Broncos, Dragons, Knights, Maroons, Australia ... Darius Boyd is an NRL champion. This raw, honest and inspiring memoir takes us into the heart of his footy and private life and reveals his fight to conquer his demons and live a better life.
'A legend of the game' - Anthony Seibold
'He's a player that never lets his team down' - Billy Slater
Darius Boyd broke into the Brisbane Broncos NRL team in 2006 straight out of high school and was part of the premiership-winning team in his debut season. He'd go on to win another premiership with the Dragons in 2010, claiming the Clive Churchill Medal for man of the match and forever stamping his name as an elite champion of the game. He has played 28 State of Origins for Queensland and taken the field in 23 Tests for Australia - never playing in a losing Australian team. In 15 seasons at the top level, Darius has won nearly every honour the sport can award and is undeniably an NRL great.
But listing statistics, awards and premierships doesn't reveal the battles that Darius Boyd has faced off the field. A teenager with a troubled background, he started his career with innate footy talent but also the emotional baggage of an unknown father, the devastating loss of loved ones, and a mother who was walking a mental health tightrope herself, which as a kid he didn't understand.
As his talent shone on the field and his profile increased, Darius struggled. Hiding years of depression and unhappiness, playing footy was his escape. But no one can run from themselves forever. The horrific spinal injury to good mate and Newcastle Knights teammate Alex McKinnon was the catalyst that finally broke Darius. Realising he needed help for his anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts, he turned his back on football, checked into a mental health facility and began to mend his life and himself. Now, as he heads into retirement, Darius Boyd is sharing his story, to celebrate his triumphs on the field but, more importantly for him, revealing how to deal with depression, overcome adversity and live with mental illness. He reflects on excerpts from his private journal which charted his journey from the depths of despair to a life of gratitude. It is a heartfelt message he now takes across the NRL and into boardrooms, schools and footy clubs in a quest to keep our young men alive.
BATTLING THE BLUES is a raw, honest and inspiring memoir that takes us into the heart of an NRL champion and his fight to conquer his demons and live a better life.