Over 30 years ago I fell in love with a wonderful woman..
She was a Bulldogs fan, and we used to share going to the games of Easts and the Bulldogs. It was good fun going to all the games ? and eventually wedding bells rang. Many a time we used to sit on the Hill at the old Sydney Football Ground and she would knit ? I would yell, have a few beers and she would drive home.
Let's go to now. Five children later and the youngest 19 we can look back at what effect she had on their lives in sport.
All the boys played Rugby League and she was always the one that took them to the games if I wasn't home. I was serving in the Navy through most of their lives but she was the ?Rock of Gibraltar?, the one that they could rely on to shine their shoes, wash their shorts and put her hand up to wash the team shirts.
When we moved to Yass she always put up her hand to drive kids from Yass to Canberra every week when required. It wasn't a problem ? she would pick up the kids in our sons teams who needed rides and ensured that they were looked after.
When one of son's turned to Rugby Union, she still was the rock and used to temper my anger at him playing a stupid game. She even managed to convince me that the game of Rugby Union wasn't all that bad. This was vindicated when he played representative Rugby for the ACT u/14's.
I used to collect Rugby League memorabilia and had a whole room in my house full of photographs and jumpers for clubs I had played for. Unfortunately, I lost most of that when we lost our house when it burnt to the ground. Slowly but surely she replaced some of the memorabilia I had put together. I recall that her words were ?while we can't replace all ? we can replace some?. Which we have. The house was rebuilt and I have a room for myself which we fondly call the "Footy Room"
Sometimes we lose the fact that Rugby League is just a game and we are all players in making it the greatest sport of all. In fact we are all players in a bigger game of all, life.
We as readers and contributors to forums like this can take things too serious.
Today I received some bad news, the rock I rely upon isn't well, but we are going to fight it together.
I have good memories of sitting in the sun at North Sydney Oval, dancing together after the 1975 grand final win by the Roosters and the hand knitted blankets we used to sit on. Those memories will always stay with me and her.
I cannot say enough for this woman ? she is our life, my sons and daughter's mother and a wonderful supporter of football.
So I am going to spend the rest of our time together sitting in the sun, talking about the old days and hope things go right.
I am also not going to bother fighting with those who hate my 6th love of my life "The Roosters"
To all my team mates and friends that I have made through football over the years...thank you
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