Almanac Rugby League: There’s always next year

Mark Courtney grew up in leafy Lane Cove on Sydney’s North Shore but fell tragically into a deep and permanent love affair with the South Sydney Rabbitohs some time in 1969 at the age of 8. Since then the Cardinal and Myrtle thread has weaved its way through school, university, romantic relationships, marriage, parenthood and a 38 year career as an IT professional, never far from the surface. When Souths were immorally and unjustifiably kicked out of the NRL in 1999, Mark was incensed enough to write Moving the Goalposts, a memoir of life as a passionate, crazy, yet thoughtful fan of the game. A few years down the track, he worked with Russell Crowe to write The Book of Feuds, which has become part of the game’s folklore.
Mark has three grown up daughters who, he is proud to say, have fully inherited his passion for the Rabbitohs. He  lives in Coogee with the other love of his life, his long suffering but deeply understanding wife, Cindy.

 

 

 

Halfway through the 1977 season, Souths lost to Cronulla at Redfern. The result was unremarkable as the Rabbitohs won only three games that year but the day itself was pivotal in my life. That day, just by chance, I met a bloke called Greg on the hill. I bumped into him at Kogarah the following week and, from then on, sat with him at every match.

 

I don’t know the exact number of games we watched together but it’d be well over five hundred. As well as the games, we shared countless hours en route to just about every ground and thousands of phone calls discussing team selections, dropped balls, amazing tries, questionable penalties and all such things. Over the decades, we grew to know pretty much everything there was to know about each other. I loved him like the brother I never had, except he was closer than a brother.

 

Since the very early days of our long Rabbitoh journey, we shared a dream. A dream that we drew on, over and over again to sustain us through times when the clouds were so dark that we couldn’t even see where we, or our beloved club, were going. The dream that we would be there when the Rabbitoh drought broke. That on the night when a man wearing the famous cardinal and myrtle once again lifted the premiership trophy, Greg and I would see it, side by side, live and up close.

 

Every year the dream burst into glorious life as our boys ran out for Round 1. We looked each other in the eye, shook hands and steeled ourselves for the season’s journey. And every year the dream flickered out, sometimes mid-season, occasionally in a calamitous, sudden death semi-final capitulation, but always with a familiar refrain. “Next year, mate. There’s always next year.”

 

Now, I’m not a religious person, but I always had absolute faith that our dream would come true. One day.

 

Even during the darkest days. Like the day Greg and I sat together in the Leagues Club at Redfern in October 1999 after the confirmation came through that the NRL had decided, in its wisdom, that South Sydney no longer belonged in the competition. We hardly spoke, just stared out the window over a beer, absolutely aghast at the stupidity and injustice of that decision. The day we lost the injunction case to play in the NRL in 2000, and the day we lost the big court case a year later and knew that we were out for 2001 as well. We wondered if, in fact, there ever would be a “next year” again. But we kept the faith.

 

Throughout those two years without any footy at all, we both bought every single T-shirt and every other bit of merchandise we could. Any excuse to give money to the cause. We worked together at many fundraising functions. Cooking the BBQ, selling drinks, moving crates. Anything.

 

And we talked all the time about the Fightback and the court cases. And about life. About how strong the human spirit could be when faced with such enormous adversity. During those two years, we loved being part of the Souths community that gathered together and fought for the very existence of our club. We loved the many like-minded souls we met who also shared our dream. Our dream that the Bunnies would be back. And would somehow rise again.

 

Greg and I were together at Souths Leagues Club on July 6, 2001, the day the Full Bench of the Federal Court ruled in our favour. I’ll never the forget the pure joy of hearing the outcome, of jumping out of our chairs and yelling and screaming and hugging each other over and over, along with the hundreds of others there that day. We reckoned it was on a par with beating Manly in the 1984 semi-final. And we reckoned it’d only be topped by the day we always talked about. The day when Souths were champions again. The day our dream came true. And we waited. For next year.

 

Of course, there were the lean years after re-instatement where the Club struggled for traction, and then just to become competitive. Greg and I went to information nights to listen to Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes a Court speak about their plans to reinvigorate the grand old club. To some it was a no-brainer but not to us. Private ownership scared us with the question about what might happen in the future always somehow unresolved. We wanted Souths forever, not just till the owners got sick of it, if they did.

