Almanac Fiction: The Search for the Shield (Episode 2)



Episode 2: A local lout named Kenny offers Swifty Taylor a suggestion…  


It took some time for the stench of the ‘Royals’ to leave my nostrils. Not the yacht club itself, but the word. Every time I was exposed to anything to do with royalty, my olfactory senses went into overdrive. And not in a good way. It has always been difficult to polish a turd, after all. I was considering heading home to watch old re-runs of Friends, and marvel that there was a time that people actually thought that David Schwimmer was funny. But another lead had been brought to my attention, so I decided that the idiot box could wait until later. And besides, I still could not recall if there was any Jameson left on the drinks caddy.


Because the honking and hollering of the passing parade on Nelson Place had momentarily distracted me, I bumped into Kenny, a local lout who always seemed to have a dollar in his pocket despite never having done an honest day’s work in his life. Huh, who was I to talk? Just as I was about to give him a piece of my mind and maybe a piece of my fist, the knuckle-dragging mouth-breather mentioned that he had heard I was on the hunt for the Tony Williamson Shield. ‘What of it?’ I snarled. I was still undecided whether or not I should still give him a bunch of fives to go on with, just for the hell of it. Despite sensing that I wasn’t in the mood for small talk, Kenny got really chatty and kept right on talking. He told me of a hut where he occasionally went drinking with some pals. Was I familiar with it? Sure, I was. There weren’t many places in Williamstown that I didn’t know of. Kenny kept on blabbering. It is quiet and secluded, he said. But he’d noticed that there were more footy photos on the walls than masterpieces in the Louvre.


I arrived at the end of a goat track at the Paris end of Maddocks Road, and was confronted by a bunch of shacks in various states of disrepair. My grandpa had told me stories of grogging on slyly in this fishing village by Kororoit Creek, in the days before legal Sunday drinking was a thing. One Sunday afternoon, after a very pleasant Sunday morning, he was pulled over by the rozzers and asked to walk a straight line down Kororoit Creek Road. He managed it, just. But when he got back to his car, he was too pissed to put the key in the ignition, and that was when the game was up. Years ago, the local council had tried to clamp down on the shenanigans down here, but even they couldn’t get to grips with who was in charge. Talk about the wild west. But what everyone did know was that the leaseholds were as fiercely guarded as a Grammys after-party. And a few years back, even Paul McCartney couldn’t get into one of them.


No-one was supposed to live in these shacks, but the satellite dishes and tv antennas told me a different story. Rumour had it that the toilets flushed straight out in the adjacent creek, making the water as fetid and foul as a Murdoch newspaper. Like Fred Flintstone calling out for Wilma, I hammered on the door of a rust-coloured corrugated iron lean-to, the silence broken by my pounding. Getting no response, I tried the door and to my surprise, it creaked open. The light was dim, but once my eyes adjusted to the gloom I could make out a decrepit tumbledown bar in the corner, barely visible beneath an array of empty cans and bottles. It looked as if Kenny and his friends had been celebrating like they were in Pompeii, and Vesuvius was erupting in the distance.


But Kenny had been correct. There were plenty of footy photos on the walls and the occasional commemorative shield, too. The leader of whatever gang used this joint was a collector all right. But the photos were of long-disbanded footy teams and best-and-fairest award-winners of leagues which no longer existed. There was even a plinth with an array of trophies and awards, collecting dust like they always do. Shit, over the years I had thrown out a countless number of trophies, not wanting to be reminded of my own mediocre career.


I studied the walls closely, but the Williamson Shield wasn’t here. But I did find something almost as important. Beneath the tumbledown bar was an unopened bottle of Jameson. I scooped it up. ‘Where have you been hiding all my life?’ I asked it as I tucked it into my jacket.


Note: The Swifty Taylor series first appeared earlier this year in the Williamstown CYMS FC coterie group weekly newsletter.


You can read Part 1 Here.


You can read more from Smokie HERE


To return to The Footy Almanac home page click HERE



Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.



Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?
And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help keep things ticking over please consider making your own contribution.



Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE

About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. roger lowrey says

    Jeez Smokie, you’ve started something here.

    Henceforth, I shall conceptualise my meagre Almanac contributions in instalment format. Charles Dickens apparently wrote quite a few of his novels in chapters appearing weekly in the popular press hence the unexpected surprises and new characters who would periodically appear.

    Perhaps to follow your lead and rather like our redoubtable Croweater colleague Mickey Randall, I shall now set about the creation of thematic yarns to be unveiled episodically.

    Hmm, now where should I start? Never mind, I have a whole summer to work on it.


  2. Loved them both Smokie. The local landmarks referenced brought back memories of living in Yarraville and Footscray and running under the bridge to willy and back. Thankyou for the nod to Bradshaw’s commentary also! Cheers

  3. Thanks for your comments, guys.

    Swifty appreciates it, I am sure.

  4. Superb Smokie 3 Votes Fred Flintstone – Wilma line

Leave a Comment