• Patrick McBride

Father's Day Gift Idea For Sports Fans.

The Life and Times of Olsen Filipaina - Pacific Revolution Pioneer.

Keely Gorrie from Paper Plus Greymouth.

To fans he was ‘the Galloping Garbo’, a shy working-class hero who thrilled crowds for the Balmain Tigers and North Sydney Bears in between shifts as a garbage man.

To opponents who dreaded facing his Polynesian power, he was a disrupter known as ‘The Big O’. To coaches and media critics, he was simply ‘Olsen the enigma’.

The Big O is the story of Ngapuhi-Samoan Olsen Filipaina, a New Zealand Hall of Fame rugby league legend who paved the way for the Pacific Revolution – the influx of Māori and Pasifika players who today dominate the NRL.

It tracks Olsen’s story from his rise out of working-class South Auckland and starring for the Mangere East Hawks to overcoming depression, racism and cultural dislocation in Sydney, to the Cinderella story of his success for the New Zealand Kiwis, enabled by the culturally competent man management of coaching legend Sir Graham Lowe.

‘Olsen was a pathfinder, the first to show what Polynesians could do, and he was the face of hope for his community. He was a great player who was misunderstood, and this is a very important book to explain his role in the Polynesian rise in rugby league.’ – Sir Graham Lowe

Forty years after Filipaina burst into the Australian rugby league scene, Patrick Skene’s biography relates the journey of a humble and principled man who overcame barriers to dethrone the greatest player of all.

Available in the following West Coast Bookstores

Paper Plus Greymouth 03 768 5175

Take Note Hokitika 03 755 8167