 

The night before the vote Greg was so worried he couldn’t sleep. He got up and walked the streets for hours, eventually deciding, as I had a week before, that it was the only way forward and that the risk had to be taken if the Rabbitohs were ever to climb to the top again. We sat together at the vote, listening to the fifty odd speakers, then waited a couple of hours longer for the votes to be counted. We celebrated the result, but without joy. We hated seeing the membership divided, Souths people arguing with each other. For us, the solidarity of the community was everything.

 

Over the next six years, the Club gained strength and momentum, and Greg and I reached a level of anticipation we hadn’t felt since the late 80s. We could barely contain the excitement when we found ourselves at a Preliminary Final in 2012, the closest we’d been to a Grand Final since 1989. When Adam Reynolds tore his hamstring and an 8-4 lead disintegrated before our eyes, we were devastated but, nevertheless, the seeds had been sown. Perhaps more so than ever before, we couldn’t wait for next year.

 

Over the summer, as we talked over and over about the 21st Premiership that we now truly believed was in sight, Greg developed a rotten cough which wouldn’t go away and he didn’t seem to have any energy. As the 2013 season was gearing up, he was undergoing a stack of tests and scans and all sorts of things. At the annual “Return to Redfern” match, I told him he’d better get himself sorted because I had a feeling this might just be the year.

 

On Valentine’s Day he texted me at work and asked me to call him if I had ten minutes to chat. I’ll never forget that phone call. “Mate, the doc reckons I’ve got lung cancer. Stage 4, whatever that means.” I tried to be as positive as I could on the phone but I spent hours that night researching everything I could find out about the disease, the stages, the treatments and the prognosis. Stage 4 was terminal. All of a sudden we didn’t have another twenty, or ten, or even three years. We had one. 2013 just had to be our year.

 

All season, as Greg struggled through chemo and radiotherapy and the team went from strength to strength, I lived in a whirlpool of conflicting and confusing emotions. I was smashed inside but, at the same time, so proud of Greg’s courage and determination every day.

 

I so wanted that Premiership for him. For us. And I so wanted us to be excited about it, to live it together, and to be able to enjoy it to the full. But how could we? In all the years of talking about it we never, ever imagined it would be like this. And what the hell did it matter anyway, really? Whatever Souths did, I was going to lose my Rabbitoh soul mate. Greg’s wife, Sue, was going to lose her partner in life. And he was going to lose everything.

 

We talked every day. I’d call him from the car, as soon as I left for work in the morning and as soon as I left the office at night. Mostly we just talked about the usual things, like Greg Inglis’s sensational form and how Sam Burgess was on fire. I tried to keep it the same as always, to give him some sense of the normal in this most abnormal of years. But sometimes we talked about what was happening and once, just once, on a cold Saturday afternoon at Sutherland Hospital, we discussed what it would be like the following season. When he wasn’t there.

 

We watched a lot of games from Greg’s lounge room that season when he was too crook to make it to the ground. He did make it to the Qualifying Final against Melbourne but, as we sat together at his place the following Friday night watching Manly play Cronulla for the right to meet Souths, he told me he didn’t think he’d get a ticket for the Prelim. The five tumours he now had in his back were compressing his spinal cord. The mate I had run the City to Surf with just a year before could no longer walk.

 

We managed, through the kindness of Russell Crowe, to secure seats for both of us and our wives in a box for the Prelim. That way we could get Greg there in a wheelchair if he felt up to it on the day which, thanks to a bucket of painkillers, he did. As the teams ran out I realised what a momentous occasion this was. Either we would see the Rabbitohs qualify for the Grand Final for the first time since we met or we would watch them for the very last time together.

 

Souths started like they knew how important it was. Penalty goal; converted try to John Sutton; converted try to Nathan Merritt. 14-0. I closed my eyes and wondered whether it might just happen.

 

An hour and a half later, just ninety lousy minutes out of a thirty-six and a half year odyssey together, with Souths down 24-14 and needing a miracle, Adam Reynolds kicked the ball straight into Manly’s Tom Symonds who regathered and raced over untouched. Manly 30-14 with seven minutes left. Seven minutes left in the game. Seven minutes left in the season. Seven minutes left of our dream. I gritted my teeth to control whatever the emotion was that came roaring up my throat, unable to look sideways. Greg simply patted my knee and said: “Mate, it just wasn’t meant to be”.

