Our thanks to Andrew Ferguson for his 2014 piece recounting the story of Edward Larkin, who among ot...
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A Team Mate?s Letters to the Prodigal Son?
As I walk along, I wonder what went wrong, With our love, a love that was so strong.
March 15 2004 (1): I don?t know what was happening on Saturday night? Usually when we go out there you?re full of life, showing off like only you can, standing out in the crowd. But on Saturday night it seemed like your heart wasn?t in it anymore. Like you didn?t really want to be there, you know? You?re meant to be better than that, and I hope you sort out whatever?s bothering you quick smart.
And as I still walk on, I think of the things we've done Together, a-while our hearts were young.
May 30 2004 (2): OK, I didn?t really understand how you felt that night in March, what you might have been going through, or what that night might mean about our future together. To be honest when the boss man read you the riot act in the sheds, I kind of thought it was deserved? But now I hear you want to leave the city behind, and go back and play where it all started!
How can you leave this, after all we?ve been through together? Who was there alongside you when you made first grade? Who was there through that brilliant season which ended with you playing for Australia? Who was there through your injuries, willing you on at training to get back to your best? And who was there watching you accept all those awards last year (3)?
So you?re just going to turn your back on this and walk away. I wish you?d just stop and explain all this to us; none of it makes any sense.
I'm a-walkin' in the rain, Tears are fallin' and I feel the pain, Wishin' you were here by me, To end this misery.
19 August 2004 (4): So I find out you?re running away to play in England now? Is that what you really want, winter weather like this the whole year round? Look at what?s happened to the gang since you?ve been gone, we?ve turned into a bunch of easy-beats. There?s a gaping hole where you once stood that nobody else is filling, and there?s no money to replace you.
But there?s a bigger hole mate, one right where it hurts. We all know the boss man can be a bit of prick sometimes, and it?s no secret he had that falling out with your big buddy last year. But that?s all back room stuff - we were a gang weren?t we? We could?ve worked it out, got on with playing and winning despite the boss man. We used to have something special, mates playing side by side on the field. With you missing this year it?s just felt like a job, and nothing more.
And I wonder-- I wah-wah-wah-wah-wonder, Why, Why, why, why, why, why (he) ran away.
November 29 2005 (5): Well you seem to have done alright for yourself over there, winning almost every award there is in your first season in England! Seems like you got your love for the game back, which is a good thing. I see your blokes got bundled out of the semis early? So did we. This year was an OK year but ended up with that same feeling just like 2001, knowing it could?ve been so much more?.
Hey, I know you and the boss man didn?t get on, but there?s rumours flying around the club that he won?t be around in 2007! Don?t suppose you?d be interested in coming back and reminding us all of what we?ve been missing? It?d be a good chance to show everyone who the real problem was here. Imagine that? no boss man, you returning to your mates, and maybe we could get that grand final win together after all? Food for thought anyway.
Yes, and I wonder, A-where (he) will stay-ay, My little runaway, Run, run, run, run, runaway.
July 5 2006 (6): Manly! Why Manly? What happened? The boss man got the boot here, it was all set up perfectly for you to come back. I thought you were really keen on making things right? all this talk in the press, your manager and that contract he took over there? Was this your big buddy?s plan all along? Well he can?t protect you where it counts, out on the playing field. We?ll be waiting to settle some scores next season? Judas!