Reg Reagan is my hero, in a Rugby League related sense anyway.
That may sound a bit strange, I am after all a 47-year-old male who has followed Rugby League for all but nine or 10 of those years and has seen Raper, Fulton, Sterling and Beetson etc play, but Reg Reagan tops the lot in my book.
I probably should explain why.
Last year when Reg?s DVD was released, I heard on the radio that he would be at Macarthur Square at Campbelltown the following Sunday. So on that Sunday morning my son and I made our way to Macarthur Square and joined the line which, an hour before Reg?s scheduled appearance, was already 30 strong. We purchased the DVD from one of the hawkers moving though the crowd and settled in for the long wait. The crowd was in good spirits but the overall ambience was a bit iffy thanks to the endlessly looped Reg Reagan hit ?Am I Ever Gonna See the Biff Again?. Personally, if I never hear that song again it?ll be too soon.
Still, it didn?t worry us that much; we were about to meet the great man after all. Right on time ol? Reggie boy arrived, told a few jokes then took his seat behind the desk and gave the signal for the first person to come up on stage to meet him and get their DVD signed. By this time the line was to the door, more than 100 people patiently waiting to meet Reg and get their DVD signed.
In time our turn came and we walked up the stairs and shook hands with Reg. I asked Reg quietly if he wouldn?t mind signing it for my Mum as she was in hospital and was a bit crook. I told him that she absolutely adored him.
A grin broke out on Reg?s face and he asked for her name, then he took great care in signing the DVD cover; ?To (Mum?s name), get well darl! Reg Reagan?. He stood up, put his hand on my shoulder and asked me to wish her well on his behalf. I thanked him and we moved on.
You see, Mum is a huge fan of Reg. I?ve been following Rugby League for more than 30 years and what Mum knows about Rugby League would fit on a matchbook cover with enough space left over for the first two books of the Bible, but she knows and loves Reg Reagan.
We walked out of Macarthur Square and made our way to the car then drove to Campbelltown Hospital where Mum was receiving treatment. I didn?t tell Reg but Mum had been diagnosed with bowel cancer. Mum is a happy person generally and full of life, but this news had floored her. Her demeanor in Hospital had been cheerful, but it was a put on cheerfulness that I could see through.
We walked through the hospital doors, caught the elevator to her floor and made our way to her room. She smiled as we walked toward her, but it was a smile that she was happy to see us, not that she was feeling better.
I sat down on the chair beside her bed and the usual family-based chit-chat ensued, she was a bit down, the frequently stripping dementia patient in the opposite corner had kept her awake all night and she still hadn?t been updated on her own condition.
I told her we?d just been down to Macarthur Square and that she might be interested in who we?d just met.
?Who?? she said quizzically.
?Who is your favourite TV personality Mum?? I replied.
?I just love Reg Reagan, he makes me laugh so hard I think I?m going to wet myself every Thursday night? she exclaimed.
At that moment I pulled the CD out from behind the chair and handed it to her. Her initial reaction was more puzzlement than surprise, but after a moment or two it dawned on her. The smile that came over her face was priceless, that one DVD personally autographed by Reg lifted her spirits immediately, something that hadn?t happened since she was diagnosed.
I?m not suggesting for a moment that the autographed DVD had anything to do with the overall picture, Mum fought the bastard Cancer over the next few months and eventually won, but that moment when I gave her Reg?s DVD lifted her spirits immensely and I really think it helped.
You?re my hero Reg.
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