 

A bit later some women got into the lift in the car park with us, all awash with joy from the Cirque de Soleil show across the road. Oblivious to the footy, one of them asked who had won. “Manly”, I replied, numb. As the lift doors opened she turned and smiled, consoling us as best she could. “Oh well, never mind. There’s always next year”.

 

Four weeks later, Greg was gone.

 

His funeral was a sea of red and green which was exactly what he wanted. Afterwards, I talked with everyone for hours about all the years as his family and his mates and his many friends celebrated his life. It was, somehow, a wonderful day. Sue told me that Greg wanted me to have his watch, which was the one really valuable material thing he owned and this, I’m afraid, did bring me undone for a while.

 

And then there was the off season.

 

During the summer at the end of 2013, I thought often about that conversation in the hospital when I told him that I really didn’t know whether I would want to keep going to the football or not. How I just couldn’t imagine it without him. His response was pretty clear. “Oh, don’t be such a fuckin’ idiot. If it was you who was dying, would you want me to stop watching Souths?” And that, despite everything, made total sense. Even now, it seemed, there was still next year.

 

I negotiated January and February of 2014 with some difficulty. There had never, ever been a year like this one. I hated, actually hated, reading about the upcoming season. I couldn’t get even the least bit enthused. And I dreaded Round One against Greg’s most despised opponents, the Roosters.

 

I took the day of the first game off work and played golf with a group of Rabbitoh mates that Greg and I had met a few years before. We played for the Greg Wilkinson Memorial Trophy, had lunch and toasted our absent friend. Then I had to go home and get ready to go to the game.

 

I had not worn Greg’s beautiful gold watch until that evening, but I put it on for the very first time just before we left home. I was nervous all the way to Homebush and felt physically ill as I parked the car and walked with two of my daughters into the Stadium. When the team ran onto the field and “Glory Glory” boomed across the ground, I lost it. I kissed Greg’s watch, the emotion spilled out of me and I just stood there and sobbed. No handshake in 2014. No “Here we go again!” No shared dream any more.

 

And then something completely unexpected happened. Once the game started I was OK. Absolutely OK. Our boys were doing their stuff and I became, as always, engaged in the struggle. But it was more than that. Every single thing that happened in the game, I knew exactly what Greg’s response would be. Every tackle, every dropped ball, every penalty, every try, every kick-chase. It was like he was there. The relief was almost overwhelming. I was, after all, going to be able to continue. 2014 was off and running.

 

But it was still pretty weird. The games continued to be fine, but the times in between the games? The times when we’d talk on the phone for hours about every aspect of the upcoming encounter and then afterwards for even longer about even the smallest incident? Well, they were tough. Really bloody tough. I felt an acute emptiness. A hole in my life that I just couldn’t fill.

 

The night Souths played Manly at the SCG in August was the worst, I think. I went with my family and a few others and, after conceding a try early, Souths went into overdrive and were simply too strong for the competition leaders and premiership favourites. I went to the bathroom at half-time and, when I emerged, the second half was about to start. I didn’t go back to my seat straight away. I needed to be by myself for a few minutes. I stood there, looking out over the hallowed turf of the SCG (as Greg and I always referred to it), and realised right then and there that Souths really could win it this year. This year of all bloody years. And I stood, ashen-faced, thinking of my Rabbitoh brother and how excited we would be.

 

Later that night, with the family asleep, I watched the replay from start to finish. We would always do this on the phone, synchronising the game, me in my lounge room with a cup of tea, Greg in his with a glass of red and some dark chocolate, and discuss every play, rewinding and freeze framing as we saw fit. Despite the enormity of the victory over the hated Sea Eagles, I just felt alone and sad.

 

The next morning was no better. At first I was OK, waking to a glorious sunny day, feeling the glow of the win but, after getting a few chores out of the way, I suddenly needed to talk to Greg. Which we also always did, having pretty much the same conversation we had the night before. We were mad, crazy, irrational Souths fans and here I was, eight weeks away from the end of the season, all of a sudden believing this was really going to be the year and I couldn’t talk to Greg. I missed him so much that I could barely breathe.

 

But onwards I had to go, and onwards I went, through the last month and the third place finish on the table, the obliteration of Manly (again!) in the Qualifying Final, and the smashing of the Roosters in the Preliminary Final. During the second half of the Prelim, I sat there almost in a state of shock at the realisation that South Sydney was actually in the Grand Final. It was a joyous, incredible feeling as the game ended and the Rabbitoh faithful sang and celebrated. We were all going to the Big Dance.

