350 and beyond: Congratulations Adam Goodes

Adam Goodes was born on 8th January, 1980 in Wallaroo, South Australia and thank god he was. On 19th September, 2014, he will play his 350th AFL match for the Sydney Swans and it has been a tangibly pleasurable experience to witness such a distinguished career. For football supporters, certain players evoke a particular sense of adoration. For thousands of Bloods, that player is our much-loved, much-admired, forever cherished number thirty-seven.

A gentle soul, recent interactions such as with his mum, Lisa on the SBS series ‘Who Do You Think You Area’, and in an interview outlining his love for little Kenny Williams, the Swans’ number one supporter seen in the middle of the team song, have highlighted exactly why he is so revered by all at the Sydney Swans Football Club.

The on-field honours are numerous and plentiful: Rising Star, Bob Skilton Medallist, All-Australian, Brownlow Medallist and Premiership hero. However, as outstanding as these achievements are, it is the way in which Goodesy has carried himself throughout his so-far seventeen season career that has endeared him to the Red & White faithful. The epitome of role-model, Goodes has displayed class and poise throughout.

My family first attended a Swans game in September 2003. The Swans were facing the all-conquering Lions in a Preliminary Final at ANZ Stadium. Seventy-thousand screaming Swans fans had us all instantly hooked. My first live glimpse of our great game, had me watching in astonishment at the way our number thirty-seven covered the ground. This was a man of considerable size. The explosive, yet effortless looking movement was something to behold. I had not seen a footballer move like him.

Over the ensuing twelve seasons, I have amassed an impressive amount of live attendance. I have seen Goodesy grace the grand old SCG, our perennial finals venue, ANZ Stadium, the home of football, the ‘G, Etihad/Telstra/Colonial Stadium, York Park in Launceston and my new home-ground just up the road, Bellerive Oval. Each match with its own set of unforgettable memories with strangers, mates and family, all intertwined with one constant, A. Goodes. I will remain forever grateful that this is the case.

Upon reflecting on the great man’s career, there are three matches that stand out for me. The first game of note, was a match at Etihad Stadium in 2011. It was the Bloods v the Bombers and I’d arranged to go along with my Scottish mate, ‘The West Calder Wizard’. After sufficient pre-match lubrication, we entered the arena. The Wizard is a Bombers man and the usual banter ensued. The match was toing and froing all night, until finally, the final siren sounded. Adam Goodes had just taken a mark and had the ball in hand. The Wizard leapt up out of his seat and let out an almighty ‘yessssssssssss’. After my careful explanation of the rules, The Wizard sheepishly sat and Goodesy lined up the set shot that could win the match. The tension was palpable as our main man struck the Sherrin. ‘It’s in!’ ‘No, it’s not’ ‘Yep, it’s there’ ‘Shit’. As The Wizard rejoiced, I felt for Goodesy who had played a mighty match. But, my mate just had his first taste of live footy and he was pumped!

The second, Swans v Hawks at Aurora Stadium (York Park) Launceston in 2012. This was the day that Goodesy would break the all-time games record for the South Melbourne/Sydney Swans. His great mate, Micky O, the previous record holder was also in town and the Swannies were underdogs. Just the way we like it. As the match wore on, my new Sydneysider friend sitting next to me, became more and more excited. We both sensed that this was the beginning of our next great team. The Swans ran away with a famous victory which left both me and my new mate, a little shocked but very optimistic. Goodesy dominated, kicking five second half goals as the Bloods brethren rejoiced in the stands.

Finally, the 2012 Grand Final. Standing in Bay 25 with a mate and my brother, we watched on in horror as Goodesy’s knee was being tested for structural damage. It was the talk of our tightly-packed, though increasingly close-knit Standing Room Bay. You can only imagine our admiration for the great man then, as he returned to the field, crashed packs, ran the wings and finally, kicked a match-winning goal. A torn PCL could not stop him from delivering on the most glorious of days. The celebrations followed into the night, with one name consistently bellowed into the starry Melbourne sky….Goooooodesy!

Over the years, he has been a player who has not been the most popular with some opposition fans. I will never understand why, although I can assure you I have heard numerous reasons. For a footballer to be awarded the Australian Of The Year award, is an amazing feat. A sadly underrated feat. The truth is, Adam Goodes is transcending the football field. His career on it, has been exceptional. I sense that his career off it, will be the true making of the man. I struggle with the thought of a Swans team without Adam Goodes in it. I know that day is coming. When it does, I will stand proudly and applaud a man of incredible integrity and courage who not only is my favourite footballer, but who inspires me to be a better person. Congratulations, Goodesy.


About Joe Moore

Learned the art of the drop-punt from Derek Kickett as Jamie Lawson watched on. And thus, a Swan for life. @joedmoore1979


  1. Rosemary Paterson says

    Thank you for helping me relive AFL those games. In 2012 my husband was told to put his papers on order. The Swans were our family API had decided too make sure David went too every game possible. Launceston indeed sticks on my mind, as I boarded a flight from Sydney pushing my hubby in a wheel chair. Hawks had just signed a New 5 year contract & the band ticks tape parade was really fun, Brown & Yellow e everywhere. Eeee were underdogs BIG time. Tickets were sold out but somehow explaining my situation, I got tickets on the HAWKS section asst a disable seat. Swans were trailing by 30 we thought we would never come back, Hawks Crowd wollowed in their lead…..then SILENCE as the ONE & ONLY LONE SWAN CHEERED, all eyes were on ME my hubby laughing his heart out. The BIG WIN on Adam Goodes BIG DAY. Next morning this ALONE SWAN all decked out on RED & WHITE amongst a massive Brown & Yellow made the Sunday papers. Hubby was thrilled. David Winter Paterson died 4 days after the 2012 Grand Final. Sometimes I wonder, do these clean living, honourable young men ever realise how much they REALLY touch people. Swans Fans are VERY proud of our team but most of all ADAM GOODES the heart & soul of it.

  2. Thanks for sharing your story Rosemary, I’m glad you got to share that great day in Launceston with David. I will never forget the strong prescence of the many Swans supporters there that day. I would guess that these guys would have some idea of how much they touch people’s lives, but would not be aware of the full extent. We are very lucky to have a team that we are indeed all so proud of. And Goodesy’s been an integral part of that.

  3. A great read, Joe! The way Goodesy handles himself on and off the filed should act as inspiration for everyone, not just footy fans. I think this was partly demonstrated when he was awarded the Australian of The Year.
    ‘The West Calder Wizard’ sounds like a great guy too.

  4. Thanks Martin. Looking forward to catching up with ‘The West Calder Wizard’ next weekend in Melbourne for a couple of (hopefully celebratory) ales.

  5. Patrick O'Brien says

    Great piece, Joe. Goodesy has shown himself unafraid to speak truth to power, something that never makes you popular in Australia. I love the way he does that and hope he keeps going after football.

  6. Thanks Patrick. He is challenging people’s thinking and standing up for what he believes in. Long may it continue.

  7. Keiran Croker says

    Well done Joe. Some vintage Goodesy last night. The run out of defence late in the 2nd quarter was gold.
    A great man in all respects.

    Are you going to the Almanac Lunch this Friday?

  8. Thanks Kieran. The great man certainly turned it on last night! I’m coming over to Melbourne for the big game this weekend but unfortunately won’t arrive in time for the Almanac Lunch. Would have loved to have been able to go. Planning on heading to The Rising Sun in South Melbourne (to hopefully celebrate) on Saturday night though.

  9. Keiran Croker says

    Might see you at the Rising Sun Joe, pending a successful day!

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