The West

There was a moment amid the ruins of the Sari Club - a few scant seconds after the roar of the bomb had faded - which Phil Britten says stretched out to an eternity.

It was a fleeting silence, an absence of sound from the injured and dying as their minds worked through the shock.

A lone voice rang out. Then the screaming started.

A promising footballer and tradesman, Mr Britten was one of the victims left broken and bleeding on the club's floor in the wake of the 2002 Bali terrorist attacks.

In the years after the bomb, the things he saw that night, what he had to do to survive and where he discovered the strength to do so, are details he found difficult to share, even with his wife and mother.

He has never revealed the full horror and terror of his dramatic escape, until now.

Some things, Mr Britten said yesterday were easier to write about than say.

As the nation prepares to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the bombings on October 12, Mr Britten has made the difficult decision to tell his story in a book titled Undefeated.

From Friday, extracts from the book - co-authored by Mr Britten's wife Rebecca and veteran journalist Malcolm Quekett - will appear exclusively in _The West Australian. _

The father of two said there were a number of reasons he had decided to tell his tale now.

"The main tipping point was having kids," Mr Britten said. "I don't want it to be forgotten. I don't want my boys to not know that their dad went through some really tough times. Hopefully that inspires them to do the most that they can do and be the best they can be."

Mr Britten left Bali with horrific injuries. The mental scars ran even deeper. But he said sharing pieces of his story with others had inspired them and helped him heal inside. He wanted to take that further with his book.

And then there were his mates from Kingsley Football Club - the ones who died that terrible night.

"I don't want my friends . . . to be forgotten," he said.

Mr Britten said his tale begins in a place of horror and terror. It ends in a place of optimism and hope.

The story is the struggle and the journey in between.

"I have burns to 60 per cent of my body," he said. "I see them every morning. The memories of the friends I've lost, I'm never going to lose. I'm never going to get over it.

"But the day that I realised I am a Bali bomb survivor was the day that I became Phil Britten again."

The West Australian

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