Fred Cook began his football career with Footscray in the VFL. But he really made his name in the game after crossing to Port Melbourne in the VFA.
His prodigious goalkicking in the 1970s earned him the nickname ‘Fabulous Fred’ and fame at a pop-star level. He appeared on TV, on radio and wrote newspaper columns, and he mixed with Melbourne’s sporting and entertainment elite. But he fell in with a criminal crowd, formed a drug habit, lost everything and did three spells in prison. Cook has led a remarkable life, going from hero to zero.
He’s always wanted to tell his story, which features football, crime and drugs, and the wider issue of sportspeople who struggle with normalcy once their careers have ended. Fred Cook’s name still resonates, thirty years after his career ended. Last year he was nominated for the Australian Football Hall of Fame.