 

But as we left the ground, an overwhelming sadness came over me as we started the walk to the car. I’d walked that walk so many times, exuberant after a victory, desolate after a defeat, but always with Greg by my side. We’d spoken of this walk, the walk to the cars after winning a Preliminary Final, knowing that the Grand Final awaited. And now I was doing that very walk and he wasn’t there.

 

I put my arm around my beautiful wife, who’d put up with the excitement and the tantrums and the bad moods and the endless replays for nearly thirty years, and told her what I was feeling: “Don’t tell me this is going to be an awful week, the week I’ve been dreaming of since I was ten, for Christ’s sake?”

 

And all the way home I felt this creeping melancholy as I struggled with the thought that our dream was about to come true, but not. It wasn’t until I got home, got everyone off to bed and settled down with a cup of tea and the replay that I once again thought back to that hospital conversation and the promise I made to my lifelong friend, at his insistence.

 

“Not only have you got to keep going, mate, but you’ve got to see the Premiership we’ve always talked about. And you have to get double the enjoyment because you have to live it for me. There’s no discussion, mate, that’s just how it has to be. You can’t stuff it up feeling sad that I’m not there. That would be absurd.”

 

And so it was, at about one o’clock on that Saturday morning, that I shook off the sadness and began to look forward with an unknown excitement to the day that I’d been talking about my entire adult life.

 

Grand Final week was madness, really. Souths fans everywhere were celebrating the fact that we’d made it to the big one, except we didn’t really know how to celebrate it. We were all in such uncharted territory. People wanted to meet for breakfast at Redfern Oval, or lunch at a pub in Waterloo. So we did it all. That group of six guys who played golf on the first day of the season had a pre-Grand Final dinner on Wednesday night at a pub in Erskineville, including a South Sydney trivia quiz that went for over an hour.  It was absolute gold and somehow I was able to throw myself into it all, revelling in the excitement of it, and living it all for Greg. How he would have loved that week…

 

The last thing I did was have a T-shirt made for Grand Final day. It had a picture of Greg and me on the front, taken after that Manly disaster a year before, and the words: “We were there when the drought broke. 5th October, 2014. Never forgotten”. I guess it was my way of actually taking him with me.

 

Then, late on the Saturday afternoon, about twenty-five hours before kick-off, my mate Tim called. That afternoon, he had taken his two young daughters to put a red and green heart on his Dad’s grave. Gone for more than thirty years, Tim’s Dad was always a Rabbitoh. Tim told me, “Botany Cemetery is awash with red and green. There’s all these graves covered in streamers”, and it was only then that I realised how many people, like me, would be living the Grand Final not just for themselves but also for a departed loved one. People who shared a lifetime of Rabbitoh moments with a mate, a partner, a parent or a child who wasn’t around for the Grand Final. Forty-three years is a long time.

 

I woke early on Grand Final day which, I suppose, was to be expected. I found a spot outside and sat quietly for a moment thinking about Greg. Just for a second I got a bit angry, wondering how on Earth he wasn’t here for this day. But, remembering my promise, I managed to pull myself together.

 

The family went down to Coogee for breakfast and every café was full of the colours. Rabbitohs everywhere, sharing the love. The sun was shining as we had bacon, eggs and strong coffee. And my phone simply wouldn’t stop as friends everywhere either called or texted their best wishes. What a morning it was!

 

Once we got to the Stadium in the mid-afternoon, I just couldn’t sit still. Time dragged by as the ground gradually filled, Souths fans outnumbering the Bulldogs by at least two, and probably closer to three, to one. Finally, the pre-game entertainment came and went. It was time.

 

As Bob McCarthy rang the famous Time-keeper’s Bell from 1908 and “Glory, Glory to South Sydney” roared out across the ground, I kissed Greg’s watch (as I had at every game all year), closed my eyes and spoke to him, silently. I told him that the next two hours were for us. When John Sutton led our boys out, once more I found the emotion just too much and I cried.

 

Of course, the game itself is now part of our club’s, and the game’s, folklore. The Sam Burgess broken cheekbone, with John Sattler watching from the stands, was way too far-fetched for a Hollywood script. But it happened in real life. At half-time I was confident. The boys were in control and doing the business but the Bulldogs weren’t done with quite yet. I talked to Greg again. I asked him to bring us home.

