One Tony Lockett

If not for the indecision of the Collingwood board in 1994, I would be a one-toothed Magpie supporter today. Some eighteen years later, after what one would describe as the greatest mistake ever made by the Collingwood board – though the bloodless coup of Nathan Buckley in 2009 may rival it, only time will tell – I find myself a die-hard supporter of the Sydney Swans. (Yet I also could have been a fanatical follower of either the Tigers or the Lions, an ever unhappy one at that). Why? Because of one man, and that man was Tony Lockett.

I first became aware of the boy wonder from North Ballarat in 1998, aged five. It was a blustery late autumn night in May. Collingwood took on Sydney at the MCG. The telecast relayed into our Surrey Hills lounge room. If the Swans continued their winning ways, they’d remain on top; if not, the Dogs – provided they won against the highly-favoured North Melbourne at Optus Oval on Sunday – would snare top spot. The black and whites flew to a twelve point advantage at quarter time. Enter Tony Lockett. This towering figure, plumed in red and white, surrounded by a sea toothless men – both in and around the G – proceeded to wipe out Tony Shaw’s thin defence of six, one by one. By half time, the black and white army raised the white flag. Fed by Kelly, Cresswell and Schwass, Lockett and his comrades first stormed the Ponsford Stand, then Punt Road. Magpie supporters, fearing for their lives, fearing for their sanity, and that of their coach, left the G in droves. The siren blared, the Swans rejoiced. From eleven kicks, he scored ten goals. He only missed once.

I found my man; the love affair began.

 

About Conor Flynn

Once described by a drunk as 'the mix between Tom Waits and Elvis', Conor is a firebrand socialist, born and bred in the inner north. He is passionate about his beloved Sydney Swans, The Smiths, quiffs and sideburns. He can often be seen trying to recreate Plugger's 1300th goal in the Edinburgh Gardens, or tumbling out of The Old Bar near dawn. Don't remind him about 2006.

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