On an April day in 2012 Michael Lynagh – 48 year-old retired rugby union great and father of three – was suddenly forced to re evaluate everything after suffering a massive stroke. What followed is an inspiring story of recovery, rehabilitation and remembering. He chats to Andrew Cattanach.
by Michael Lynagh
A rugby great confronts his greatest challenge.
It’s the unthinkable – to be blindsided by a life-threatening illness in the prime of life, with no prior warning. We all hope it doesn’t happen, but for some of us, inevitably, life plays out that way.
On an April day like any other in 2012 Michael Lynagh – retired rugby great – set for a successful career in commercial property and rugby analysis was suddenly forced to re evaluate everything. While with friends in Brisbane having a relaxed beer or two, a seemingly fit and healthy Lynagh suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Royal Brisbane Hospital. He was just forty-eight years old and a father of three young boys. Everything about his life and how he viewed it was about to change. For three days, as his brain swelled to the point of catastrophe, his life hung in the balance. What followed is an inspiring story of recovery, rehabilitation and remembering. Blindsided is a life-affirming memoir about luck, family, mates and rugby; and a timely reminder of how you play the game of life, as much as rugby, matters … even if you happen to be a Wallaby legend.
Michael Lynagh won 72 Test caps and retired from international rugby in 1995 with a world record 911 points scored – a number that remains an Australian record.
About the Contributor
While still in his twenties, John Purcell opened a second-hand bookshop in Mosman, Sydney, in which he sat for ten years reading, ranting and writing. Since then he has written, under a pseudonym, a series of very successful novels, interviewed hundreds of writers about their work, appeared at writers’ festivals, on TV (most bizarrely in comedian Luke McGregor’s documentary Luke Warm Sex) and has been featured in prominent newspapers and magazines. Now, as the Director of Books at booktopia.com.au, Australia’s largest online bookseller, he supports Australian writing in all its forms. He lives in Sydney with his wife, two children, three dogs, five cats, unnumbered gold fish and his overlarge book collection. His novel, The Girl on the Page, was published by HarperCollins Australia in October, 2018.