 

It was 14-6 with twelve minutes left when Dave Tyrell was knocked senseless and the Bulldogs got the ball. The tension was almost unbearable as Canterbury attacked the line for four sets. It was during this four minute period when I felt something almost surreal take place. The noise was absolutely immense. The players were up for it and they did the actual job on the field. But, truly, the will, the absolute will, of the people within that Stadium and perhaps even those who weren’t there physically, but were there like Greg in another way, I believe it was irresistible.

 

When Souths regained the ball there were eight minutes left. I stared, open-mouthed, at the floodlit field of dreams in front of me. “Christ, we’ve got this”, I said, to nobody in particular. “We’ve got it!” It was true. It was actually happening. If I hadn’t watched the replay about a hundred times since, the rest would be pretty much a complete blur, I reckon.

 

First, McQueen leapt to catch a kick on the line and tapped it back to Inglis whose second kick bounced back over Johnston’s head for Auva’a to score right in the corner and just inside the dead-ball line. 18-6, with Reynolds to attempt the conversion from the sideline. I ran down the aisle to be in line with the kick. A kick which would mean a fourteen point lead and (even now it seems almost too big a word)…the premiership. My daughter Anya, who my wife had despatched to follow me and make sure I didn’t do anything stupid (who, me?), stood beside me. The kick never deviated. Not a millimetre.

 

Just a couple of minutes later, Sutton’s kick on the fourth tackle bounced awkwardly and a Bulldog ran into the upright. Reynolds, in an instant, was there, under the posts. And at this point, I lost control. Literally lost all control. With Anya behind me I ran, like a mad man, towards the fence. I was screaming, screaming. Anya caught up and I hugged her, bellowing. “We’ve done it! We’ve done it!” over and over. There were people all around us going crazy. My wife Cindy, daughter Freya, sister Linda, Tim and the rest of our group were all suddenly there. Everyone was tangled up in a massive, surging group hug. It was utter pandemonium. Some kind of glorious chaos.

 

In fifty-three and three quarter years of life, I had never felt anything quite like that tiny envelope of time. A tsunami of emotion rolled over me and I felt like I was drowning. In that moment, somehow, I pictured Greg’s face and I yelled his name. I wept and I wept in pure ecstasy and utter devastation, all at the one time.

 

And still it wasn’t finished. Te’o, Walker and George Burgess did the hits ups from the kick-off. Then Sutton…Keary…INGLIS! The Goanna crawled and the siren sounded. “Glory Glory” pounded out again and again as we had always dreamed that it would. Sam Burgess was presented with the Clive Churchill Medal. And then John Sutton (seriously, you just could not make this stuff up), a South Sydney local boy who has played more games than anyone else in the club’s glorious history, and apart from that Greg’s favourite player, lifted the trophy. We all fair dinkum died and went to Heaven!

 

The Lap of Honour lasted a long time. I think everyone wanted it to last forever. Amidst the madness and celebration, a strange calm had descended over me and I just stood there watching the boys go past, one by one, already wearing their “21” Premiership shirts. After they were gone I felt the need to sit by myself, just for a minute, and look across the ground. And then we had to get cracking to get back to Souths Juniors for the street party!

 

There were thousands in the street at 1:30am when the team arrived to celebrate with us. They made it through the mad throng into the Club and onto the balcony where they took turns leading songs and chants. By now everybody had left all the tension of the game behind. The scene in the street was a cacophony of wonder and joy.

 

At 3:30am six of us ended up back at my place to watch the replay. As we sat there, with tea and toast on the lounge, it was sublime to watch it all again on TV. Finally, at 6:00am, I lay in bed and began to grasp the enormity of it all. South Sydney were Premiers. Our dream had come true, and I’d managed to keep my promise to Greg. My head settled and I closed my eyes.

 

It had been the greatest day in the history of the World. Ever.

 

To watch the last 10 minutes of the 2014 NRL Grand Final, click here.

 

********

 

I woke to find more than a hundred and thirty messages on my phone, email and Facebook. I didn’t have time to even read them all let alone reply. But, as the house got up and we assured ourselves that it was real, that it hadn’t been some kind of remarkable dream, and before we raced off to Redfern for the Premiership Fan Day, there was one call that I did need to make.

