"Sport is a passion and out of passion comes love. No point trying to work out why some become heroes and others don't. The chosen ones just go into the pantheon and refuse to fade. Think of Bradman and Les Darcy, Phar Lap and Tommy Corrigan. "
"Getting ashore was not that hard. Hanging on, up on that ridge, for eight months - that was hard. The Australians defended absurd positions. They looked after each other. They kept their good humour. There is cheerfulness in soldiers' letters from Gallipoli one seldom comes upon in letters from France. The food was unspeakable, the flies a plague. [So were] dysentery and lice... The miracle is simply these men didn't lose heart. And they didn't, not even when they knew all was lost and they were creeping away by night, leaving so many dead. That, to me, is why we are right to remember Gallipoli. We are surely right to honour them. We are surely right to walk past the political intrigues and the blunders and say Gallipoli says something good about the Australian people and the Australian spirit. "
"Australia is a quirky country. It is happy to have as heroes Phar Lap, a racehorse who died, Les Darcy, a boxer who died, Ned Kelly, a bushranger who was hanged, and Simpson, a private soldier shot by a Turkish sniper. It celebrates a military adventure called Gallipoli that, brave as it was, was lost from the second day. We like gritty failures and folk heroes. Bradman , the folk hero who didn't stumble, is an exception. "