A couple of my good mates, the lovely Valerie Adams and Phil Gifford, have a great book out, Valerie, the Autobiography.
I'm not a big reader but I got a good sneak preview of this one and it's a ripper. I can tell you I will be reading it from cover to cover.
Valerie's a champion in everything she does and I love it that she's a local girl who remains true to her roots and is so proud of being one of Manukau's finest.
She and Phil have done a great job. Trust me, Valerie holds nothing back and takes no prisoners.
She says exactly where things went wrong in London at the Olympics, and gives all the details about how she and her coach Kirsten Hellier came to split up.
If you thought you knew the truth behind the Valerie Adams story you'll be amazed at what she reveals. I've always admired Valerie for her honesty and with the help of my old mate Phil (Loosehead Len) she tells us the full story for the first time.
I'm proud to say I got them together for the first time for the 2009 Mad Butcher Suburban Newspapers Trust Christmas luncheon.
I will never forget that day. Val had a room full of grown men weeping openly as she told the story of her mother's death and her own part in nursing her mum through that. And all to raise money for one of her favourite charities, Hospice. Phil interviewed Valerie on stage that day and Valerie got a standing ovation.
In 2007 I did my book What A Ride Mate with Phil and just this weekend I had people come up to me at the opening of the Silverdale Mad Butcher store to get it signed.
A book is always something special and Phil has a knack of turning a story into something very readable that gets to the heart of the matter with warmth and honesty.
Valerie deserves to be a huge success simply because Val is a very special person, a true champion and one with grace and dignity. She has every right to be proud of herself and we South Aucklanders need to be very proud of her.
- © Fairfax NZ News