General Footy Writing: I’m celebrating my sixteenth birthday and a bunch of AFL stars walk in

By Danielle Eid

I’d like to share with you something that I will never forget, an event in my life that was so captivating I had to write it down. It happened last year when my family took me to the Conservatory in Crown to celebrate my Sweet Sixteenth …

We are having a great time and the buffet food is really good. I want to go straight to the dessert table (who cares about chicken!) but Mum points out the prawns and I give in. I’m telling you I fill up only on prawns.

So as we are sitting down enjoying our food the unimaginable happens. Turns out the Hall of Fame dinner is happening that same night, that same time on that same floor!

So I look up from my plate and footy players come pouring in and stand in the foyer, which happens to be about five meters from my table. I recognise Andrew McLeod, Adam Goodes and a few more, but I don’t leave the table because I don’t want to be all, well … star struck.

I stay seated and continue to eat until Dad says: “Hey, Danielle, isn’t that Franklin from Hawthorn?”

I look up and try to remember how to breathe, OMG IT IS … Thank God I went all out and dressed up for the occasion!

I call over the waiter, who has been addressing me as Miss all night, and ask for a pen and a notebook. OK, so I went autograph hunting, but you will be stoked to hear who I meet!

I make my way towards Buddy and politely ask him for his signature, he looks down at me and I feel the aura that is BUDDY! He looks so amazing in real life, much more handsome! As he signs he continues his conversation with some other player who I don’t recognise.

I turn around and the foyer is buzzing with the most amazing players in the AFL. There’s Chris Judd standing with Brendan Fevola and Fisher. When I asked for Judd’s signature he is so nice about it. He says hi and ask how I am, then he signs for me and smiles. I said say thank you and walk off, purposefully not acknowledging that Fevola is there. I am waiting for him to chase me and ask me if I know who he is!

From this I learn that Chris Judd is a really nice guy and Fevola is such a … well, you can fill in the blank. I resist the urge to step on Fevola’s foot really hard, only because I don’t want to get kicked out when there are so many more autographs to get!

Luckily more Hawthorn players are hanging out in a group. I walk over because I recognise Sam Mitchell. They are in conversation and I don’t want to interrupt so I stand a few steps back from Mitchell. Campbell Brown looks across at me standing there, we have eye contact, he smiles and nudges Mitchell. “Hey, Sammy,” he says and nods in my direction.

Mitchell turns around to see me there and looks embarrassed but also smiles warmly. Suddenly I’m accepted in the circle as they all sign on the note book and I start to consider supporting Hawthorn!

When later I tell my uncle about Campbell he says: “Wait, so you’re telling me that you think one of the toughest players in the AFL, who fights with the opposition, is … sweet … and cute?”

Well, even though he gets into the opposition, he is nice to me and he really is sweet!
Truthfully I don’t want to leave the Hawthorn circle, the players are so friendly!

Geelong players arrive and I walk over to a group containing Jimmy Bartel and Matthew Scarlett. Again I take advantage and get some autographs. Jimmy has the black eye but it doesn’t damage his charm and good looks. He is also friendly. I secretly swear an oath never to insult Judd, Mitchell, C. Brown or Bartel.

I leave Jonathan Brown until last because, well, I’m scared silly to go up to him!

All the players are dressed in suits and ties but Jonathan Brown is still very intimidating. It takes a while for me to go up to him, I deliberate for ages until I think, if I don’t go I’m going to regret this forever.

He’s not with a big group, he’s chatting with St Kilda’s Nick Dal Santo. I don’t ask Nick for his signature, it’s scary enough having to stand with Jonathan Brown as he signs.

After asking the Lions captain I get the rough reply, “No worries”. I’ve never heard such a rough, manly voice ever!

He towers over me as he signs and the words, “Please don’t eat me”, are running through my head.  I think the pen is going to break. I’m just getting his signature; imagine having to play on him!

I walk back to my family trying not to look like I’ve just watched a scary movie. At least I’ve got all these valuable autographs but the funny thing is that the players have seen me getting all different players to sign; I wonder why no one has asked which team I barracked for.

Probably doesn’t matter to them.

Who knew that the dessert table wasn’t going to be the most memorable thing that night!

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. Josh Barnstable says

    Did you see any Collingwood players there?

  2. Danielle says

    No i didnt!!
    i had a really goodlook around the foyer before i left just incase but there was not one Collingwood player!!
    ohh well atleast i able to meet Judd!!

  3. Josh Barnstable says

    Oh that sucks about the Collingwood players. Maybe they weren’t invited. That’s cool about Judd. I need to get his autograph one day.

  4. Josh Barnstable says

    Oh that sucks about the Collingwood players. Maybe they weren’t invited. That’s cool about Judd. I need to get his autograph one day. My most prized autograph is Matthew Pavlich’s. I got it in 2005 after Fremantle played Carlton. He kicked 9 goals that day. That’s why it’s special to me.

  5. awwww lol
    my most prized autograph would be Nathan Brown’s on our marriage certificate!!!

  6. Maybe Collingwood boycotted the event over the Lou Richards controversy

  7. Pamela Sherpa says

    Danielle, I’ll never forget the night I met Phil Carmen. A group of us Bomber supporters from Shepparton were feeling disconsolate after a Bombers loss at the G. We didn’t feel like going straight home so wandered across to the Hilton. We discovered that the Bombers were holding their official function upstairs so thought “Why not go up for a look?” We sat down on the couch outside the function room where the doors were open. Phil Carmen was at the table nearest the door and he kindly invited us over to sit at his table and have a drink and chat.The mood in the room was quite sombre. We thought Phil and friends were just happy to talk to some supporters . The trip home didn’t seem so bad after that!

  8. Carman was a deadset superstar so that is a great get!

  9. Carman??
    HMMM i have no idea who that is.
    Research time!! :)

  10. Pamela Sherpa says

    Danielle, you should find researching the exploits of ‘Fabulous Phil’ pretty interesting.

  11. Can’t believe a Pies supporter hasn’t heard of Phil Carman. Folklore has it that his suspension cost them the 77 flag (and that folklore is pretty much on the money!). Should also have won the Brownlow in his first year but missed something like 8 or 9 weeks with injury and lost by 3 votes.
    While we’re on “tragic” Collingwood Brownlow hopes- have you ever heard of John Greening? Another star who could easily have won a medal but for an unfortunate “incident” against the Saints.

  12. HAHA sorry to disappoint you Budge but it was WAY before my time.
    Plus dad didn’t get to Australia to like 1980 something so he couldnt even pass it on.
    But thanks for the quick history lesson, as a history student i appreciate it! :)

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