Martin Flanagan (journalist)

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Martin Flanagan
BornMartin Joseph Flanagan
1955 (age 64–65)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia
OccupationSportswriter, journalist, columnist
Alma materUniversity of Tasmania
RelativesRichard Flanagan (brother)

Martin Joseph Flanagan (1955—) is an Australian journalist and author. He writes on sport, particularly Australian rules football. Flanagan also writes opinion pieces, some of which are examinations of Australian culture and the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.[1]

Flanagan has written thirteen books, including the novel The Call (1998), an "historical imagining" into the life of Tom Wills, the enigmatic father of Australian rules football and captain-coach of the first Aboriginal cricket team. Flanagan portrays Wills as a tragic figure caught between white and black Australia, and postulates that the Aboriginal game of Marngrook influenced his conception of Australian rules football.[2] Flanagan subsequently became embroiled in football's "history wars" which received significant coverage in the national media in 2008, the year of the game's 150th anniversary celebrations.[3] He and Bruce Myles adapted The Call into a stage play of the same name, which premiered at Melbourne's Malthouse Theatre in 2004.[4]

The Game in Time of War (2003) is a collection of essays Flanagan wrote on the role that Australian rules football plays during wartime. He co-authored the non-fiction books The Line (2005) with his father Arch Flanagan, and The Fight (2006) with Tom Uren. Flanagan has also written biographies of Australian rules footballers: Richo (2010) on Matthew Richardson[5] and The Short Long Book (2015) on Michael Long.

Martin Flanagan is one of six children of Arch Flanagan, a survivor of the Burma Death Railway. He is descended from Irish convicts transported to Van Diemen's Land in the 1840s. He grew up in Tasmania, and now lives in Melbourne. One of his three brothers is Tasmanian author, historian and film director Richard Flanagan.[6]




  • Shorts: Poems (1984)


  • Archie's Letter: An ANZAC Story (2012)



  • The Call (2004)


  1. ^ The Age Real Footy, The Age.
  2. ^ Flanagan, Martin (2011). "Why Tom Wills is an Australian legend like Ned Kelly". Australian Football. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. ^ Flanagan, Martin (15 May 2008). "The history wars and AFL footy" Archived 22 March 2015 at the Wayback Machine, The Age. Retrieved 23 March 2016.
  4. ^ Martin Flanagan, The Wheeler Centre.
  5. ^ Flanagan, Martin (20 March 2010). "It's farewell to Richo, the fallible Tiger hero who everyone felt they knew". The Age. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  6. ^ Austlit – Martin Flanagan