Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sniffle

G'day all!

It's been a busy week. Lots of things going on.

No good pics to share at this point - I used them all up earlier in the week! Silly me 8-)

I was reading the paper online this afternoon and was totally dismayed to discover that one of my favourite ever footballers died of lung cancer today. He never smoked. He was only three years older than me.

Many years ago, when he was a young man who had come from Ireland (though he was Scottish) to play Aussie Rules, he wrecked one of his knees. I used to go to training (ie the players ran around training for games) and watch. It is long enough ago that my team still trained at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the ground still had a picket fence around it. The pickets were metal, though, not wood. Two sorts of pickets alternated, one had more a flattened button top, the other was a bit pointier. I remember sitting on the picket fence and he hobbled up on crutches and hoisted himself up and sat next to me. I don't think we spoke beyond a comment on how uncomfortable it was to sit there. He had a most fabulous accent.

But from that moment on, I watched this young footballer. In American terms, I rooted for him (in Australian terms, I barracked cos rooting has a somewhat umm earthier connotation to us). I hoped his knee would get him back into the game, I hoped he would fulfill his promise. He played in the winning under 19s team in 1983, just a year after he first arrived in Australia having never played the game before. (He must have wrecked his knee after that game.) He went on to break into the seniors and played 150 games at the highest level in the land. He was named All Australian (snerk) in 1987 and represented Victoria (state) in 1988. His athleticism led him into injury more than once - he usually played in defence and played his role like he was a soccer goalie. He nearly killed himself on the goal posts more than once. Watching your favourite player wreck his knee again, give himself concussion, wreck his shoulders and generally give his all was heart in the mouth stuff. He retired in 1995 when his body said no more.

He still remembered me even after he had retired, what 11 years later.

I remember him (and my memories from that age are not very clear - only after I stopped eating gluten did I start laying down good memories!). I wish I had known him better. I wish I had not been so shy, too shy to talk to him. But I was young and silly and had some idle daydream of marrying into the team that I adored and that made me even more tongue tied. It is funny how the passion has cooled over the years - I am still a Demon born and bred, will be 'til one of us dies, but I've been bitten enough times now to take a step back and distance myself some.

Vale, Sean Wight. You will be missed.

Next time, I hope to be a little less mournful! I may even have some new makings to show off :-)

anon!

1 comment:

  1. I think he is very lucky to be remembered so fondly.

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