It’s fair to say Shane Martin would have been happy to have turned his back on New Zealand forever when he left for Sydney as a troubled 20-year-old.
After all, the man who would later sire the best Australian footballer of his generation, Dustin Martin, had grown up in poverty with three brothers in the isolated town of Huntly, south of Auckland, surrounded by alcohol and violence.
Perhaps the chaos of his childhood – his parents split when he was young and he became a father figure to his three younger brothers – explained his fastidious neatness and the drive to make something of his life.
He did that on both sides of the law, not only building a successful trucking company, but rising to the rank of president in the feared Sydney chapter of the infamous outlaw Rebels…
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