A True Braveheart
There are few mothers who captured the imagination of me and
fellow ABC caller, Ross Booth, in the way Mary Carroll did. Week
in week out in good and bad times she and husband Brian, often
with daughter, Jayne, were a conspicuous sight in the lens of
the ABC camera. Last week, Mary, at age sixty-one, finally lost
her long battle with cancer. Mary's status was assured because
her sons, Damian and John, accumulated six VFA/VFL premierships
between them with Springvale.
But that was only part of the story. Mary just happened to be
one of life's gifts. An engaging and honest woman, she encapsulated
so much that is special about football in the suburbs. Often I
would bump into Mary and Brian after a game. Their concern for
the integrity of the Springvale Club as an alliance with St Kilda
emerged was patently obvious. Both understood the importance of
the social fabric of a football club and how, like a good family,
such a club could produce good people.
In a week where the great Dick Reynolds has been eulogised for
his contribution to the Essendon Football Club's culture, and
to life, it's important that we reflect on people such as Mary
Carroll. In her own way, and to those who came across her, she's
become a very famous person. It's no wonder Damian is still revered,
as John was before he retired, at Springvale. With those parents
they had a great start. To Brian, who played six games with Fitzroy
in the old VFL, and the whole family, my dearest sympathy.
And so we're down to the preliminaries this weekend. We've been
blessed with some fierce and inspiring football over the past
weeks and the preliminaries won't disappoint. Can the contenders
Geelong and Coburg get past Werribee and Port? How many men and
women in hard hats will descend on Port on Saturday? Yes, as I
said a few weeks back, the match on Saturday is being sponsored
by a number of unions. We can only hope this adds some colour
to what has been a great finals series.
Then on 18 September we're off to Windy Hill for the Coburg
-TXU grand final luncheon. I can tell you that we've assembled
some old footage of Colin Kinnear, Gary Brice, Ray Shaw, Terry
Wheeler and Barry Round that will have you mesmerised. Seriously,
Kinnear's bellbottoms and Billy Goggin's lapels in the 1979 are
worth the ticket price. Ring Coburg on 9354 822 8 for details.