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“Sweeney’s forensic research shines through an entertaining book that is a thoroughly delicious slice of Irish-Americana.”
“The original Dropkick Murphy has long deserved a biography worthy of his legendary life and name, and now he has one—thanks to Emily Sweeney and her wry fascination with all things Old Boston.”
—Howie Carr, New York Times bestselling author of The Brothers Bulger and Hitman
Newspapers called him the “the man with the cast-iron toes,” “the best drop-kicker in wrestling,” and “one of the mat game’s biggest box office attractions.” But Dr. John “Dropkick” Murphy’s legacy extends far beyond the wrestling ring. Decades before the Betty Ford Center became a household name — and long before the band the Dropkick Murphys named themselves in his honor — the phrase going to Dropkick’s meant a person struggling with addiction needed help and would soon get some.
This book chronicles for the first time the unbelievable life of Dr. “Dropkick” Murphy, a professional wrestler who put himself through medical school during the Great Depression and then opened Bellows Farm, a one-of-a-kind institution that served as both a facility where elite athletes could train as well as a secluded place where down-on-their-luck alcoholics could go to sober up discreetly.
The celebrities who frequented Dropkick Murphy’s farm were many, and numerous professional athletes would go there to focus on their training and work out in his state-of-the-art gymnasium. As a result, Bellows Farm featured an unrivaled and revolving cast of colorful characters who brought it to life. Drawing on years of research and interviews, author Emily Sweeney goes behind the scenes to reveal the untold story of Murphy’s life, his farm, and the legendary events that unfolded there.