 

Greg’s wife, Sue, had watched the game at home with a group of friends from the local dog park. It had been a pretty emotional night for her as well but she’d managed it with a few wines and the belief that, somewhere, her life partner was watching it as well. She had always told Greg that, if Souths ever did win the Grand Final, he and I should rent a flat for a month with nothing but a DVD player and the game on an endless loop, because there’d be no point is either of us being with anyone else. And that was about right, too.

 

********

 

The euphoria of the Premiership lasted all through the summer and into the pre-season of 2015. Every single day I would think of it often and, when the images from that magical night ran through my mind, I couldn’t help but smile. It’s true that there were empty moments all through that time, when I so wished I could just drive to Greg’s house and watch the game, or call him to talk about the key moments, or relive the euphoria of the celebrations afterward. But, as Greg said to me at the end of our last game together, it just wasn’t meant to be.

 

And now the Premiership defence is underway. Just as last season was a new experience, without Greg, this one is also new, without the forty-three year premiership drought hanging over all our heads. Our club has moved into a new era where we go to games every week knowing that the team can win. Ding Dong the witch is dead.

 

I’m moving on as well. The sadness is still with me, of course. Maybe it always will be. But, oh so gradually, the happiness of the memories and the reflections of our thirty-six years on the shared Rabbitoh journey have started to take up a larger space. More often now I think back to that blustery, cold Redfern afternoon in 1977 and feel overwhelmingly thankful for the chance meeting that gave me a lifetime of camaraderie. Of road trips and home games. Of joy and despair. Of laughter and tears. A lifetime of…well, life.

 

And also, of course, I’m focused on 2015, the quest for back to back premierships, and beyond. That’s how Greg would want it. And anyway, even if this season goes to shit, there’s always next year.

 

Update on Mark and Sue

It’s hard to believe that Greg has been gone for six and a half years. I think of him every single day, I still wear his watch, and I kiss it at the start of every game. Some days I still ache with the desire to have just one day to tell him about the Grand Final. Life does go on though, and I feel very privileged to have had him in mine.

Sue and I catch up fairly regularly, sometimes on Facebook, sometimes swapping a series of texts, sometimes a phone call. Occasionally we meet for lunch or get together with a few friends for dinner. She’s retired now and has done a fair bit of travelling, which she loves. Pity about the bloody virus. Her trip planned for August this year isn’t looking good. Recently she has sold the house where she and Greg lived and moved into a new apartment. I’m going to head over one day soon for a coffee and a chat.
Editor’s Note: Since 2014, Mark’s story has appeared in a variety of forms in various publications. He kindly updated it recently for publication here and for that we extend our sincere thanks.

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.

 

 

Comments

  1. Mark, thank you for sharing this most wonderful reflection on your life and times with Greg and the challenges of moving on after his passing – sensitive, moving, heartfelt, poignant…For me, it’s possibly the most beautiful piece of writing about rugby league that I’ve ever read. And ‘thank you’ to Sue for allowing us to share in her story, too.

  2. Huge.

    Love it, but especially love this paragraph:

    “Then, late on the Saturday afternoon, about twenty-five hours before kick-off, my mate Tim called. That afternoon, he had taken his two young daughters to put a red and green heart on his Dad’s grave. Gone for more than thirty years, Tim’s Dad was always a Rabbitoh. Tim told me, “Botany Cemetery is awash with red and green. There’s all these graves covered in streamers”, and it was only then that I realised how many people, like me, would be living the Grand Final not just for themselves but also for a departed loved one. People who shared a lifetime of Rabbitoh moments with a mate, a partner, a parent or a child who wasn’t around for the Grand Final. Forty-three years is a long time.”

    Thanks for giving us the chance to bring this to the Almanac readership.

  3. Rulebook says

    Mark absolutely sensational bloody emotional bloody brilliant ! Thank you

  4. Sue Stafa says

    What a emotional read, a time in history. Thank you Mark for allowing us to be part of your journey .

  5. Matt O'HANLON says

    Mark that is a great read and highlights the unique relationship between sport and mate ship in Australia whether through participation or support. The tribal nature of your mate ship hopefully won’t be lost to the corporate sport future and we will be all the worse for it if it is.

  6. Michael Clifton says

    That was Beautiful Mark.

  7. Peter Clifton says

    Hey Cuz, bought tears to my eyes. Such a beautiful story of camaraderie. Thanks.

Leave a Comment

*