeing a crumbling Stalinist Hungary with his family in 1956 was shocking for Les as a young boy, discovering that Australia was a veritable football desert was even worse. From Budapest to Port Kembla is a huge cultural leap in anyone's language but Laszlo Urge had a single-minded passion for the game and made it count by choosing it as a faith. Following moderate success as a semi-pro player, Les then dabbled in rock and roll but then went on to become one of the game's most respected journalists, commentators and broadcasters.

Well known beyond SBS as presenter and producer of SBS soccer programs, he has been directly involved in all major events covered by SBS Sport, including the World Cup Soccer tournaments. It was Les Murray who coined the term 'the World Game', and who, with Johnny Warren, made it his mission to make football in this country count. BY THE BALLS is the story of Les's life and love - football - and details his personal relationship with it as a self-confessed soccer tragic.

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