When I began my football career my father was there to record it on his 8ml movie camera. What the footage shows is a little blond bombshell chucking his body into packs like it belonged to someone else.
The game was played hard and rough and in the end Boyup Brook Primary came out in front of my team, Bridgetown Primary. The Brookers won because they flooded their back line and we got caught in the wash.
Even with the cinematic evidence captured for all time my game still wasn’t good enough for my father, who said, as soon as I got back in the family car, a Simca Vedette: “Why didn‘t you kick the ball when you had it in front of goal? That big kid with the black hair, you should have knocked him over.”
And so on, until mum pipped up with: “Stan, leave the boy alone. Can’t you hold off until we get that gaping head wound stitched up?”
All right, I made that last bit up, and, to be honest, making stories up has brought me a lot more success than my football.
Which brings me to my heyday, my three years with the legends of the Lower South West Football League, the mighty Deanmill Hawks.
Over those three fabulous years, I played three great games. Well, two ordinary games and one I don’t remember very well because big Johnny turner from the Pemberton Southerners smashed into me and I got lost in a weird time warp. The Pemby trainer found me a week later in Big John’s hand, trapped in his life-line.
Eventually I became a writer and many legends of the game are now immortalised in a national publication of stories and essays on Australian Rules.
Australia’s Game, Slattery Media Group, ed Ross Fitzgerald and Ken Spillman.