The average football supporter knows absolutely nothing about Glenn Manton.

Those are the words of the man himself, who will be at Newport next week to talk about his latest book, Put Your Damn Phone Down.

The former AFL star and author, who has a background in education, says the book contains 50 provocative questions interspersed with “absolutely brutal” stories from his life.

“Stories that’ll make your skin crawl,” the Williamstown resident says.

“Stories that I know young people, in particular, love hearing about.”

The stories are designed to look at various aspects of life, including physical health, mental health, relationships, communication, highs and lows and everything in between.

“They’re stories that galvanise and promote thinking, particularly within young people,” Manton said. “I’ve had a very, very big life. I’ve fallen down every crack, I’ve climbed every mountain and I’ve done everything in between, so I’m not the sort of person who just sat on the couch.”

In 1999, Manton co-founded Whitelion, a not-for-profit organisation supporting young people in custody and afterwards.

“Whitelion was on the back end of me as a 25-year-old being invited to go and speak to some young people in prison,” he said.

“I worked with a young heroin addict for about four years almost every day whilst I was playing AFL football.” Manton says he doesn’t think banning mobile phones in school’s is the answer, as phones can sometimes be a creative resource that can spawn conversations.

“I think the entire education space needs a shake-up,” he said. “That was the idea in the book: rather than say, ‘Hey, put it down, it’s a disaster, you’re a disaster’, it’s a case of saying, ‘hey, can we put it down for a period of time and find more creative and productive ways to use it’.” Glenn Manton will give an author’s talk about

Put Your Damn Phone Down on Wednesday, July 17 from 6.30-7.30pm at Newport Community Hub. Bookings via or 1300 462 542.