Author(s): Paul Lewis
Sir Terry McLean, New Zealand's best-known journalist and sports writer, packed a lot of living into his 90 years. Author of 32 books, mostly on rugby, his life encompassed some of the most cataclysmic events in New Zealand history, from the Great Depression, the Napier earthquake and the Second World War to one of the most divisive social issues of our time - South Africa, the apartheid debate and the way in which New Zealand rugby became a political football. A warm and generous man, he was also a stinging and trenchant critic - feared by All Blacks, colleagues and competitors - yet loved by readers, who relied on his analysis to provide insight at a time when rugby and sport loomed large. As with many complex and driven people, McLean's public life and character concealed secret chapters in both his family and professional life. He had a love-hate relationship with his employers, yet mixed easily with the rich and powerful, about whom he had many stories. His liaisons - and one in particular - contain surprises, never before published. More than anything, however, McLean's biography is that of a reporter and writer of integrity, courage and relentless application, whose words greatly influenced New Zealanders. Jock McLean, TP's son, who has made available family archives and previously unpublished material, has been an invaluable.
Jock McLean, TP's son, who has made available family archives and previously unpublished material, has been an invaluable contributor to this, his father's story. Paul Lewis is a former winner of the 1988 Qantas award for Journalist of the Year. Currently sports editor of Herald on Sunday, he has won many awards for sports writing, including best columnist, best sports news reporter and best sports feature writer. Early in his career, Lewis worked with McLean, including covering All Black rugby.