Crio’s ? Set in Stone

I was at Marcellin College last week when they revealed a sculpture commemorating a revered mentor and chaplain, John Carnie. They’ve memorialized him seated on the wing overlooking the Oval, forever gazing on the sportsgrounds and still able to offer silent counsel to those in need. It was a wonderful decision and his pose reminded me of Yabba’s crouching bronzed presence near the fence at his beloved SCG.

Today, at the MCG in Grand Final week, a statue to Norm Smith has been unveiled. Unlike other sporting heroes captured in on field poses, the “Red Fox” is besuited, “boundary riding” his Demons.
Done well, these statues are a welcome addition to sporting precincts – Artie Beetson has, I believe, been immortalized outside his old Lang Park battlefield.
There’s a grand tale that when Michelangelo finally completed his masterpiece, “David”, he kicked at it and muttered “Now speak!”.
Which ones have you seen that capture the essence of the sportsman – and who deserves to also take their posed place for posterity?


  1. Peter Fuller says

    Melbourne High has two beauties overlooking their pretty sportsground:
    Neil Roberts, Brownlow Medallist in a classic pose which would be recognisable to footy fans older than 55;
    on a bench seat, Bill Woodfull and Keith Miller half-facing each other as if in conversation while they’re watching the game. Woodfull was famously head-master and captain of Carlton when Miller then a 16 y/o student made 50 for South Melbourne in a grade match between their two clubs.

    I also think that virtually all of the MCG figures are marvellously evocative, particularly Shirley Strickland, Betty Cuthbert, Lethal, Barrass Bunton and Dick Reynolds.
    I think with the sports stars from earlier times, a single photograph is etched in our memory, and is therefore immediately conjured up when we think of their name. In the age when television has provided multiple examples, each enthusiast will have her/his individual mental picture of say Robert Harvey, Ablett snr. or jnr. or any one of the numerous players in our library of memory.

  2. Robert Harvey’s statue would be bent over, totally spent.
    Look away for a second.
    Look back again and it would then be running and bouncing on the other side of the oval!

Leave a Comment