The Pearl is the story of Steve Renouf, a brilliant Aboriginal rugby league player. But it is not just the tale of a gifted footballer. It is the story of his family heritage; of his childhood in the southern Queensland town of Murgon; and of his emergence as a try-scoring centre. It is the story of how he and his childhood sweetheart Elissa fought for their love in the face of community prejudices. It is also the story of Steve's journey from a small country town to play for the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia, and build a reputation as one of the most admired attacking players in the game's history. The Pearl commemorates the end of Steve Renouf's football career but comes as he and Elissa and their five young children embark on the next stage of their lives.
John Harms is a writer and broadcaster. he lives in Melbourne. He writes for The Age and appears on ABC-TV's Offsiders.